Boarding School Memories (Round 1)

Shopping for Provisions- A Lesson in Self Discipline

A few days ago I was sitting in the dinning area, talking to my Papa who was cooking breakfast in the kitchen, and  we were talking about of all things , corn flakes, when all of a sudden my mind took me back to my secondary school days in Zambia.

Back then, just before school resumed after the holidays, my dad would give us the money for out tuck box provisions. This was after we would have written a list and come up with a budget. We were not rich, so we had to come up with a list of things we really needed.

A lot of time was spent writing that list, because my Father would read it first, before giving us the money for the items.

Tuck boxes like this,  was were we kept our snacks and other provisions while at boarding school
Photo by David Bartus from Pexels

Once we had the money in our hands, we would go to the SHOPRITE supermarket  in Ndola, ready to make our purchases. Going shopping was hard, as there was so many temptations, with different brands competing for my attention.

Shoprite Ndola- Photo’s courtesy of

But looking back, I realize now that I learnt a lot of lessons that have served me well.  Self discipline, the art of controlling one’s feelings in the face of temptations, and sticking to what you know is right and wise to do is one lesson I grasped at the age of 14.

I could have bought the most expensive goods, but that would mean I would buy fewer provisions. And while I could have enjoyed the benefits of getting those delicious chocolates and enticing Baker Biscuits, I had to count the cost. Because weeks down the line, I would be in my dorm room, hungry after all the rigors of student life and wishing I had used good judgment in purchasing my snacks and provisions.

“Self-discipline is often disguised as short-term pain, which often leads to long-term gains. The mistake many of us make is the need and want for short-term gains (immediate gratification), which often leads to long-term pain.”
― Charles F. GlassmanBrain Drain The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life

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