The Empty Hours of SCA. – By @MunrajSC

By Munraj Chawla


The Empty Hours of SCA. 


I pride myself on being (almost always) the first person to walk into the SCA church in the mornings. Within the first couple of weeks I had memorised the code to unlock the school – it’s definitely not Amy’s birthday – and had learned to not panic when the fuse blew as I turned on the lights. Usually, there’s about a 15 to 20 minute window before anybody else arrives. During this time, I’ll either have an existential crisis or I will tackle every piece of work I have on at the moment and be my most productive self. There is no in-between.

The empty hours of SCA are the times where nobody else from the school is around me and there isn’t that electric, creative energy that I feed off of. Because of that, in the mornings I have to generate that energy myself. I’ll listen to music, walk around and talk to myself like a crazy person and generate the buzz of ideation. Some days it works and I’ll rush to my computer inspired and some days I just look like a crazy person. Regardless, eventually Phil arrives and slits a banana’s throat to eat it with peanut butter and I have someone to help generate more creative energy. 

I include my journeys to and from SCA as the empty hours. Various mentors have recommended taking off your headphones while you’re in the outside world and listening to real people. I tried it. It sucks. I’ve dedicated 4 hours a day to mindfulness which, apart from when I’m so exhausted that I’m sleeping, help me maintain a grasp on my fragile mental health. Listening to music is a natural way to destress but I’ve also found podcasts to help, as well as writing in my gratitude journal. One of the hardest things about SCA is finding time to deal with the pressure you put on yourself and the workload. For this, I value the empty hours more than anything. 

Annoyingly, there are very few other empty hours. Commuting and arriving early are the only times I find myself being able to collect myself and reflecting. Even worse, SCA, for all its glory (of which there is a ton), takes over your entire life. What this means is that you can’t turn off your brain from thinking creatively, nor can you stop the hours from bleeding into your personal life. The former means you get strokes of inspiration at the most random of times. The latter is where you find yourself lost. One of the hardest things to come to terms with is that you will miss out on key life moments, like birthdays and anniversaries. This school is all about sacrifice, in search of being the best. What’s amazing is that pretty much everyone who attends is willing to make that sacrifice. Nowhere other than SCA is there a group of people willing to give it their all for glory. 

Song of the SCAB: Radiohead – No Surprises


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