Along with entering the military junior high school, Mustafa became a professional in military service. In those years, the Ottoman army was weak and devastated. The empire had literally collapsed. Sultan Abdülhamit was aiming to ignore what happened, to numb instead of solving internal and external conflicts, and only to protect his own throne. There were administrative problems within the borders of the empire. Mountains and roads were in the hands of the bandits. The minorities acted as if they were not Ottoman vassals. The capitulations had shackled the economic future of the state.
However, this was nothing significant for the high-school children who preferred military training. They regarded every duty as sacred and were dying to take office wherever they were in the country as soon as possible.
In the Ottoman Empire, the military law started at the high school's door. For this reason, 10-12 year old students were also subject to the same law as officers. The military uniforms were put on as soon as they entered junior high school. The uniforms, fully closed at the front, with large shiny buttons and dark blue pants with red stripes, were spectacular. Although it was not as flamboyant as that of cadets or military officers, it was a tremendous pride for a boy at that age. Every time Mustafa came home wearing his uniform, Zübeyde Hanım was living the same pride.
Mustafa loved high school very much. He was attached to his school with strong ties. With his precious friends such as Salih (Bozok), Nuri (Canker), İsmail Hakkı (Kavalalı) with whom he will have a lifelong friendship, aide and companionship, as well as his valuable and inspiring teachers such as Lieutenant Hasip Efendi, Captain Naki and Captain Mustafa that he met in the classroom. Mustafa was a remarkable and beloved student from the first day he entered the school until the day he graduated. He had an understanding and maturity way ahead of his age. He had a special interest in arithmetic. His arithmetic teacher, Captain Mustafa, noticed his maturity and completeness. Since he wanted these features to be visible throughout his life and for Mustafa to always hear and remember this, he gave him the name that preceded him and would be heard by the whole world in those years: Kemal! Mustafa is not just Mustafa; it was Mustafa Kemal now.
In those years, the situation of the empire and the economic tightness created by the approaching war had become more palpable. Being widowed at a young age and living in an unprotected manner with her daughter Makbule, Zübeyde Hanım decided to marry in order to earn a living and to suppress her loneliness to some extent. She had appointed Ragıp Bey for this marriage. Mustafa Kemal was unhappy with this decision taken by Zübeyde Hanım and Ragıp Bey, who showed comfortable attitudes in their own houses and with whom his mother wandered around without covering. He left his home in a severe delusion and with great anger. Although Zübeyde Hanım tried to oppose this behavior, she could not prevent Mustafa Kemal. Mustafa Kemal started to live with his uncle for a while and then in the house of one of his relatives. His precious teachers at the junior high school advised him to go to the Manastir Military High School. He did so. He took the admission exams of the military high school and got accepted. He was now a boarding military school student on a scholarship. It got easier to study. Issues such as whether he could or could not continue his education were left behind. By getting accepted into the boarding military high school, he would be able to continue his education without having to return to the house where both his mother, and his step-father, whom he was strange at the time and whom he was angry with, but would love later.