By: Sue Ann
As the pressure to decide on where to go to college looms closer. . . I can’t help but think back to my high school experience.
Never in a million years did I imagine attending boarding school. Especially not one 3,000 miles away from home in Massachusetts. And all girls? Yea, no thanks.
But then I received an academic scholarship to attend Miss Hall’s School and my parents were convinced I had to go. As wonderful as the opportunity was, if you asked me if I would want to go again, I wouldn’t have a definite answer.
As great as boarding school was, I terribly missed being at home the first two years. I really missed seeing my parents and hanging out with my best friends since kindergarten. And as much as I dreaded the whole “sit down for dinner and talk about your day” with my parents, I actually missed having that every night. It was boarding school that made me realize I took certain things for granted.
Sure, the academics were great because the teachers were around 24/7. Most of them lived with us in student residential buildings. I could knock on a teacher’s door at 8 pm and get academic help from a teacher if I needed it. That’s how dedicated the instructors were.
And I have the most amazing friends because of boarding school. Living together for four years gave me the most amazing memories: leaping at joy due to class cancellations, attending tennis practices, faking being sick with friends to skip class on the rare occasion, sneaking out past night hours to hang out in a friend’s room, taking trips to hike, etc. And those same friends I have great memories with are the ones I hang out with on a weekly basis even though we all attend different colleges. I’m thankful that boarding school gave me lasting friendships/sisterhoods.
One of the best memories I have of attending Miss Hall’s is being a residential life proctor my senior year. I was living in a small house separated from the campus (not in the senior apartment) with six underclasswomen, so I had a unique, personal experience with each student. I’d do rounds every night from 10 – 11:30 pm to chat with each student about how their day was and then check in with the head of residential life. It’s those same students who still message me on a monthly basis two years later and ask me about my college life and such.
Boarding school is definitely not for everyone. I saw so many students come and go during my four years because living away from home at 13 didn’t feel right for them. Like I said earlier, I’m not sure I’d even choose to go to boarding school again if I had the chance. Despite the sacrifices I made by going all the way to the other side of the US, I’m so grateful for all the friendships and connections I made that I wouldn’t have had I stayed at home.