“Don’t tell my parents that you went to boarding school.” This was the one rule I gave my now husband before he met my parents for the first time. Growing up in Georgia, the only people that I knew that “went” to boarding school where those who really got “sent,” and it was usually because the school and/or parents felt that a change in scenery would be beneficial for all parties. Clearly, there was a much wider audience than that who considered the option of boarding school back then, and there most certainly is now! What still remains true, however, is the mystery around boarding school and what exactly takes place once there. To pull back the curtain a bit on it all, we reached out to one of our favorite boarding school graduates to get his perspective on: A Day in the Life of a Boarding School Student.
6:45 AM- My alarm goes off and I quickly jump out of bed to brush my teeth and throw on some clothes to head to breakfast.
7:00 AM- Along with four of my friends, I enter the dining hall. Breakfast is an essential part of my daily routine, and as far as I am aware, I am the only person to never skip breakfast throughout the entirety of my boarding school career. As a result of my frequency, I developed a relationship with chef Ben, who made my favorite omelet every morning. Following breakfast, I go back to my room to get ready for the school day.
8:00 AM- Four times a week the school community comes together for chapel. While my school is an Episcopal school, the services cater to a variety of religious beliefs. A normal chapel service includes a reading, a prayer, a hymn, and a speech from someone who is usually a member of the senior class or faculty.
8:30 AM- Students move to their respective classrooms for first period and gather around the Harkness table for intense discussion on the topic of the day. I especially enjoyed humanities conversations around the oval table, as they encourage all of the students to participate since there is no hiding in the back of the classroom. My classes ranged from 4 to 16 students, but were usually around 12 students, which allowed the teacher to connect with each student individually.
11:45 AM- I join in the mass exodus from the school buildings toward the dining hall. We had a few different lunch options, but the most popular was certainly at the main dining hall. I usually made a panini and joined some of my friends for conversation ranging every possible topic imaginable.
12:30 PM- I quickly stop by my dorm room to swap out my books before returning to the academic quad for my afternoon classes.
3:30 PM- Following classes, I hustle to the athletic facility to get ready for sports practice. I played football and lacrosse, but there are a wide array of different sports and levels of competitiveness that students can pick from. When not playing a sport during the Winter, I loved being able to go to the Hockey rink on game day to support my friends as they took on teams from other schools in the greater Boston area. Sports provided me a great avenue to meet students from across the world in a setting outside of the classroom.
6:15 PM- After practice, the boys’ locker room is full of students trying to shower and quickly change into coat and tie for seated meal, which happened twice a week. Seated meal randomly assigns students of all grade levels with a faculty member to share a meal together for three weeks. Seated meal serves as a great way for students to meet each other and faculty when they would not otherwise connect due to living in different dorms, not being in the same class, or playing on the same sports teams.
7:30 PM- I bring my backpack down to the study room in my dorm in order to start working on my homework for the night. While my school did not have a regimented study time at night (although most do), it was generally expected that students would be working by 7:30. Most students choose to do their homework at their desks in their room, but others like to go to the library or meet as small groups in open classrooms. One of the best parts about boarding school is that the teachers are readily available, as they live on campus and usually spend the evening hours in a dorm at least once a week. This allows students to go and see them if they are in need of a little bit of help on their homework, or if they have questions when studying for an upcoming test.
9:30 PM- I walk down to the common room of my dorm to tell the advisor on duty that I am in for the night, signifying that I will be in the dorm until breakfast the next day. During check-in time the common room can be a very social place for students talking to the teacher and each other about the happenings of the world and telling stories from their past. Once I finish my homework, I head down to one of my friend’s rooms to watch TV or play video games for a little prior to heading to bed.
11:30PM- I get in bed ready to do it all again tomorrow.