For most of our new boarding school clients, they come into the office wanting to explore such an option, but are not sure of the experience they will have. From our standpoint, there is no 'one fit' answer. With a wide selection of schools to choose from, the GREC Philosophy promotes finding the best fit for a child and their family. Whether that be an all-girls equestrian school or one that has their own ski team, we want to find a school that accommodates all the needs and wants of a client. Rather than us summarize what we know about boarding schools from our visits and their staff, a few of our boarding school clients share testimonies on their experiences to give you a realistic idea about why this school option can be so rewarding.
"One can spend countless hours making a list of pros and cons as to why boarding school is the right choice for you. It is not uncommon to find independence etched at the top of the pros list. I felt my social and intellectual independence was not at the full potential at the school I was attending in my hometown. Boarding school prepared me for college more than any college preparatory school in Charlotte could have. It gave me the independence to live on my own with other students and gave me new responsibilities academically and socially. At home, my parents would supervise my time to assure I was spending it correctly. At boarding school, it became my responsibility to manage my own time. I learned to balance school, sports, and friends in an effective way that guaranteed me to prosper in this environment. It was my responsibility to attend all my classes and contribute to class discussions. After sports, it was my responsibility to organize and complete my schoolwork. During the day, it was my responsibility to visit my teachers for extra help and also find time to socialize with my friends. Boarding school gives you many responsibilities but also the freedom to take advantage of the opportunities and resources that are open to you. It was through these responsibilities that I learned the true meaning and importance of independence that is valuable for growth beyond high school."
Pomfret School, Class of 2017
Boarding school is fun but not easy. It is rewarding but sometimes very stressful. There are deadlines, expectations, grueling tasks, and many times, meetings, classes, and groups that you are not eager to attend. There are set homework hours, mandatory all-school performances, and times when Facebook is shut down, or even the internet as a whole. At first glance, a prospective student might ponder why on earth they would attend a school with such rigid and demanding rules. Some parents, too, might question why families send their children off at such a young age to a place that seems to limit freedom and if it is because of bad behavior. But, being a boarding school student, I can tell you the reason many students choose to go and why it is the best decision they make for their high school career; simply, it’s because boarding school is not easy and because of so, they reap the greatest rewards.
Boarding school forces children to perform in many different aspects and do so while navigating many first exposures to adulthood, responsibility, independence, diversity and growth. No longer do teachers spoon-feed their students with constant reminders of upcoming assignments or provide study guides for tests. Rather, the student must decide on their own how much effort they are willing to sacrifice to their studies while also managing their time in terms of socializing, leadership positions, athletics, and extracurriculars. Among boarding school students, no matter the school, there is a lingo and respect for the experience each child has undergone, being that they understand the effort devoted to making such an opportunity successful. Simply, the boarding school experience offers camaraderie at its finest, forcing students to lean on each other for guidance, friendship, and respect. Many outsiders want to understand why boarding school is loved by so many, but there it not much I can compare it to, being that at the heart of the adventure, is the student’s decision on what they want to experience and do- the possibilities are endless and very much an individual decision. If anything ,I can say my high school experience was comparable to reading the most insightful self-help book available, for it allowed me to achieve personal growth and acknowledge who I was before entering the real world, and for that I am thankful.
The Culver Academies, Class of 2016
Boarding school provided me opportunities that I could have never had if I had continued in day school. To me, the most important aspect of boarding school is the relationships you are able to form. I was able to form a bond with the dean of students at my school through football, and along with two of my friends, the four of us started a charity providing scholarships for children in third world communities across the world. I was able to travel to the Philippines with our charity in order to meet some of last years scholarship recipients and select the upcoming year's group. This was just one of the impactful sets of relationships that I was able to foster during my time at boarding school. The residential community leads itself to students not only growing close with each other, but also with the faculty since you are constantly interacting with them outside of the classroom. This is just one of the many aspects of boarding school that make it the opportunity of a lifetime, but it was what I found to be the most important.
St. Paul's School, Class of 2016