Thursday, November 3, 2011

Surviving in a Boarding School

1. Introduction

Surviving in a boarding school can be a tough experience. It can be made easier if some steps are followed. This article looks at the advantages of boarding school, the disadvantages of boarding school and how to survive in boarding school.

2. Advantages of Boarding School
Boarding Schools have a number of advantages. These include more time for study, more time to develop friendships, becoming independent, more time to consult classmates and teachers and good preparation for college ad university life.

(a) More time for study
In boarding schools, times are allocated for afternoon and evening study times. Pupils have at least a minimum of three hours of study per day. This gives a pupil more time to revise and study their school work. Apart from study times, pupils in boarding schools have weekends which can be used for studies. Pupils in day schools may not have enough time as their boarding school colleagues.

(b) More time to consult classmates and teachers
The boarding pupil has more time to consult his classmates, school mates and teachers on school work. The pupil can discuss with classmates during study times or consult them in the hostels. In addition the pupil can consult their teachers at their homes or classrooms.

(c) Developing Independency
Boarding School enables pupils to develop independency and self-reliance. Pupils are able to budget their pocket money to last for one term. Pupils also wash their own clothes and clean their surroundings. They also learn how to manage time for studies, leisure and sleep. This helps the pupil to be more responsible in later life.

(d) More time for extra-curricular activities
Pupils in boarding schools have a number of extra-curricular activities. These range from sport, gardening, cleaning and inter school activities. Some boarding schools also have activities that benefit the community. These extra-curricular activities help a pupil to be a balanced pupil as opposed to one who is just a bookworm.

3. Disadvantages of Boarding School
Boarding schools have some disadvantages. These include pupils being away from parents at a critical stage in their lives, exposure to bad company, growing distant from parents and family and adjusting to a new environment.

(a) Teenage Pupils being away from Parents
Most pupils who are in boarding school are between the ages of 13 and 18. This is a critical stage when the pupils are teenagers. Teenagers are at a stage when certain changes are taking place emotionally and physically within them. They are undergoing self-discovery. They need the close guidance of their parents and guardians. Some pupils miss out on the counsel and guidance of their parents. Teenage pupils in day schools have an advantage over their friends in boarding schools as they are with their parents or guardians on a daily basis.

(b) Exposure to Bad Company
Some pupils go to boarding schools as sweet and nice boys. They leave boarding schools as naughty boys having learnt bad habits such as smoking and drinking. What's the reason? It is because of exposure to bad company. Bad company ruins good morals as the Bible teaches. If you are to survive in boarding school and come out as a useful pupil avoid bad company the way you would avoid contagious diseases.

(c) Growing distant from parents and family
A pupil in boarding school is normally at school for 9 months in a year. This leaves only 3 months for the pupil to be at home. The pupil is thus more of a guest in his home. The pupil becomes closer to boys and girls at their school than their brothers, sisters, guardians or parents at home. Parents tend to give their children from boarding school a special guest status when they are on holiday.

(d) Adjusting to a new environment
A pupil who goes to boarding school is in a new environment different from home. The pupil has to adjust to new school mates, new teachers and a new place. If the pupil is very far from home, the adjustment is made more difficult. Some pupils even lose weight as they adjust to new food and a new environment.

4. How to survive in boarding school

To survive in boarding school you need to avoid bad company, develop good friendships, work hard in your studies and take part in extra-curricular activities.

(a) Avoid bad company
You need to avoid bad company. Bad friends look fun and attractive. But they damage your character and values. Avoid making friends with such pupils. Bad friends will lead you to do the wrong things that you may regret later in life.

(b) Develop good friendships

You need to develop good friendships in boarding school. Most people have friends in later life with those who became their friends whilst in boarding school. Boarding school offers pupils the opportunity to become close friends as they have more time after classes to know each other better. The writer has two close friends whom he became friends with whilst at boarding school.

(c) Work hard in your studies

Boarding school offers you enough time and resources to do well as a pupil in your studies. Take advantage of that. Divide your time well so that you have enough time for studies, recreation and rest. Form study groups with classmates. Consult your teachers and senior school mates.

(d) Take part in extra-curricular activities

Boarding school offers one a rich programme of extra-curricular activities. These range from sporting activities, clubs and societies, hostel duties and gardening. Since the choice is so wide, you need to be wise so as to choose suitable activities that match your interests and abilities. Avoid being involved in too many activities. This will rob you of enough study time.

5. Conclusion
The article has looked at the advantages and disadvantages of boarding schools. The article has also proposed ways in which you can survive in a boarding school. Boarding school is not some imprisonment which you have to endure. On the other hand it is not home. It is a different environment to which you have to adjust. For you to survive much better in boarding school, you need to have good values that you treasure and live by. Values that ensure that even if your parents and guardians are not close, you can still cherish the good they have taught you. I recommend to you Christian values that are found in the Bible. These values or standards will help you not only in boarding school, but later in life. I recommend you to place your life under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and live by biblical values.

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