As schools break for summer vacations, this is a good time for parents to ponder about their child’s future as to whether they want them to continue in a day school or make the shift to a boarding school. The procedure to get admitted to a boarding school may be competitive but the experience is rewarding in the long run. Ask any boarder if he enjoyed boarding school and the answer will be a resounding “Yes!” Ask him, if he would have had it any other way and the answer will be “No”. This is the beauty of life in a boarding school, which only people who’ve been to one will understand. Ask them about the best points, and they’ll come up with several. I’ve decided to narrow those down and pen down 5 main ones.
The greatest thing taught to you by a boarding school is independence. You learn to adapt to any situation or surrounding you are put in and how to face people and hardships. This is something extremely important for life after school and one’s adapting to a college in India or abroad as well as a job later.
The friends you make in boarding schools are true friends, they’re with you life-long and largely become your support system later in life. In school your friends become your family. The amount of time you spend with them in a year is actually more time than you spend with your actual family and your experiences are all mostly common.
A boarding school gives you great exposure and your life consists of a lot more than just academics. The kind of involvement that one has to sports and extra-curricular activities is not something you get in a day school. Exchange programmes, round square or model UN conferences, trekking and social service projects both domestic and international are things that you largely get exposed to only in boarding schools.
As one gets more and more senior in a boarding school, you get responsibilities which you’re expected to carry out with diligence. These can range from prefectships to sports captaincies which in a way, make you a leader and greatly mould your character. You have to earn the respect of your team by carrying out these responsibilities with the qualities of a true leader.
Finally, let’s not forget the main aspect of a boarding school, which is the fun element. Day School students may wonder as to how much fun you can actually have confined in the boundary wall of a boarding school or in a small town, which most boarding schools are located in. But boarders will argue very differently. Almost every conversation at every re-union of batch-mates years down the road revolves around the immense amount of fun had by them and the memories and nostalgia attached with school.
While these are just the tip of the ice-berg when it comes to listing down advantages of going to a boarding school, they pretty much sum up the greatness of the experience of going to one. For me, personally as well, my interactions in school with people from various backgrounds and ages, has helped in my job in the media as I interview diverse people and report from varied locations. School also taught me to devise solutions to problems facing me and my team and never to give up, no matter how hard a problem or situation might be, and in whatever environment it might confront us in. This solution-centric approach has held boarders, like me in good stead in the journey of life. In the words of Arthur Foot, the first headmaster of the prestigious Indian boarding school and my alma mater, The Doon School, Dehradun at the official opening of the school “Truly, we mean that the boys should leave The Doon School as members of an aristocracy, but it must be an aristocracy of service inspired by the ideals of unselfishness, not one of privilege, wealth or position.”