So a few people from the wonderful world that is TSar, have asked me to describe boarding school life for so I thought I'd have a shot in writing in an article. Anyone else, feel free to add and enjoy!
Username - littlemissdramaqueen
Year Group: Lower Sixth
Year Of Boarding: 1st year
A level/ GCSE subjects: English Literature, Maths, Biology, History, Chemistry
Favourite part/s of boarding: Lazy monday evenings after prep. Inbetweeners plus chips and tuck shop.
Least favourite part of boarding: Lie ins are EXTREMELY rare, roll call is a pain, you will probably be home sick at first.
A normal day: Seven o'clock alarm. You will ultimately sleep through the seven o'clock alarm and will ignore all others until around quarter to eight, when you begin to run around your dorm resembling a road runner looking for your tights, which you have more than likely left in someone elses dorm. Eight o'clock is breakfast. Normally a variety of hot and cold. If your early you can get coco pops or waffles, if you're not you'll just have to battle a year nine for them. You'll return to your dorm after breakfast and make yourself look half way presentable. This may or may not involve a brush, depending on your timings. At around twenty to nine, it is chapel. Or if it's Monday it's Latin prayer. Depending on your religious views is how you will see chapel but there's nothing like 'sing hosanna' to wake you up in the morning. Latin prayer really conists of the headmaster bragging about the schools achievements the previous week followed by an extremely nervous upper sixther who will read the enormous school prayer...in Latin! Nine o'clock is lessons. If you have a free you either stay in house (or rather mingle in the kitchen whilst eating your body weight in chocolate spread) or if you want to work your best off heading to the library. On a Friday my first lesson is double maths. I have two teachers. A lovely yet sport fanatic woman, followed by a rather intimidating south African man. Both incredible at maths it has to be said. Then I have one biology lesson avec a football mad pHd. This is followed by break. A twenty five minute affair. Again, gathering in the sixth form kitchen, this time eating ones body weight in marmite (or chocolate spread again if you're a hater.) After break, another Biology. This one will normally include a practical of some sort, oddly enough it never seems to be relevant to your topic. Following that it's English. Funny teacher. Will be good if he's in a good mood. Suck up to him by producing many facts on Larkin. Twelve thirty five means lunch. Travel to the salad bar. Make sure there isn't any caterpillars, which is a sign of safety. Everything is pretty good apart from the coleslaw which is sometime like rotting apples. Decide between healthy or extremely yummy cake. Gossip a bit more. After lunch, have a slight relax on bed. Moan about something or another wrong with your dorm or just life in general. If you can be bothered go watch some tv down in the common room, it's one of the very few times you can do so. Next up English again. Very eccentic teacher. Will mention Oxbridge alot. Somehow his time at Oxford will connect to all the plays you're studying. And finally DOUBLE HISTORY. You are very excited as you adore history. You are more than likely there early. It will go too quickly. Depending on the day you'll have betwen ten and thirty minutes break. Then also depending on the day, you'll either have games/activities. Games is four times a week. In the winter terms you'll generally do hockey or rugby, depending on your gender of course. The very few (such as myself) who for what ever reason don't do these will do games like cross country, yoga, circuit training, gym etc etc Activites however are a bit more fun, you can do stuff like: cooking, driving, private study, DofE, equestrian, fencing, critical thinking, extended study, jewellery making, psychology society, school play etc etc All very good fun! Depending on the time your activity/ games finishes you will normally have about an hour and a half until supper. (Although on Wednesdays school finishes about two hours early and you get to go info town - which pretty much means tesco for us.) If you have a girlfriend/ boyfriend this may be the only proper time you get to see them. Use it wisely. Also Facebook has now officially opened at this time, so procrastinate a bit. Six thirty is supper (or tea or dinner, depends on who you are). They'll normally always be a form of pasta or curry. Sometimes they're adventurous and they'll give you chicken fajitas. It isn't often. Ten past seven is roll call. Show up or you'll be given "sides" (write a certain amount of sides of pieces of paper...very tedious if you have a lot of prep.) Quarter past seven is prep time. This is this time you're used to use for prep (public school talk for homework). If you haven't got any (which is rare very rare) or you just seriously can't be bothered, put in some headphones and watch a DVD on your laptop or sneak into a friends dorm. Nine o'clock is the end of prep. On a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday you can go visit another house for the hour. Or if you really can't be bothered this is a great time to socialise in the common room. Ten o'clock is the final role call. Then another hour to do with what you please. 11 o'clock is lights out but I repeat it does not mean the time you have to go to sleep. It's more of a guideline. TSR is always there.
A normal weekend: Saturday for us means saturday school but a Sunday is a time of rest...to an extent. There will be sometimes a chapel. Not to worry, it's not until about 11 and it can easilly missed. Beware if you are a full boarder you will more than likely be dragged into reading out a passage. Not as scary as if seems to be fair. All dinners on sunday are optional and are usually replaced with sweets and/or take aways. If your lazy, get on sky box office. If you're not join the days activities; this will include stuff like: bowling, iceskating, cinema, shopping trips, theatre trips and sometimes even stuff like Alton towers. Sunday nights you normally chill with other houses. I happen to love Sundays, you really get to know people. Of course I do also like the leave weekends when I spend Sundays at home. '
Frequently asked questions:
Do you get homesick?
Yes of course you do. But you make some great friends. They won't replace your family but you'll do so much that you won't really have that much time to think about them. Some people are more home sick than others though. Just remember everyone is in the same boat as you and can probably give you some advice.
Are the people "toffs"?
The amount of times I here that one... In short, No. You get a little bit of pretention usually in the younger years but really most people are just pretty normal. I come from a pretty bad state school and fit in fine. You have to remember though there's a lot of variety of people in boarding schools as well. There are some who are easilly from more well to do family than others. Some are considered seriously rich, some just have parents who scrimp and save because they care about their childrens education. Alot of people have families in the military. Yes the people can be percieved as pretty different from state school, but most I knows are into exactly the same things. Admittedly there are a few though.
Is it hard to get a scholarship/bursary?
I suppose it varies from school to school. I didn't really revise for my entrance/scholarship exams yet still managed to get a full scholarship. Neverless it's still the hardest exam I have ever taken. It really challenges all areas of you. The interviews of nerve racking but if you have a headmaster like mine it will be really enjoyable.
What shall I take to boarding school?
Similar to what you take to uni. Large suitcase and trunk. Pens, pencils, rubber, ruler, sharpener, highlighters etc, laptop, books, DVDs, sweets, hair dryer, posters, magazines etc Clothes wise. Well for girls i'd recommend about 10 pairs of knickers and 4 bras. About 4 pairs of jeans. 2 or 3 pairs of other trousers/leggings. 4 pyjama sets or adult onesies if you prefer (try http://www.funzee.co.uk/ ). A couple of hoodies (yes jack wills, hollister, abercrombie and ralph Lauren are popular...but that doesn't mean you have to buy them!), tshirts, 2 or 3 fancy outfits, as many shoes as you can.
Is it very different from state school?
Yes, it is. But people are really welcoming and they want to make the process easy. You will probably find (like me) silly traditions like Latin prayer, chapel, teachers wearing Oxbridge cloaks and just boarding in general, intimidating at first, I know I did. End of the first week, it'll be the norm.
What are the reasons to go/ to not go to boarding school?
To go: It's really fun! You're always with friends and become really close. There's so much to do and get involved in. Your teachers are really genuinely interested in their topics. Pizza night is insane. You have all these silly little traditions which you'll hate yet love. You will get to know so many people from different countries. You will go on alot of trips. Houseparents tend to be a little more sympathetic than normal parents.
To not go: If you're not really that academic/ sporty/ musical/ interested in that sort of lifestyle. If you prefer to be with family and more likely to get homesick.
And that's it! Feel free to PM me with any other queries!