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Surviving Boarding School


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, disadvantages and survival in boarding schools.

Advantages of Boarding School

Boarding schools have a number of advantages which include the following :

  1. More time for study
    In boarding schools, specific time are allocated for studying in the afternoon and. Pupils have at least a minimum of three hours of study per day. This gives them more time to revise and study their school work. Weekends can also be used for studying.
  2. More time to consult classmates and teachers
    The pupils 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.
  3. Become independent
    Boarding School enables pupils to become independent and self-reliance. Pupils learn how to manage time for studies, leisure, sleep, doing laundry, etc. They also learn to budget their pocket money to last for a term. This helps the pupil to be more responsible in later life.
  4. More time for extra-curricular activities
    I In boarding schools there are various extra-curricular activities ranging from sport, gardening, cleaning and inter school activities. Some boarding schools also have activities that benefit the community. These extra-curricular activities help a pupils to be balanced and not just bookworms.

Disadvantages of Boarding School

These include being away from parents at a critical stage in their lives, exposure to negative friends, growing distant from family, as well as the need to adjust to a new environment.

  1. Being away from parents
    Most pupils who are in boarding school are between the ages of 13 and 18. This is a critical stage during the adolescence period affecting them physically, emotionally and psychologically. They are undergoing self-discovery. They need guidance from their parents or guardians. Some pupils may miss out on the counselling and guidance of their parents.
  2. Exposure to negative friends
    Sometimes good pupils may develop negative habits if the wrongly choose negative friends who have bad habits such as smoking, drinking and immoral activities.
    Thus, it is important to choose friends wisely.
  3. Growing distant from parents and family
    Pupils are normally at boarding 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.
  4. Adjusting to a new environment
    Pupils who goes to boarding school is in a new environment different from home. The pupil has to adjust to new school mates, teachers and a new place. If the pupil is very far from home, the adjustment is made more difficult. Some pupils even lose weight and feel depress as they adjust to new food and a new environment.

How to survive in boarding school?

The following are some tips to survive boarding school.

  1. Avoid negative friends
    You need to avoid negative friends. Negative friends look fun and attractive but they damage your character and values. Avoid making friends with such pupils. Negative friends will lead you to do the wrong things that you may regret later in life.
  2. Develop good friendships
    Boarding school offers pupils the opportunity to become close friends as they have more time to know each other better in and out of class. Usually this friendship will last forever till adulthood.
  3. Work hard in your studies
    Boarding school provides you enough time and resources to do well as a student. Take advantage of that. Plan your time well so that you have enough time for studies, recreation and rest. Form study groups with classmates, consult your teachers and seniors when necessary.
  4. Take part in extra-curricular activities
    Boarding school offers a rich programme of extra-curricular activities such as sporting activities, clubs, societies, hostel duties and gardening. Since the choice is so wide, you need to be wise to choose suitable activities that match your interests and abilities. Avoid being involved in too many activities. This will rob you of your study time.


For you to survive much better in boarding school, you need to have good moral or religious values that you treasure and live by. These values will ensure that even if your parents and guardians are not close, you can still cherish and practice the good they have taught you now and in later life.

Last Reviewed : 06 January 2014
Writer : Dr. Norizzati Bukhary bt. Ismail Bukhary