The rules of survival at boarding school:

1. Most important survival mechanism is the sense of humour. If you can see the funny side of Sundays locked in a prison then boarding school is for you.

2.Second is Tolerance. If you can tolerate being relentlessly assaulted by twenty different teachers twenty four hours a day, then pack your bags and get here immediately.

3. The art of begging must also be practised if you wish to be nourished at all during your 10 weeks under boarding school's friendly "loco-parentis".

4. You must also posses the uncommon ability of being able to sleep next to the year's "shower a term man" on a bed which would probably be better off with out the matress.

5. If you a considering a career in the army then boarding school may be just the place for you. To top it off it's fairly unlikely that you'll be shot, but as with everything there are depending factors....

They say that your school days are the best days of your life, and although I haven’t got much to compare my school days to yet, I’m inclined to believe it. I go to a boarding school (Lancing College, to be precise), and I can safely say that when the time comes for me to leave, I’ll be very sad indeed.

Most people’s impression of a boarding school is that of one from Dickensian times, i.e. a place where the pupils are in constant fear of their lives, are never let out, and either have to work 24/7 or not get any food. Well, fair enough, in the past that was all true (or so I’m told). Not so any more. Let me say it again, modern boarding schools are not like that. Food is plentiful, and more importantly edible, and work is minimal (well, perhaps minimal is the wrong word – it is a school after all, what do you expect!?).

It’s true that not everyone likes boarding school (although why they wouldn’t is beyond me), and I suppose it does depend on which school you go to, but in my experience (and that of all my friends at various boarding schools), it’s great fun. Apart from the lessons (which can also be good fun, although I know you won’t believe me), you’re pretty much left to your own devices, so long as you don’t blow up the science block, or something similar. Sure, there are rules: no smoking, no drinking (except in the 6th form bar ;o) ), no sex, but they can’t watch you 24 hours a day, can they? A lot of people love the fact that they can get away from home (specifically, their parents), and live with people their own age, under the minimal supervision of the teachers and housemasters.

As for the teachers, again I can’t speak for all schools, but in my school they’re all friendly (apart from one, but we won’t talk about him), and they’re all reasonable. In fact, last summer two of my friends and I went to stay with our music teacher in his holiday home for a week. Most nights we ended up in the local pub, and we all had an excellent holiday. That’s how easy the teachers are to get on with.

I think you’ve got the picture by now. Choose the right boarding school, and you’ll have an excellent time. The one thing I will say is that boarding school is very much what you make of it. If you go there determined to have a bad time and not get on with anybody, then guess what: you’ll have a bad time and won’t get on with anybody. If, on the other hand, you’re willing to make an effort, and get on with people, you’ll find out how rewarding and enjoyable life at a boarding school can be.


See also: Lancing College

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