This is the fourth part in a series of candid blogs written by our 2014-15 Best School Year Ever winners on the Good, the Bad and the Surprising of their boarding experience at SMUS.
The “most surprising” aspects of boarding are the most difficult for me to write about, mostly because I began the school year with really no expectations or ideas of how this year would go and what boarding would be like. Since I had never been to summer camp or anything of that sort as a kid, I had no idea what being so far away from home would be like. I came into this experience open-minded and excited about what would come. Even with my lack of expectations, there have been a few aspects of boarding that surprised me.
This year I have really learned how to manage my time in a detailed manner. I always thought of myself as a great time manager, but since coming to SMUS I have seen the ways I can improve and I have acted with a changed mindset. Living just steps away from your classes constantly reminds you of the homework, assignments and tests that are approaching. Personally, I really enjoy the constant reminder; it keeps my focus on my schoolwork and makes it virtually impossible to procrastinate or forget about an assignment.
The biggest surprise to me, especially after just three months at SMUS, is how close the boarding community works together and how many amazing friends I have made. “Boarding community” is a popular term to use around SMUS, but the makeup of the community sometimes seems lost in ambiguity. To me, the “boarding community” is made up of students who all have completely different backgrounds, cultures and viewpoints, but all have one big thing in common: we are all far away from home, our families and friends and our old, normal routine. This strong similarity right from Day 1 binds us all together and creates a strong foundation for us to develop great relationships with one another.
It was so surprising to see how comfortable everyone got with each other at such a fast pace. Being 2,500 miles from home, it is really amazing to create relationships with all of the different and unique students who make up this great “boarding community”. Whether it be a group of friends to go to a movie with, a study session in the Symons common room, or simply just having a conversation with a German or Mexican boarder about their customs and traditions, I am (not surprisingly) extremely grateful to be surrounded by so many interesting and caring people.
Learn more about our 2015-16 Best School Year Ever video contest, with $70,000 in boarding scholarships up for grabs.
Last week, Silke and Alessandra co-wrote a blog post on the challenges of being a boarder.