Blog: 7 Common Myths About Boarding Schools
Aug 09, 2016
If you've read the “Catcher in the Rye," watched "Dead Poet's Society," or love "Harry Potter," you may think you know everything you need to know about boarding schools. However, pop culture often exaggerates aspects of boarding school life and sometimes even gets things completely wrong.
In this blog, we go over seven different myths about boarding schools and the real truth behind them.
1. Diversity Is Rare
Many believe that because of the application process, only privileged kids from a typical nuclear family who've lived in the US all their lives get into a boarding school. This could not be more wrong. Most boarding schools actually seek out diversity.
Many public schools' populations come from a very limited area of a city, while a boarding school can accept children from a wide area. A large number of boarding schools also have international students.
2. Kids Can't Have Fun
The myth that the students at a boarding school can never have fun is one of the most common due to the fact that the students are held to a higher academic standard. The kids are expected to perform well and follow the rules, but this doesn't limit them to a boring life.
Instead, boarding schools offer a variety of programs, such as performing arts or athletics. Kids spend a lot of time with friends and peers, which helps make anything, including homework, more fun. Many also have planned activities during the weekend.
3. Boarding School Is for Troublemakers
There are two types of boarding schools, therapeutic and college preparatory. These two different types of schools have different goals, but many people get the two mixed up and think they're the same thing.
Therapeutic boarding schools are indeed for kids who are having trouble at home or at public school, but college preparatory boarding schools exist for motivated kids looking to further their opportunities.
In our globalized world, boarding schools offer another path towards school, even if the student does not live nearby.
4. It's Hard to Keep in Touch With Family
Thanks in part to modern technology like cell phones and WiFi, it has become a lot easier for students to keep in touch with their families. Many boarding schools also encourage students to visit home or for families to visit campus. Apps like Viber, Skype, and WhatsApp keep family and friends right at someone’s fingertips!
5. Dormitories Are Like Prisons
At most boarding school dormitories, there are study hours, and the lights do have to be out by a certain time of night, but the locked doors in the building are locked to keep the children safe. Kids are encouraged to make their dorm their own with various knick knacks and things that make them feel more comfortable. Security is often a priority at boarding schools to ensure students’ safety.
6. There Are No Athletic Opportunities
Many people think boarding schools focus on traditional academic education, leaving out any possibility for extracurricular opportunities such as athletics. However, students may find they have even better athletic opportunities at a boarding school than at the public school they would otherwise attend.
7. There Is No Opportunity for Dating or Social Life
An important part of any student's life, from younger children to high school students, is his or her social life. Boarding schools actually encourage socializing due to the fact that students are constantly surrounded by fellow students. Dating still happens, but at most schools, it is in no way discouraged.
Don't avoid boarding schools due to the myths that pop culture has taught you. Do your research and talk to the administration of the school you're looking into. School administrators can address any of the concerns you have.