Going to a boarding school may seem like a great adventure! You get to live away from your parents and are with your friends all day, every day. This may seem amazing to some students whilst others might focus on the negatives of this, such as missing your parents too much. For this reason, it is important to familiarise yourself with the pros and cons of boarding school. This will allow you to make a well-informed decision.
If you want to see the benefits of boarding school alongside the costs and the difference between boarding and regular schools, read on.
Table of Contents
What are the benefits of attending a boarding school?
One of the main benefits of attending a boarding school is that the experience makes you independent. This is because you are less reliant on your family. A boarding school is different to other schools because you stay there permanently throughout each school term. Usually, you stay in a dormitory with other students who also attend the school.
Therefore, you see your family less often. More information on this can be found on the Think Student website if you click here alongside the proper definition of a boarding school.
There are plenty of benefits to attending a boarding school. The main ones are outlined here:
- The facilities – Boarding schools usually have extensive facilities on site, with everything you could ever ask for. For example, large libraries, gyms and even theatres!
- Friendship – You could gain a real sense of belonging whilst attending a boarding school. Everyone will know each other, and you are less likely to feel like an outsider when everyone lives together.
- Extra academic help – Being at school all the time allows you to speak with teachers more often, including weekends. This could therefore enhance your academic ability.
- High quality education – You can be certain that you will receive a stable education when attending boarding school. You may also want to attend because your home environment and local schools are not providing the best possible education.
- Independence – Going to a boarding school increases your sense of responsibility. Most teenagers only discover this in university or after leaving home permanently. However, boarding school can give you a head start on this.
As you can see, there are lots of benefits! What you gain at boarding school will benefit you long-term and at various points throughout your life.
What are the costs of attending a boarding school?
It’s easy to get caught up in all the positives of a boarding school. You may be likening the idea to books and films you have seen of pupils in boarding school. Everything may seem perfect in pop culture, but this is not always the case. You also need to be fully aware of the disadvantages. However, it is up to you to decide whether these costs listed below outweigh the benefits or not:
- The tuition fees – If you attend a boarding school, you live there and only go home during the holidays. However, some students do go home on the weekends. Either way, the tuition fees are very expensive! You need to be aware that attending a boarding school could potentially damage your parent’s pockets. You can read more about the costs of boarding school in this article.
- Homesickness – Being away from your family is seen as a positive for some people because it forces you to become independent. However, some pupils cannot deal with being separated from their families.
- Finding a work-life balance – There isn’t a clear separation between school and leisure when you live on-site. You may still have to stick to the school rules even outside lessons and on weekends. It can feel like you are under school regulations all the time, which frustrating for some students.
- Friendship issues – Bullying can also be a problem. You will be with the same people twenty-four seven, making it hard to avoid the students you don’t get along You won’t have the sanctuary of your home to go back to every evening.
Make sure that you consider these costs when deciding whether to go to boarding school. You may think that being away from your parents is your dream. However, homesickness catches some people off guard, and it can be devastating.
What is the main benefit and main cost of attending a boarding school?
The main cost and benefit of attending boarding school depends on your own priorities. However, the most prominent benefit is the volume of opportunities that this type of school can offer. Something like this benefits everyone, no matter their priorities, and cannot be ignored.
The teachers in boarding schools often have very high standards and are experts in their fields. This means you can be sure that you are getting the best quality education. On top of this, you will have extra support as compared to state schools from both friends and teachers.
Spending all your time with other pupils in the school will force you to be confident and make friends. It gives you the opportunity to bond and make friends for life, which is a benefit in itself. Boarding school can be quite stressful, so having supportive friends is essential. You will go through major life events together, your lows, highs and most importantly, exams.
However, you also need to be aware of the main cost. You may be thinking that boarding schools can set you up socially for life. Unfortunately, you should also acknowledge the fact that attending a boarding school sometimes prevents you from forming friendships outside school. For this reason, lots of students are actually quite lonely when they leave.
The issue of bullying is also a major drawback. You may be unable to escape anyone who is mean to you at a boarding school. In some cases, this can have a serious impact on your mental health. If you are worried about bullying or are experiencing it, please check out this article on Think Student. This provides tips and support if you’re in a tricky situation.
Are boarding schools better than day schools?
As you probably already know, there are many different types of school. Comprehensive schools are the most common in the UK. Also known as “state”, these schools involve pupils coming in for about six hours a day, five days a week. Anybody can go to these schools, and they are completely free. More information about comprehensive schools can be found on Think Student if you click here.
As you already know, boarding schools require their pupils to stay at school for the whole term. In theory, this means pupils are being educated all the time and so should receive a higher quality of education.
A pupil who goes to a boarding school is more likely to learn important lessons outside of the classroom. For example, they will gain a sense of discipline and punctuality. They also have more of a chance to get involved with extracurricular activities and sports.
Therefore, by going to boarding school, you are more likely to become self-reliant and well-educated. In normal schools, the time with teachers is limited to the school day. Pupils can only be taught academic lessons and won’t receive the real-world lessons that boarding schools can provide.
Are boarding schools worse than day schools?
Boarding schools may provide a more well-rounded education; however, this is not always a positive feature. In comprehensive and day schools, pupils can go home at the end of the day. At home, they are able to relax and don’t have to constantly be learning all the time. This isn’t always the case with boarding schools.
Sometimes, relaxation and family time should be prioritised over education. With the style boarding schools adopt, they could potentially forget about the importance of down-time. This could result in too much pressure being put onto the pupils, meaning that they never feel fully relaxed.
Exams are stressful enough without the added pressures of boarding school. Your parents may seem annoying at times, but one thing they are fantastic at is giving support. Being away from your parents for too long could therefore have a negative effect on your education.
Of course, teachers at boarding schools will offer as much support as possible and will do an excellent job of it. However, sometimes parents and family members are the only ones who can offer meaningful encouragement.
Do the pros of boarding school outweigh the costs?
There are so many positives to boarding school. Each school tries to make every student feel as if they are at home. You will have access to all the facilities and, depending on the school, possibly even a private mentor who you can talk to.
While at boarding school you are still given your own private space, despite constantly being surrounded by others. You will meet lots of different people from varying backgrounds, as with state school. Boarding schools may appear to be sheltered but they prepare pupils for the real world just as well as other schools do.
The only two negatives are being away from parents and the possibility of bullying. If you can contact your parents regularly and see them in the holidays, then homesickness shouldn’t be a problem.
Bullying is a more complicated issue but can be reduced by telling your mentor or teachers. They will then be able to keep a close eye on you and your bullies, stepping in to help if needed. It is a common problem, whether in boarding school or not. The issue will not be avoided by simply choosing to attend a state school.
If you can fully embrace the positives of boarding school, then attending one would be a fabulous, once in a lifetime experience. Therefore, the pros of boarding school definitely have the potential to outweigh the costs. However, make sure you consider what you weigh up your own priorities as well.
Is it worth going to boarding school?
Your choice about whether you should go to boarding school depends on a range of factors. The first thing you should consider is whether you can cope being away from your family for an extended period. Family is important and being away from them for a long time can be difficult.
Don’t be ashamed if you think that boarding school would be too hard because of this factor. Going to boarding school whilst suffering with homesickness and missing your parents would not be an enjoyable experience. You should prioritise your own happiness over your education.
Make sure that you know how much boarding school will cost. This is a major deal-breaker, as it can be very expensive. Ask your parents if you can actually afford to go. You don’t want to get too excited before realising it’s too expensive.
Most pupils go to boarding school because their parents have very demanding careers. This means there are no adults to supervise them properly and give them the attention they deserve. If this sounds like you, then boarding school is a great option!
Check out this article from UKboardingschools.com. They give a comprehensive explanation on why boarding schools can be really beneficial.
You have now discovered all the major pros and cons of attending a boarding school. This means that you can make your own informed decision about whether you should go or not. Remember, it is completely your choice. If you do not want to attend a boarding school, there are other options.
Just make sure you weigh up the costs and benefits of whatever you wish to do. That way, you will be able to make the best decision for you. Good luck!