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Four Things Every New Boarding School Student Should Know


Deciding with your family to attend boarding school in Massachusetts is a big step. Each student can come up with a unique list of pros and cons, but there’s no denying that boarding school launches young adults into a whole new world of responsibility, friendship, and thrilling experiences—not to mention, opportunities to grow beyond your comfort zone. Considering that, let’s take a look at four things every new boarding school student should know before arriving at Williston Northampton School.

1. Keep an Open Mind

New experiences can certainly be scary, we know! No matter if your family resides locally or not, living at school brings with it a lot of firsts. We suggest embracing these firsts with open arms. Besides, discovering these new experiences is all a part of the fun. We understand that being faced with a new environment can make some people want to hole up in their shell and clutch on to what’s familiar. However, keeping an open mind to new faces, new responsibilities, and new teaching styles will allow you to shed your nerves and appreciate your decision to board. 

2. Bond with Your Roommate

You’ll meet a lot of people at our Massachusetts boarding school but none are more important than your roommate. After all, they are who you’ll be sharing a living space with. So, they’re essentially a built-in friend. Learning to share a space with someone new, especially if you’ve never done it before, comes with its own challenges. But, we suggest using those challenges to your advantage. Use the new boarding experience to get to know your roommate. Perhaps they are first-time boarders too! If so, you can lean on each other for support. If they are an experienced boarding student, they can show you the ropes and serve as a friendly resource. 

3. Learn to Manage Your Time

This is an important one. While you’ll still have your classes and extracurriculars to help structure your day, you won’t have your parent(s) around with helpful (at times annoying) reminders. However, at Williston, you’ll learn how to manage schoolwork, sports, arts, clubs, and the myriad opportunities for engagement you’ll have to choose from. Making smart decisions on how to best balance time is one of the most important lessons you’ll learn in life. You’ll have lots of resources—our Center for Academic Success, your advisors, your teachers, your dorm parents, your roommates, and student leaders—to lean on if you find time management is tough for you. And when college arrives, you’ll be that much farther ahead!

4. Appreciate Your Dorm Parents

What are dorm parents? Dorm parents are adults who are responsible for making sure things go smoothly in your residence hall. They have years of boarding school experience to offer and they want to help. Not only are they there to provide the emotional support you need, but they also want to guide you as you negotiate life at Williston. Forging a strong relationship with your dorm parent will only make your boarding experience better. 


Come Live at Our Massachusetts Boarding School

Choosing to live at boarding school is certainly a big step, but there are things you can do once at school that can make your experience incredible. If you’ve already made the decision to board at Williston Northampton School, we can’t wait to see you. If you’re still on the fence, take a look at how we can be your home away from home.