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How Boarding School Changed My Perspective on Family

When I was 13, I started boarding school in Northern California. At the time I was living in Seattle and this change of scenery was a big deal for me. However, I had always been independent and I was excited about something new. Before I get started with this article, I have to make one thing clear: I was not forced to attend a boarding school, I was not a troublemaker, and my parents didn’t hate me. Surprisingly, I got asked these questions a lot when I told people my decision. It was usually by people I didn’t know that well and so I was taken aback when people thought they had the right to make assumptions about my life.

The real reason I chose to attend boarding school was that my family moved around a lot. We had moved about every three years or so and I didn’t want to be caught off guard if they decided to move while I was in high school. Changing elementary and middle schools is one thing, but the thought of having to change high schools scared me. This ended up being the right decision because my family moved from Seattle to California when I was in the middle of my sophomore year. While saying goodbye to friends in Seattle was hard, it would have been a lot harder if I had to say goodbye to all my high school friends.

Living away from home at such a young age might seem scary to some, and, at the time, I was nervous. However, both my mom and my dad had gone to boarding schools. They knew how I was feeling and they were very empathetic to a lot of my emotions. I think they would have had a harder time if I went to a typical high school because they had no experience with that whatsoever. This brought us closer and being away from my parents taught me that I had to really value any time I got to spend with them. This made going home for the holidays much more special and it made me a more grateful daughter.

While I didn’t enjoy every second of boarding school, just as many teenagers don’t enjoy every second of high school in general, I am still glad I attended. Learning to be independent at a young age made me appreciate all my parents had done for me up until that point and even beyond. I took a lot of family time for granted before. There’s nothing like coming home after being away for a few months and getting to spend time with your siblings, have a home-cooked meal, and even just sleep in your own bed.

Don’t take your family for granted even when they get on your nerves. Take a minute to thank your mom, your dad, your siblings, or your guardian for their unconditional love and support.


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Lucy is a junior studying Psychology at Boston University. She lives in San Diego but prefers Boston. She has one cat but she would really like a large dog. You can find her lounging on the Esplanade, binge-watching Netflix in her room, or hanging out with friends on the BU beach. 
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