Inspiration

7 Reasons Why Filipino Students May Consider Going to Boarding School

The author shares some of the most important lessons she has learned from going to prep school in the United States.
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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You learn the importance of responsibility.

As comfortable and as safe as home always is, it is great to experience living away from it. You learn to immerse yourself in an environment where everyone learns to live independently without their parents around. This helps you learn the importance of responsibility and learning to be on your own. You become more independent and no longer rely on others to help you finish your daily chores. You get used to the job of cleaning your room, making your bed, and doing your own laundry. This helps you become more mature and learn to solve your own problems.

You are surrounded by competitive peers who inspire you to aim higher.

Many students at boarding school have the same objective—to challenge themselves. In the classroom and outside, the determination of your peers will inspire you to aim higher and have more ambitious goals. After boarding school, you will notice that you will have higher expectations for your own work, and you learn to take this with you through the next stages of your life.

You get prepared for college early on.

In addition to learning the responsibility of living alone, boarding school prepares you for your future in other ways. Are you intimidated by the thought of applying to college? Boarding school helps you relieve that stress. You receive qualified counselors who guide you through a detailed and grueling step-by-step college application process.They also prepare you for an even more independent life in college. That thought of being away from your family for an extended period of time will no longer faze you after being at boarding school for years.

The changes in weather can actually do you good.

Although this may not be the main reason to go, experiencing seasonal changes is an important quality of going to boarding school. Coming from the Philippines, many students do not normally spend time playing in the snow and being in cold weather. If you go to a boarding school in an area with seasonal changes, you learn to better handle it. You learn to survive days that are colder than ice and days that make you sweat enough to fill a pool—although Filipinos already experience many hot days. While it may be difficult to go to class on snow days, there is nothing like the thrill of making a snowman or being a part of a snowball fight.

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You take different classes.

There are certain courses that many boarding schools require you to take that you probably would not have been required to take in the Philippines, such as American history or world religions. Although it can be quite intimidating to take classes that others have been studying for years, this helps you to expand your academic horizons. You may even be able to choose classes unique to your own interest, as most boarding schools stress the importance of a well-rounded education.

You will appreciate the diversity of people you meet.

Most boarding schools stress the importance of diversity which is not always a focal point for schools in the Philippines. You are forced to break out of your personal bubble and meet many new individuals from countries you may never have even known existed. Many of your peers at boarding school will greet you with a formal handshake and then engage you in intellectual discourse. These types of encounters help you become more outgoing and confident. You will also meet people from so many different countries and areas of the world. You will get to know a diverse group of people and build connections that you will have for the rest of your life.

The experience is something you will remember for a lifetime.

The general experience of going to boarding school is a memory that students never forget. It is likely your first time living on your own and you and your friends will go through your “awkward stages” of freshman hazing and puberty together. These are the years that you spend growing and maturing into independent young adults. Because you live with your friends and see them every night, they become your family away from the Philippines. By the end, it will be very hard to say goodbye. These are friendships and experiences you will keep close to your heart for the rest of your life.

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Cristina Zobel Elizalde
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