Boarding offers many pathways
Keen to go away to boarding school from Year 7, Year 11 student at Yanco Agricultural High School, Dimity Evans has thrown herself into the activities on offer over the past five years – everything from musical performance to showing cattle.
While missing family and friends from home, she sees the pathways that come from a boarding experience as worthwhile.
Situated on 280 hectares, including 180 hectares of intensive irrigation and dry land agriculture and 60 hectares of natural bushland bordered by the Murrumbidgee River, Yanco was established 97 years ago, to provide a fully academic and practical public education with an emphasis on agriculture for any student within NSW. Today, it’s a comprehensive, co-educational experience.
Dimity shares her thoughts on boarding.
Most interests I would like to pursue are available at Yanco.
What interests have you been able to pursue at school:
Since coming to Yanco Ag High School I have been able to participate in the Cattle Showstock Team, which I have been a part of since Year 7. I have participated in the school Drum Corps since Year 8 (Junior Drum Corps Year 8-9, Senior Drum Corps Year 10 onwards), been a part of all the performance nights, and was I even was a part of the shooting club in Year 7. I have been to 19 cattle shows so far since Year 7. Most interests I would like to pursue are available at Yanco.
Creating a home away from home
Having a routine to follow each day can help with your school life and organising, if this is a challenge for you.
What’s it been like leaving home to live with other students at boarding school? Were you prepared for it?
It was my decision to come to Yanco in Year 7, so I had no choice but to be prepared. That wasn’t hard though, I was so excited to leave home and make new friends. Living with your friends is a pretty great experience, you become like a family. It’s not to say it doesn’t get hard sometimes when you’re missing your family, but there are always people to get support from.
What kind of things have you done to help you settle into your new “home” environment at school?
Making your room how you would have it home and bringing things from home such as photos/decorations can really help make sure you feel ‘at home’ while at boarding school. Even having your favourite food or drink for when you miss home can help.
When you first go to boarding school (especially if you haven’t left home before) it is important to make sure you aren’t ringing home so often. It is best to wait a while before calling your parents and saying ‘please come get me’, because you will miss out on such great experiences.
…it is such a good experience and there are so many pathways and things you can gain from boarding school…
What are some of the challenges you face as a boarder? How are/have you been working to overcome them?
I tend to miss home a lot the weeks before we go home, so I like to countdown the days until I see my family. I also tend to pack WAY too early to distract myself with how many days are left to go home. Having a routine to follow each day can help with your school life and organising, if this is a challenge for you.
What’s the best thing about being a boarder? How would you describe it to someone who knows nothing or little of boarding?
I would say it would be hard to imagine what being a boarder would seem like to a non-boarder, but then I can’t imagine what going to a normal high school would be like either. The best way to describe it would be like having a constant sleepover with your friends and you do school in between and lots of extra-curricular activities. The best thing about boarding school is the weekend, I think.
Do you think boarding is helping you grow as a person, or changing you in some way? If so, how?
Boarding school definitely makes you more independent, but then again, that will be different for each person.
What advice would you have for someone thinking about boarding as a schooling option?
Definitely give it a try, it’s such a good experience and there are so many pathways and things you gain from boarding school, especially at Yanco.
Read more of our boarders stories on our blog.