Year 8 student at Pymble Ladies College, Eloise Wilson of Narromine is a most composed and eloquent young woman. She sat down with Boarding Schools Expo’s Kim V. Goldsmith recently to share her experience of being a boarder.
What has boarding been like for you?
I was definitely a bit homesick at the start. But with all the staff support and being surrounded by the girls there, you feel like you’ve got a hundred other sisters…it was really nice and welcoming.
I was also fortunate to have a really nice sister there too and she looked out for me a lot.
How do you cope with homesickness?
I found I got more homesick when I rang Mum and home. So, doing things to get your mind off it – a sport, playing with friends, going outside or something like that – help you not to think about it too much.
What sort of things do you get to do at boarding school that you wouldn’t be able to at home?
There are so many activities. Growing up in Narromine I enjoyed a lot of sporting opportunities, but at Pymble I’ve been able to try new activities like rowing, yoga and fitness classes alongside my swimming and netball. I’d definitely say there’s a lot of support for your academic work, and you learn how to balance that with your sport and after-school activities. I didn’t have to really deal with that at home. It’s something that I’ve had to learn to cope with.
You become very independent, don’t you?
Yes, I was only telling my Dad that one of my teachers had commented on how settled and happy I am. This time last year I was really missing home but now I’ve grown more confident with the help of the Pymble staff and girls. The support at school is something that’s really good and it’s helped me to become more organised.
If you’re looking at boarding schools, they’re all great so you’ve got to choose one that best suits you and makes you feel comfortable and excited.
For kids who are thinking about boarding school, what would you say that recommends boarding school as an option?
I don’t think I knew much about boarding school when I was told I was going. I did have a choice though, so I thought, let’s have a look at it and see.
If you’re looking at boarding schools, they’re all great so you’ve got to choose one that best suits you and makes you feel comfortable and excited. You’ll know if the time’s right for you to leave home…and also for your parents, it’s a big thing sending kids away.
How do you think Mum and Dad have coped?
Well, I’m their second child to go through boarding so I think Mum and Dad were more relaxed. They worried a little because they knew I would miss home, but now they see it was a really good choice for me. I’m really thankful for every opportunity Mum and Dad have given me.
Considering boarding school? Speak to those who live and breathe boarding at our final Boarding Schools Expo for 2018 at Narrabri on 27 and 28 July. Schools from NSW and Queensland, along with the Isolated Children’s Parents Association NSW will be there to discuss options with you. See the Narrabri Expo page for details.