Advice for Boarding School Orientation and Beyond

| September 12, 2013

Earlier today I answered a question seeking advice and what to know about the orientation and the opening days of boarding school. I answer and have written lots about what to bring and how to think about what to bring.

I'm sharing this question and my reply because I like it's philosophical nature. It's not about what to do, so much, as it's about what kind of person to be and how to establish oneself at the beginning of the school year.

My broad suggestions. If you think I've omitted something feel free to leave a comment:

Attend and go to everything. Don't take any picnic, game, or orientation event as optional. The start of school is your chance to meet the most, and broadest, variety of people before you get locked into your schedule and spend time with the same people everyday.

Don't get sucked into hanging and doing things with the same few people during school's early days.

Live by the Golden Rule. Treat everyone well all the time.

Conversely, keep your eyes open and notice those who do not treat others kindly and respectfully. Keep your distance from those who are not kind and respectful.

You might be approached by someone with contraband, or who wants you to break the rules, early on. Do not put yourself in disciplinary jeopardy. Let your tempter go somewhere else. If the situation is egregious or unsafe, find and adult. You must help the adults keep you and your peers safe and healthy.

Like meeting peers, use orientation to to meet as many adults in your school as possible. Boarding schools are small communities and the adults are your best resources.

Establish yourself as a positive, caring, hardworking student who's curious, wants to learn and will always try to practice good judgment.

These tenets seem so simple. Yet even the best of sometimes loose sight of them. I suspect each of us can improve the lives other and our communities by working to practice these principles throughout the year.