To board or not to board? It is a question that almost every day student has considered during their time at King’s. Day students are constantly surrounded by reasons to board, whether it be increased free time, good preparation for college, or the lack of a tiring bus drive to and from school. Despite this, 30% of King’s students choose to go home every day, some even after trying boarding life. So what is it that makes day student life a better option for some ?
Family time: With many students going abroad to college, our high school years may be the last time we will live with our families. Family quality time is extremely valuable, and the ability to see your family every day often makes up for the drain of a long bus ride. Sometimes a hug from your mom or some fun with siblings is necessary after a stressful day at school.
Comfort and food: Regardless of how much a student enjoys boarding life, a high school dorm room can never replace your home. The comfort of your own bed and home cooked food are luxuries that day students enjoy every day. We do not have to rely on dining hall food and communal bathrooms, which many boarders complain of. After all, there’s no place like home.
Freedom and flexibility: This point varies based on each person’s personality and study habits, but I personally enjoy the flexibility that comes with not having study hall. Studying without the structure of study hall can help students learn to manage their time independently, as is the case in college. Additionally, the restriction on the internet for boarders means that students who don’t finish their homework by a certain time must wake up early to continue, which is not always the optimal time for learning (depending on the student). Having the freedom to manage your own time based on your needs can be very useful for day students.
Relaxation: School life is stressful, and being in a school environment all day can add to that constant state of stress. For day students, going home can be relaxing, as we detach ourselves from school. There is still a lot of work to be done , but it is within the comfort of your own home. The relaxation that comes at the end of the day, when a day student knows they are done with school, is a major reason why many day students prefer not to board.
Extra time: This point may sound somewhat counter-intuitive, considering that day students spend an hour commuting to and from school every day. However, a closer look shows that often time day students end up with more free time. The time spent in the bus is not wasted , as day students socialize, get started on their homework, and oftentimes sleep. In addition, the pressure of having limited time to do work often causes day students to be more productive, especially earlier on in the evening, so they sometimes sleep earlier than boarders with the same workload. Meanwhile, boarders often find it hard to focus with the distraction of friends all around them, and often postpone their work until study hall, which leads to a lack of sleep if they cannot finish in two or three hours. The illusion of extra time that boarders have causes some to procrastinate and sign up for more activities than they can handle.
Day students can be just as involved in after-school activities: According to Mr. Ryuji Yamaguchi, Dean of Residential Life, “ Our day students have also become more active and engaged in school activities. More and more day students have taken the late buses on the weekdays to study, be part of various events such as Sympo or open mic, and to participate in performing arts rehearsals such as orchestra, dabkeh or glee club. They have also participated in weekend activities, especially house weekends such as the Janah weekend or sports competitions and KAMUN.” With late buses to RJ station almost every day, it is relatively easy for day students to be involved in such activities without sacrificing the enjoyment of going home.
Of course, just like boarding is not for everyone, neither is being a day student . For many students, boarding is the best (and sometimes only) choice, as day student life can often be tiring. The important thing is that each student weighs the advantages and disadvantages of each option, and keeps in mind their personal needs before deciding whether or not to board.