Current Boarders

Possible issues for current boarders

When you started boarding you will have had many discussions about your school before you went there and plenty of ideas about what you thought it was going to be like.

Has it been all you expected?
There are often unexpected problems and difficulties which can arise when you are away from home and sometimes it is good to know you are not alone with these feelings.


  • Many people feel homesick when they are first away from home and most new boarders will never have been away for more than a few days at a time before.
  • Many schools do not allow phone calls for the first 2-4 weeks which makes it very hard when you are missing home.

How can I cope with this?
Most people feel embarrassed and are afraid of being bullied if they cry so they try to cope alone and pretend they are happy. This only makes them feel very isolated so the best thing is to try to talk about it to parents, friends, the Housemistress or a teacher.


  • If you are being bullied at school it feels, and is, much worse than a day school because you cannot ever get away.

How can I cope with this?
Remember that bullying is never in any way your fault. Bullying always needs to be reported even though it feels very scary to do so. Tell people you think can help you. And keep telling until it stops.

Going Home
Do you find it difficult when you return home, or that your parents find it difficult to accept some changes in you?

  • This can feel very strange because you have moved away in so many ways: you live away and have learned to cope by yourself or depend on people other than your parents.
  • You may feel unable to talk to them as you did before and if you have been told how lucky you are to be going to this school, it is extremely difficult to say you are unhappy

How can I cope with this?
Try to explain at home what feels different for you and see if you can work out the problems together. If you really feel you cannot talk to your parents, writing a letter to them and telling them how you feel, might work for you.

If they still do not listen, do you have a relative or a good friend you can talk to?

Fitting in
Are you finding it difficult fitting in at school? Maybe you find it difficult to always fit in at school and find that the person you want to be gets lost? You are surrounded by people all the time and this can feel like you have to compete for everything. Does this make you behave differently towards others and feel tired or not well at times? When you feel like this do you have anyone at school you can really talk to?

Time and Space

  • Time is different at school! There are so many people and it feels you are made to be organised and be on time for everything. There never seems to be enough time to do or think what you want. You can never be alone and have private feelings and thoughts.
  • Space can be difficult too because you usually have to share a room which means you have no privacy and cannot have all your things with you.

How can I cope with this?
You may find time is always a problem but you can try to organise it so that you get a little time each day for yourself. As for space, try filling your own place with things from home that are most important to you.

No-one listening or helping you?
If you are having some of these problems at boarding school, remember that they are not of your making or your fault. These things are happening to you because you are not at home. If you are having problems and you’ve tried everything and you feel you can’t talk to your parents, friends or school about the things that are troubling you, there are other people you can talk to in confidence.

At ChildLine, you can always speak in total confidentiality to someone who will listen to you and who will understand your problems.

You can call ChildLine for free on 0800 1111 at any time.