Q&A with Alicia
To celebrate BSA's National Boarding Week on the 21st - 27th of June, we spent some time with one of our Grammarians to understand a little more about boarding and life at Stonyhurst, as well as finding out what Alicia's loves the most about boarding. Don't forget to take a look at our social media channels to view a selection of videos demonstrating Alicia's day.
Are you a full/weekly boarder? What’s the difference?
I am a full boarder at Stonyhurst. The difference is that as a full boarder we experience weekends filled with adventure with our friends. Saturday night takeaways is a highlight of being a full boarder and brunch is always a great feast on Sunday morning to enjoy.
What’s a normal day like for you?
I wake up at 7am in the morning every day for school. Breakfast is around 7:20 and school starts at 8.20 sharp. My weeks always fly by because I have 6 lessons a day and an hour of games sessions throughout the week. Despite this, I also take part in CCF which always leaves me exhausted but teaches me new skills and challenges.
What’s it like sharing a room with other boarders?
Sharing a room is one of the perks of being a boarder. It's always fun to share and learn about different people’s cultures and characteristics. You’re never alone and makes watching movies together a whole lot of fun. Your boarding experience starts off with meeting your roommates, they never fail to make me laugh and I know I have made friends for life within the boarding house.
Do you have any free time for yourself? If so, what do you do?
As soon as school finishes, we have free time for ourselves. School can be exhausting, especially if you do extra- curricular activities outside school times, so this free time is well deserved. My evenings consist of my roommates and I collapsing on our beds and relaxing at the end of a long school day. I usually call my parents every day and complete my homework during this time. I also may play the piano and have a scroll through Tik Tok before handing in electronics.
What do you do in the evenings/weekends? Are there any organised activities?
During the weekends we are spoilt for choice. Saturdays are takeaway nights; a popular takeaway amongst the Grammar girls' house is Domino's pizza. We also have a Playroom movie which takes place downstairs, where everyone can garner and chill out. Saturday is a great relaxing day. However, Sunday is an active and creative day, where many activities are organised. One of my favourites was pottery and baking. It teaches you new skills. Sundays are very eventful, there are lots to get stuck into such as sports. We had a competitive Boys' versus Girls' netball match. I'm proud to say the girls won!
What are the co-curricular activities like at Stonyhurst?
Stonyhurst offers a range of co-curricular activities such as football, tennis, writing, singing, dance and so on. There is so much to do and take part in. Activities are a great way of meeting new people and working together.
Can boarders decorate their bedrooms?
Of course! Boarders can choose to decorate their rooms by adding anything they wish to make it unique and homelike. It's important for boarders to add their personal touch by adding photos on their walls or simply bringing toys, pillows, stickers and much more. It adds colour and brings the whole room alive.
What is the food like in the Ref?
The food is amazing, the Ref provides an array of food every day. The Ref makes food from all over the world and celebrates different country independence days. Not long ago we had the German Oktoberfest which was a great hit. Stonyhurst is home to many international boarders, so the food is complementary in order for them and us to taste their homeland food.
How did you find making friends at Stonyhurst?
Stonyhurst is a school filled with many friendly people. I remember my first day walking through the large black gates, I was nervous and anxious, but I was welcomed with open arms and friendly faces. It is going to be hard making friends, especially on the first couple of days, but I know through experience that with time you will find the group of friends that you will click with.
Do you ever feel homesick?
I definitely felt homesick during the first month at Stonyhurst. I missed my family because I relied on them a lot when I lived at home. But being a boarder helps you to become independent and grow in confidence and there is a whole network of staff and teachers you can talk to if you're feeling down. Homesickness is a feeling that I have, even still have today, but by getting involved in activities and mingling with people you make friends and grow in confidence.
What do you enjoy most about Boarding at Stonyhurst?
I enjoy being with my friends every second of every day. I think that by being a boarder you automatically meet people whether they are in school or in the boarding house. And as a boarder you know most of the staff in the building and make close connections with those especially in the boarding house.
Do you have any tips for future boarders?
My tip for future boarders is to take everything in and seize all opportunities that come your way. By making the most of your stay at Stonyhurst, by getting involved, finding your passion and blossoming new friendships, you are already becoming a role model for younger boarders to follow.