Ben Aitken, Year 12 (Flower's)
When Ben Aitken’s parents decided he would follow his father and two older brothers to come down from Hawkes Bay to attend College in Christchurch, Ben had mixed feelings.
“At first I didn’t want to come as I thought I wouldn’t know anyone,’’ he says. “However, my older brother was in Year 13 and I knew there was one other boy there who had been to the same primary school as me, so I decided to give it a go.’’
“The first few days were a bit strange and a bit lonely, but I soon found I was in with a great year group in the House (Flower’s) and the Housemaster and Karen, the Matron, looked after us and made sure we were fitting in OK. Many of the boys had gone to the same primary schools and knew each other, but they just took me in as part of the team.’’
“You don’t really have time to be homesick though as there is so much going on and I really enjoy playing sport – cricket and rugby – so found I keep really busy. There are also a few dayboys in Flower’s and some invite me to stay for the weekend which is great.’’
Another bonus for Ben is that, as his father works for Air New Zealand, his parents fly down every second weekend or so, come to watch his sport, and then they all stay in a local hotel.
“I get the best of both worlds really being with my friends during the week and my family in the weekends,’’ says Ben. “I find I am really busy, especially with the activities in the boarding programme which I take part in when I am staying in the House for the weekend.’’
Apart from the friendship and camaraderie of living in a House with a group of “brothers’’, Ben likes the fact that boarding means he is living in the centre of the school and he gets all his meals made. Now in Year 12, Ben says he has always loved being a boarder. “If you want time out, you can always find it, or if you want to get out, there is always someone who wants to kick a ball around with you. It’s great.’’