Every aspect of the boarding experience at Christ’s College is special – and I feel privileged to be Head of Boarding for 2019.
I am from North Canterbury and although I was a dayboy in Flower's House in Year 9, I was extremely excited to become a boarder in Year 10 and have loved it ever since. I am into basketball and love being involved in College drama productions.
What first struck me with College boarding, and continues to even now, is the friendly vibe and homely feel of the three boarding Houses. There are moments and conversations that genuinely feel like you are with family, the clichéd "home away from home". But nothing could be more true of College boarding.
This homeliness is not forced or contrived but rather comes naturally from the relationships among staff and boys. Many times it is the simple and spontaneous things, like a House BBQ, a game of touch, or a trip to the pool after prep, that create the best memories. The bonds and friendships formed through boarding are unique and strong, connections we will have for life. I have found the most helpful support comes from the boys themselves and it is inspiring how the boarders will always come together and be there for each other when they need to. Personally, the people I have met have taught me so much and I hope many will be in my life for years to come.
The accessibility which boarding provides enables you to maximise the opportunities available at College.
Nevertheless, boarding life definitely has its challenges – living with 60 other boys makes sure of that. Forming relationships and working through differences are some of the best learning and personal development aspects of College life, building character and realising values through such challenges. These learnings correspond with College values such as compassion and stewardship and important virtues such as tolerance, respect and empathy. All of which are key when it comes to living with others. Boarding also teaches you to appreciate diversity, as College boarders come from many different backgrounds, countries and cultures.
All boys have a part to play in boarding life, which includes in the House routine, where everyone has jobs to do. Responsibility and freedom increase as boys move up in the school, which is motivating for younger students and rewarding for seniors. Boarding staff are always there to offer both pastoral care and academic support and their help makes school life a whole lot easier. The accessibility which boarding provides enables you to maximise the opportunities available at College, making things like early morning trainings and late night rehearsals easier to manage.
I believe boarding is the heart of Christ's College and this is reflected in how boarders contribute to all areas of College life, including all levels of involvement in arts and culture, sport at every grade, academia and service projects. Boarders are always at College, so this means much of the culture around the school flows down from them. Constantly being immersed in College life means pride among boarders is strong – and this is clear to see not only when boarders are representing College, but also in the support they provide with the collective boarding voice being instrumental in cheering on College teams.
I would like to build on the good work others have done before me and make boarding the best that it can be at Christ's College. I can't wait to work with such a great group of Year 13s in what is bound to be another exciting College year.