A Day in the Life

Saturday, November 19, 2022 - By: Christine L, Mack ‘23

Though Brentwood is renowned for its fabulous boarding program, there are a few students that slip through the gates without having a dorm to call home. The school would not be the same without the 125 or so day students who attend Brentwood College School.

The day student experience is different to that of a boarding student’s. Slipping through sign-ins and never turning in my phone at night allows for a luxurious Brentwood experience. Seeing some of my closest boarding friends leaving home and family behind, I am certainly grateful this is something I only have to imagine. I get to come home to my family every night - but it is the sacrifice boarding students choose to make.

Laila R, Mack ‘23 confesses, “Over the past four years of my time here at Brentwood, I can’t count how many times I considered returning home. If I had the option of being a day student, I would take it in a heartbeat.” It seems that many of the Brentwood boarding students share this opinion especially as first term turns to second when days get shorter and schoolwork gets harder.

However, being a day student, I can assure you the perks of not having prep or daily inspections does not come without its costs. When speaking with many of my fellow day students, it seems to be the consensus that the majority of us feel less connected within our houses. Day students often aren’t there for the rough times or late nights that boarders experience, and to some extent we are grateful for that, but it’s also a double edged sword. Although we do see our friends every day, it is not the same as living with them. Arguments over bedtimes or late night gossip bond a group together and since the majority of the student body consists of boarders, it is easy to feel disconnected within the community.

Many boarding students also raise the argument that the boarding life helped them develop skills like gaining independence from parents and learning how to balance schoolwork, social life, and extracurriculars to prepare for university. Kiara J, Alex ‘23, a boarding student who switched to a day student after her Grade 10 year, says, “For me, the day student life allowed more flexibility and stability to succeed in the Brentwood environment, but of course there are times I miss the sisterhood of my housemates that boarding provided”. She also mentions how “If things were ever really tough at Brentwood, I always had the breaks to look forward to returning to my other life back in Saudi Arabia. Not having that option anymore was also one of the most difficult decisions my family and I had to make.”

It is impossible to concretely decide whether the boarding or day program reigns superior. The decision is unique to each individual. Both programs have their perks and sacrifices but there are numerous solutions to overcome any of these struggles.

If there are any future or current students reading this who are contemplating which of two programs they should choose, just know that you will have an unforgettable Brentwood experience and build invaluable relationships either way.

Christine L, Mack ‘23

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