Boarding schools naturally foster a sense of independence, build resilience, and help students mature and develop good life habits. Learn how boarding school students can adopt healthy lifestyle changes by making overall physical and mental health a top priority.
First, let’s address mental health as this is a growing concern for many teenagers. Mental Health is absolutely essential to your overall health and well-being, so it is critically important to acquire strong habits and a balanced lifestyle. By doing so, you will be able to face stressors with a high level of confidence, tenacity, and resilience.
Mental Health Habits: Make sure you maximize support services on your boarding school campus including: counseling sessions, peer counseling programs, residential staff guidance, mentorship from coaches, and build strong friendships. Learn how to take time out to relax and follow our tips to lower stress and anxiety.
Working in sync with mental health, physical health has some important cornerstones: proper hygiene, nutrition, exercise, sleep, and safety. If you neglect even one of these, you put yourself and others at greater risk to spread illness and cause health and/or safety issues at school. Both the mental and physical aspects of health need to be in balance as they work in harmony, so be a role model for others.
- Physical Health Habits: Make sure you eat healthy foods, get daily exercise, get at least 8-9 hours of sleep at night. Wash your face and hands regularly and make sure you brush your teeth twice per day and floss. Last, but not least, be mindful of your personal safety to avoid accidents, high risk behaviors, and dangerous situations. Protect both your body and your mind.
15 Tips to Stay Healthy in Boarding School
Walk through this checklist below to see if you are doing all that you can to maintain health, fitness, and a positive mental outlook in boarding school. These are tips that are frequently addressed and reinforced at a boarding school geared for boys.
- Eat Healthy Foods and Balanced Meals – While living away from home, boarding school students should follow a balanced diet consisting of plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy carbs and lean proteins. This will ensure you are able to sustain your focus in classes, maintain a healthy weight, and protect yourself against sickness.
- Get Moving to Stay Fit– Be active and participate in varsity, team, or club sports. Whether you love being competitive or prefer solo sports, there is a sport or boarding school fitness class for every student. Organized sports and fitness programs are a great way to stay fit, enjoy fresh air, make friends, and get your endorphins up while attending a boarding school.
- Use the Health Center – Boarding schools offer health center services and most have a registered nurse on staff. The health center administers medications, addresses sickness, provides vaccines, and arranges transportation to medical and dental appointments.
- Engage in Extracurriculars – Boarding school should be fun, so it is really important to create a balanced schedule to allow for extracurricular activities. Enjoy a variety of clubs, sports, weekend activities, student government, as well as local and international trips.
- Make Time for Socializing and Friendships – Friendship is an important part of mental health. Through social interactions, you will learn how to resolve conflicts and communicate effectively. This will help prevent social anxiety and stress. At boarding school, it is not uncommon to make lifelong friends who will be there for you as you navigate college and life beyond.
- Manage Your Sleep Patterns – Establish a regular time to go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning. Make sure your dorm room is dark and quiet before going to sleep. Turn off devices, notifications, lights, and make sure you keep your bedding clean.
- Curb Stress and Anxiety – There are many ways you can address stress and anxiety. Learning how to manage stress when you are a teen will serve you well later in life. Don’t hesitate to seek out counseling, learn breathing and meditation techniques, get exercise, and build strong friendships.
- Build Mental Fitness – If you adopt a growth mindset, then you will not experience mental setbacks that many teens experience. Believe in your ability to face new challenges and learn new things to build a level of mental fitness. It will pay off as you take exams, complete college applications, face athletic defeats, and encounter complex social situations.
- Spend time outdoors – Many boarding schools are located in incredible settings close to beaches, lakes, rivers, and mountains. For example, on the west coast, Stevenson School and Army and Navy Academy are both located near the Pacific Ocean, while Ojai Valley School, Besant Hill, and Villanova are nestled in the Ojai hillsides.
- Connect with Animals – Some boarding schools do various projects with animals as part of stress management and Kindness Week. Make time to enjoy these experiences with dogs, horses, and other animals. This is a great way to lower stress, get outdoors, and demonstrate care and compassion.
- Be of Service – Being of service might not come to mind at first when you think about health, but it has been proven to make a difference in creating happier and more fulfilling lives. Sometimes, just the act of being part of a bigger mission or endeavor can shift our mindset. This all leads to greater health and mental well-being.
- Watch Your Safety – Safety is often overlooked when we discuss health topics for teenagers, but it is critically important. During adolescence, you will be faced with important decisions that could significantly affect your overall health and your lifespan. Think carefully about your character and values, as you examine your stance on high risk behaviors. Choose your friends carefully to avoid drug and alcohol use, gaming and device addictions, and sexual interactions. Last, but not least, be careful and protect yourself to minimize serious illness and injuries.
- Seek Out Support – Boarding schools typically provide a number of mental health services including: peer counseling, academic (social/emotional) counselors, residential life staff to guide you, and special workshops and classroom lessons on health, safety, and wellness. Reach out to receive the support you need to protect your mental health.
- Give Yourself Time to Relax – Most teenagers experience stress and anxiety in high school, so you need to make time to simply rest and relax. For some, this might be a walk in nature and for others it could be a good workout or just reading a book for pleasure. Create a boarding school lifestyle that works for you and protects your mental health at boarding school.
- Practice Mindfulness – As part of your mental health routine at boarding school, get outdoors and meditate while you are in motion. At one boarding school in Southern California, you can give your brain a rest as you surf, take a walk down at the beach, stroll into the quaint village of Carlsbad, or hangout at an ocean view recreation hall.
Health and Fitness at Boarding School
As you can see, going to boarding school means you will need to think and act independently to make wise decisions to form strong life habits. Make your physical and mental health a top priority. If you develop good lifestyle habits while you are in high school, you will be much better prepared to go away to college.
As a word of caution, don’t become a statistic in college. Develop a healthy lifestyle now in preparation and you will achieve your college and career goals to build a great life. Check these statistics out as a wakeup call.
“In the United States, the overall dropout rate for undergraduate college students is 40%. 30% of the dropout rate comes from college freshman dropping out before their sophomore year. In 4-year colleges, 56% of students drop out within 6 years. Black students had the highest college dropout rate at 54%.” – Edudata
Boarding school will provide you with key advantages in college and life. Boarding school is your chance to learn how to become self-disciplined and resilient as you create and build a healthy lifestyle. Your health will not only improve, but statistics show that boarding school students have a higher rate of completing degrees, going to graduate school, and even making higher incomes in their lifetimes.
To learn more about boarding schools, check other comparative statistics about boarding schools.