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Stay updated with current happenings at Grand River Academy. This blog also includes resources for families and friends of GRA.

Prepare for Boarding School

Prepare for Boarding School

Prepare Your Son for His First Year of Boarding School

The decision to attend an all-boys college preparatory boarding school is the start of many life-changing experiences. The exposure to high-level academics and opportunity for individual development will develop you into a young adult ready for challenges that lie ahead.

We find that when both students and parents are thoroughly prepared for the upcoming transition to boarding-school life, a successful new journey can begin. Your first year of boarding school will be full of:

  1. New friends. Boarding school gives you the opportunity to embrace individuality and meet peers who share your interests and struggles. Begin conversations with your roommates and classmates in the first days on campus. Joining an extra-curricular activity or team sport will help you spend time with like-minded young men. Developing friendships is one of the most important parts of boarding school life, and you can be confident that you’ll leave your first year with lasting friendships.
  2. Responsibilities. Boarding-school life brings a whole new set of responsibilities. You will begin to learn time management skills that range from doing your laundry, studying without reminders from your parents, managing a social life, and arriving to class on time. Ask your parents to help you practice in the time leading up to your move to boarding school.
  3. Relationships. You will begin to cultivate more meaningful relationships that require patience and understanding. You will be challenged with accommodating a roommate from a different background and communicating with instructors and mentors in a professional manner. The new relationships may be intimidating at first, but they offer unique opportunities for life-long relationships.
  4. Personal development. You might be eager or hesitant to leave your past behind. Most young men experience both feelings at once. Living away from home for the first time can spur feelings of homesickness, even for the most independent personalities. This is a normal occurrence with the initial exposure to a boarding school. Feel free to reach out to your parents to discuss your experiences. Work through this time of change by journaling and talking about it with your support system at school. Your first year at boarding school is packed with self-discovery and situations that foster maturity.

Every year we have the privilege of welcoming a new class of young men into the doors of Grand River Academy. We make it our mission to make the transition into boarding school life an enjoyable experience for both students and parents. With a majority of students at GRA living on campus, GRA’s strong sense of community is established quickly. Before you know it, you will refer to your boarding school as a “second home.”

Discover how your son can emerge from GRA’s college preparatory high school as a confident, resourceful leader at

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