What It’s Like Living at Home as a Four-Year Boarder

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The headlines have been swarmed with the same topic since January: Covid-19. The global pandemic has affected millions of people. For many boarding school students, this is most likely the first time they’ve gone to school while being home in the past four years.

As a boarding student myself, this is the first time I’ve been home since 2016 for a longer period than my spring break. What was supposed to be the “easiest part of high school” as a senior, and the most rewarding part of 12 years of education, has been taken away.

Marissa Dalton ’20 attended Williston for her junior and senior years. Her sister, Madison, attends Boston University; both are now home in West Palm Beach, Fla.

“I think my sister and I are getting way closer,” Marissa said. “Because we are the only friends we can have right now.” But, there is a down side of being with her family all the time. Marissa explains that “Arguing is inevitable. We are all very opinionated and stubborn so we fight a lot.”

As Marissa is a senior, she’s sad to be missing her “Senior Spring” with her friends.

“Quarantine has really made me realize how lucky I was to have been able to live with my friends so close to me all the time,” she explained. “I’m going to be honest when I say I don’t really miss the intense stress of school, and I don’t miss my sleep deprivation.”

Although I’m missing my Senior Spring and graduation, I get to spend these troubling times with my family in the safety and comfort of my own home, which has had its benefits.

In my personal experience, I’m enjoying the true form of privacy  my home provides. I don’t have to leave my phone downstairs during study hall, I can clean my room on my own time, and I don’t have to worry about getting a point for brushing my teeth later than 10:45 p.m.

My mother, Imias Ansara, has her own perspective on the presence of her two kids, Christopher Ramirez ’19, and myself being home after living alone for four years now.

“I love having you home,” she said. “But it’s bittersweet because you’re missing your graduation, senior prom, and spending your birthday in quarantine. It’s really sad — Chris just missed a whole semester of his first year in college.”

Despite her feeling sorry for our losses, she hasn’t been blind to the obvious facts of having two young adults in the home, and what that entails.

“I definitely have more house cleaning,” she said. “And if I want to watch TV, Chris is probably playing video games or being loud with his YouTube videos.”

Chris is a freshman at Pepperdine University, and is facing the transition of being home from college in his first year.

“It’s sad,” he said. “I made a lot of friends and now it’s being taken away from me. And being in the house all day is making me go crazy.”

“You learn to live on your own after five years and not have an actual parental figure around,” he added.You don’t know what things have changed since the last time you were home with your parents, so you don’t necessarily know how to act in terms of rules and the amount of freedom you’re going to be given.”