“ We keep the boys busy, whether it’s taking part in the boarding programme, or an impromptu game of table tennis or pool. ” SamAverill But luckily each boarding House is blessed with the stewardship of a matron, who is always on hand to alleviate any sickness or injury. “Older boys within the House also tend to make themselves available for a chat with a young boy who needs it, and so does the staff member on duty at the time.” Boarding life he says, is completely different from anything the boys would have experienced before. Living with 60 other boys makes sure of that! “You’ll be forced to develop relationships and resolve conflicts with all different types of people. This becomes paramount to building character and becoming the person you wish to be when your time at College is up. Boarding relationships are not restricted by age or similar interests, but evolve from the experience shared from the wide range of activities within your own boarding Houses.” Sam says a boy leaves College as a Year 13 having made mates for life. He’s almost in that category now himself. Year 12 Sam Pinckney from School House is an experienced boarder, having begun living away from home when he was just 10.
“I was very excited when I started boarding as it was a new experience for me but as the first couple of days went by, I got really homesick,” he recalls. But that background made it a lot easier for him to fit in at College as a secondary student. “And knowing people that were in my year before I arrived at College was quite helpful.” Thinking back, he says the most difficult thing to adjust to would have been the bedtime routine and the new school day times. “I love boarding but during Covid-19 it has been hard with the limit of places we can go and not being able to go and see other friends from other schools. The best part of boarding for me is the friendships you create and the relationships with the boarding staff.” Year 13 Tongan-born Nale Fifta from Flower’s House, agrees. Coming from Waitaki Boys’ High School in Oamaru as a Year 11, the College boarding experience was a shock at first. “I was nervous. There were a lot of white faces and I felt I stood out. But once I started talking
to the boys and Housemaster and teachers and got used to the systems, it started to feel fine. I guess it took about six months to really feel comfortable.” Now, when he sees a Year 9 looking a bit lost, he can easily empathise. “Getting along with the young guys, mentoring and talking to them, is something I really enjoy.” At 6ft 4ins and a member of the Senior A basketball team, Nale remembers it took a while to get used to the system and the routines. “But you do get through it. I remember how homesick I was in the first few weeks of boarding. But the boarding experience has been so good for me. It’s helped me establish a routine, and these three years have helped me a lot with my social skills – meeting people, making friends. I was really shy at first, but now I feel comfortable.” He says boarders need to arrive with the right mindset. “You know it’s all going to be different from what you’re used to, but if you’re flexible and open you’ll get through it. And it’s important to be yourself.”
Photo on left (L-R): Sam Pinckney, Sam Averill and Nale Fifita
College Issue 39 2020
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