Making Your Home Away from Home
Tips for students and parents adjusting to boarding school life
by Caroline Curtis, Eagle Hill School class of 2014
Like many students, attending Eagle Hill School was my first time truly away from home. I struggled a lot with the adjustment period, with the first month of my freshman year consistently bringing tears to my eyes with any mention of the word “‘home”. My parents were in the Boston area only two hours away, but for all I knew, Hardwick could have been on Mars in comparison.
It took some time and help from friends and faculty, but once I found my groove, I came to love Eagle Hill and make it my second home.
The next time I saw my loved ones were Family Weekend, and while I was excited to see them, I worried that it might bring up the mixed emotions I had during Opening Weekend when they dropped me off. Fortunately, Eagle Hill faculty and staff are well-equipped to help students with their transitions and any conflicting emotions they may feel away from home.
As this year’s Fall Family Weekend approaches, I offer some tips that helped me overcome my homesickness and with my overall adjustment to being a part of the Eagle Hill family.
1. Don’t be afraid to talk about how you’re feeling: Whether you talk to friends, roommates, residence counselors, or teachers, Eagle Hill is a strong community full of people who want you to be happy. By expressing your emotions to people who care about you, you allow them to support you in any way that you may need it. Everyone has experienced homesickness before, so they are happy to listen.
2. Keep busy: Eagle Hill offers plenty to keep you busy outside of school hours. Aerobics and practices kept me engaged and made sure I got out of my room. Time spent in your dorm room is perfectly fine but take advantage of being able to meet new people! Most new friends were big contributors to me settling in comfortably into the community. Whether it’s a club, a sport, or just something you like to do with friends, fill your after-school day with activities that make you happy and give you purpose.
3. Keep in touch with friends and family: FaceTime makes it easy to keep in touch with family and, more importantly, see your pets at home! Your family will always be your number one supporters, so be sure to fill them in on the exciting things you are doing so they can celebrate your successes with you.
4. Make the most of weekend trips and activities: Weekends provide necessary downtime, but also are a great opportunity to get off campus and get a change of scenery. These trips can also be a great opportunity to connect with other students and try things that are new to you. Try not to be afraid to sign up for trips and activities that you might not normally consider. One of my favorite memories is going to a Red Hot Chili Pipers concert my junior year. I never would have thought that I’d ever find myself at a bagpipe rock tribute concert, but it ended up being a story I still tell my friends to this day. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by going out and trying something different!
Caroline Curtis ’14 is a proud alumna of Eagle Hill School and received her bachelor’s degree in International and Global Studies from Fairfield University in 2018. She is currently pursuing her master’s in Business and Corporate Communications from Northeastern University and works as an Administrator for Wellington Financial Management in the Greater Boston area.