The Boarding School Survival Guide
Attending boarding school is a serious commitment in many realms, whether emotional, financial, academic, or otherwise. With that in mind, it is important to understand what boarding school is all about. This valuable resource is full of insights from students who attend or recently graduated from a boarding school. The Boarding School Survival Guide provides a variety of perspectives that help both prospective students and parents decide if boarding school is the right choice for them, and assists current students in navigating the twists and turns of school away from home.
Peterson’s Nelnet, LLC, and its respective affiliates and trademark licenses, is not a sponsor of this scholarship award.
Scholarship Contest Submission Guidelines
Prompt: Please write an essay of about 500 words offering your thoughts on why you want to attend boarding school (your reasons, desires, discoveries, etc.). Also, please address why this scholarship will be helpful to you in your boarding school process and journey or why you feel that you are a worthwhile recipient. Feel free to share personal anecdotes, too.
Please email your submission with the subject heading “Scholarship” to Justin Muchnick at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: June 30, 2015. Winners will be announced and contacted during the summer of 2015 to receive your scholarship award. The scholarship will be paid directly to your boarding school (or future boarding school) to be earmarked to defray the cost of tuition. All submissions become the property of Justin Muchnick, and any portion of your submission may be published in the future in a book by Justin Muchnick or in any media outlet when announcing the prize winners.
Please include the following language with your submission and signature via scan or pdf in an email, or the below form will be sent to you via email upon receipt of your submission and will require your completion before your submission is reviewed:
The Boarding School Survival Guide Scholarship Consent Form:
I, (name) _______________________, consent to have my submission (possibly) published in media outlets or a future edition of this book or other publication if selected as a winner. I certify by my signature below that my submission is my own work and does not violate any copyright laws or other proprietary rights of third parties.
Print Full Name:
Date of Birth:
Home Mailing Address, City and State:
Expected Boarding School Graduation Date:
Why Boarding School: Reasons I Chose this Path and Why You Might, Too
Author: Justin Muchnick, Phillips Academy Andover
Applying to Boarding School: Tips on Writing Essays, Acing Interviews, and More
Author: Alexandra Willcutt, Baylor School
Financial Aid: Paying for Boarding School
Author: Deanna Havey, Phillips Exeter Academy
Single-Sex Boarding School: Is It for You?
Author: Kelsey Burns, Miss Porter’s School
Specialized Boarding Schools: My Experience Attending an Arts Boarding School
Author: Katie Watson, Interlochen Arts Academy
Campus Visits: Walking in Their Shoes
Author: Sophia Clarke, Pomfret School
Revisit Days: Finding the Right Fit
Author: Bennett Sherr, Phillips Academy Andover
The Packing List: What to Bring to Boarding School
Author: Alicia Shultz, Hebron Academy
Leaving Home: Saying Goodbye to Friends and Family
Author: Sloane Wilten, The Hill School
Orientation: The Basics—Getting Acclimated
Author: Olivia Paige, The Taft School
Dorm Living: Roommates, Laundry, Communal Bathrooms, and Creating Your Home Away from Home
Author: Emilee Bae, The Hotchkiss School
Adults Are Important: Building Teacher Relationships, Finding a Mentor, and Bonding with Your House Counselor
Author: Lilian Costello, Maine School of Science and Mathematics
Homework and Time Management: How Not to Pull So Many All-Nighters
Author: Sarah Cho, Kent School
Papers and Essays: Write ‘Em Right!
Author: Rena Patel, The Webb Schools
Tests and Final Exams: A Necessary (and Unfortunate) Part of Life
Author: Yada Pruksachatkun, THINK Global School
Breaking a Sweat: Boarding School Athletics
Author: Amanda Reisman, Choate Rosemary Hall
Extracurricular Activities and Community Service: Enrichment Outside of the Classroom
Author: Coby Zur, The Lawrenceville School
Money Management: Handling Finances in Boarding School
Author: Andrew Granato, Middlesex School
Nutrition: Healthy Meals, Dining Hall Choices, and Snacks
Author: Zoha Qamar, Phillips Exeter Academy
Social Life: Making Friends, Dating, and Campus Events
Author: Sarah Rudkin, Fay School, The Taft School, Tilton School
The Heavy Stuff: Drugs, Alcohol, Hazing, Cheating, and Campus Safety
Day Students: Finding Your Place in the Boarding School Community
Author: Ellen Sukharevsky, Milton Academy
International Students: Transitioning to a New Country and Culture
Author: Shihao Hu, South Kent School
Starting “Off Sequence”: Entering Boarding School after Freshman Year
Author: Evan Lee, The Lawrenceville School
Summer Programs, Internships, and Employment: Making Good Use of Your Down Time
Author: Wendy Huang, St. Paul’s School
Standardized Testing: A (Somewhat Burdensome) Rite of Passage
Author: by Casey Mulchay, The Thacher School
Applying to Colleges: Taking the Next Step
Author: Vanessa Lizárraga, Cate School
Concluding Remarks: Justin Muchnick
Endorsements and Reviews of The Boarding School Survival Guide
Alan D. Whittemore
He did a great great job of creating a reference for prospective students. He also currently has a live question and answer session on the site boardersreport.com, a site covering boarding school news worldwide! Worth checking out if you are a prospective students to read more about boarding schools, find the right school for you, and importantly…Converse with Justin directly!
Boarding School is the right place for the student who wants to be stimulated and challenged, and who is ready for this kind of specialty education well before college age. This guide explains the why, where and how in a relatable, readable and well organized text. I encourage all prospective students and their families to read this book!
A comprehensive and valuable guide. Every aspect of boarding school life is covered — from deciding whether boarding school is right for you to succeeding once you get there. Especially useful is that all chapters are written by current or recent boarding school students (in other words, they know what they are talking about and have no agenda other than providing practical information); the student-writers hail from across the country and chapters are digestible and clear. This is definitely a highly recommended resource.
Boarding School Survival Guide
Amazing!! Recommend this book to anyone about to go to boarding school! I highly recommend this book to anyone about to go to boarding school! The chapters are thoughtful, funny, and raw. You will never be bored while reading this book. After reading this I felt a lot more prepared to attend boarding school in the fall. This book was extremely helpful to me and it made getting ready for school so much easier.
Anonymous Amazon Reader
We are just beginning our search and information-gathering on private/independent high schools and considering the boarding school route for our daughter. There are very few resources out there that explain the process and all of the decisions involved in navigating the boarding school decision. Justin Ross Muchnick’s book successfully compiles critical viewpoints and valuable lessons from kids who are attending every type of boarding school. This book will be our go-to resource as we continue on this journey and I’m so thankful that it was released just in time for our family. Very well-written, easy to follow, and chock-full of information–a total home run! Thank you to Justin and all of the contributing authors, well done!
Melinda McGill Garman
This is a wonderful book for any child considering boarding school or presently attending one. The material is well presented and is a must read! Great book!
What immediately struck me upon reading The Boarding School Survival Guide is how powerful this book is not only for students already enrolled in boarding school, but also for those who are making the decision about whether or not to go. The practical tips Justin provides from the perspective of someone who is actually attending boarding school are invaluable. I also enjoyed hearing from other boarding school veterans who have been-there/done-that. I highly recommend this book for parents of boarding school students as well.
News and Media for The Boarding School Survival Guide
Thorndike internship encourages historical research — Justin Muchnick ’16 looks into wrestling’s beginnings at Andover
Wrestling has been a huge part of Justin Muchnick ’16’s life at PA. The senior from Newport Beach, Calif., is a four-year starter and two-time captain for Big Blue, so his interest was piqued one day last year when he asked his coach about the early history of wrestling at Andover.
“We on the team know a lot about the program’s recent history, but the early days of PA wrestling were shrouded in some mystery,” said Muchnick, who was chosen as the 2015-16 Thorndike Intern. Combining his love of wrestling and his Thorndike Internship led Muchnick to discover famed grappler and heavyweight captain Howard Malcolm Baldridge, Class of 1914, the subject of his Thorndike paper.read more
by Justin Muchnick
Most problems in boarding school can be solved pretty easily. Chances are you are not the only one who has encountered one, so don’t be afraid to ask for help from an adult or older student on campus. And follow these helpful suggestions if all else fails.
Super tired? Not enough sleep? Try power-napping for 30 minutes (just enough time to get some REM sleep so you will feel refreshed) when you can. Or, sleep in (obviously) on the weekends ,and take a nap to make up for lost zzzzzs.
Stain on your clothing? Spilled something in the dining hall? Keep stain wipes or laundry pre-spray in your dorm room to treat the stain before it sets in. Then, once it is washed, it usually comes out!
Stomach ache? Keep a small “first aid” kit with saltine crackers, a few cans or small bottles of ginger ale, and antacid tablets to treat yourself before having to head to the health center.
Incoming freshman Bob Moore from Louisville earns $1,000 from author of The Boarding School Survival Guide.
Bob Moore is still a couple of weeks away from beginning his McCallie School experience, but the incoming freshman from Louisville, Ky., is already earning scholarship money for himself and recognition for his new school.read more
Two future boarding school freshman from the South will receive $1,000 scholarships courtesy of a Harbor Day School graduate and author of “The Boarding School Survival Guide,” according to a news release.
Justin Muchnick announced the scholarship in June and said he received applications from as far away as Egypt, Iran, Canada and throughout the United States.read more
Phillips Academy Andover student Justin Muchnick, author of The Boarding School Survival Guide, awarded $1,000 scholarships on Friday, July 17 to two students who applied for his boarding school scholarship contest.read more
If you’re heading to boarding school this fall, there are two $1,000 scholarships available to help cover tuition costs, courtesy of a Harbor Day School graduate, author and Phillips Academy Andover student.read more
The Boarding School Survival Guide: A Resource Written by students for students – An interview with Justin Muchnickusaboardingschools.org “As an international student, you might be unfamiliar with boarding schools in the US. What’s the admission process? What to bring to a boarding school? How to manage your life independently? To untangle the puzzle, Justin Muchnick came up with just the right resource you need. The Phillips Academy sophomore reflected on his own experience and turned to his friends/ classmates for theirs, and authored The Boarding School Survival Guide — “it is the only book of its kind written by students for students”, as Justin put it. Usaboardingschool.org is honored to interview this talented boarding school student and get ahold of some of his insights.” Read the Full Interview... read more
Muchnick Makes the Cut as A Writer – Former Harbor Day School student, a wrestler and captain of his team, pens second book.By David Carrillo Penaloza / Daily Pilot July 19, 2014 At 16, you can say Justin Muchnick is an accomplished writer and wrestler. Muchnick, a former Harbor Day School student, has two books published and he’s one of the top wrestlers at his high school. He has a new book out titled “The Boarding School Survival Guide” and he has new title on his wrestling team. Muchnick is a straight-A student at Phillips Academy Andover school in Massachusetts, and for the first time he got a C. He’s awfully proud of this C. The C is for captain of his wrestling team. Read the Full... read more
Peterson’s Newest Author Justin Muchnick Helps Students Survive Boarding School: Unique tell-all is written for students, by studentsPRWeb.com December 12, 2013 Attending boarding school is a serious commitment, so it’s important for students to understand the emotional, financial, and academic challenges that come with it. Peterson’s newest and youngest author, Justin Muchnick, explains everything students need to consider in The Boarding School Survival Guide. What makes The Boarding School Survival Guide unique is that its author, Muchnick, is a boarding school student currently in his second year at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. When Muchnick was in 7th grade, he decided he wanted to go to boarding school but didn’t know where to start because it was hard to find first-hand stories from students. Read the Full Press... read more
Contributors To The Boarding School Survival Guide
The links and articles below celebrate many of the contributors to The Boarding School Survival Guide. Congratulations and thank you to my co-authors whose great work is a part of this book and has been recognized by their school communities.
Thatcher Student Casey MulchayCasey Mulchay CdeP 2013 was a contributor to the recently published Boarding School Survival Guide, a book written for students by students. Casey wrote “Standardized Testing: A Somewhat Burdensome) Rite of Passage,” one of 27 chapters in this unique guide that’s designed to help students navigate life at boarding school by offering essential advice on campus visits, roommates, dorm life, social life, coping with homesickness, finding a mentor, and much more.
Congratulations to new alumna Emilee BaeA fun and useful new book written by students for students, The Boarding School Survival Guide is the brainchild of Phillips Andover student Muchnick, who wisely believes prospective boarders will benefit from the insights offered by current boarding school students and graduates. Emilee Bae, a member of the Hotchkiss Class of 2014, contributed lively chapter 11, “Dorm Living: Roommates, Laundry, Communal Bathrooms, and More.”
A few years ago Justin Muchnick was applying to boarding schools. He had questions–many questions–and had trouble finding answers that felt genuine.
The Boarding School Survival Guide Gallery