On Being a Day Student at a Boarding School

Posted by Scott Allenby


Roughly 25% of Proctor's students live locally and make the commute to Proctor's campus each day. While day students take part in study hall, eat meals in the dining hall, attend extra help sessions in the evening, participate in all campus activities, and have access to all Proctor has to offer, life as a day student differs from those of boarding students. 

Day 1

Proctor’s Assistant Dean of Students for Day Students, John Bouton, brings a wealth of independent school experience to his role supporting, advocating for, and serving as a voice for day students at Proctor. John reflects on his role supporting day students at a boarding school, “Day students typically comprise 25-30% of our population. I see my role as being a resource for day families on logistical, tactical, and strategic issues and resources affecting this important group. Additionally, I will be working on leadership development this year in particular.” 

Day Students at Boarding School

John is especially excited about the involvement of current students in leadership roles. He will advise the Day Student Leaders and our newly formed Day Student Advisory Council, and work through weekly meetings of the Student Life Team and within the Dean of Students Office to ensure that the needs of the School, day students, and their families are met. 

Day Student Advisory Council 2022-2023

  • Bea Robblee '24
  • Molly VanVranken '25
  • Eliza Lewis '23
  • Enrico Mori '24
  • Grace Schad '23
  • Emma LaRiviere '23
  • Carly Solomon '24

Day Student Leaders 2022-23

  • Libby Harrell ‘23
  • Ella Maher ‘23
  • Phoenix Verite ‘23
  • Libby Walker ‘23
  • Caleb Warzocha ‘23

Day Students at Boarding School

Two of this year's Day Student Leaders, Ella Maher, Phoenix Verite, and Libby Harrell, share their perspectives and advice below on how to navigate the challenges and take full advantage of the opportunities of being a day student at Proctor.

What are the benefits to being a Day Student at a boarding school? 

Ella ‘23: “When I first came to Proctor, I was worried that being a day student would mean missing out on the full boarding school experience. However, someone told me that being a day student allows one to experience the best of both worlds. I have the opportunity to go home and eat dinner with my family some nights, or to stay at school and socialize with my friends. Oftentimes, I feel like a boarding student; eating three meals at school, doing all of my homework, playing sports right on campus, spending every day with my best friends, and really only going home to sleep. Being a day student has given me the autonomy to budget my own schedule and learn how to balance my responsibilities of school, sports, and extracurriculars with my commute.” 

Phoenix '23: "Being a day student allows us freedom that is not as accessible to boarding students. Because most of us live off campus we are able to come and go from campus with ease, whereas boarding students have to make passes and sign in and out. This gives us the ability to come and go as we please which has been great for me as it lets me take the space I need, which can often be hard for boarders who the world outside Proctor is less accessible for during the school year." 

Libby ‘23: “What I like most about being a day student is that I get to enjoy the best of both worlds. I can spend my whole day at Proctor and then unwind at home with my family and sleep in my own bed. 

Day Students at Boarding School

What are some of the challenges of being a Day Student at a boarding school? 

EM: While being a day student has its many perks, I sometimes feel less included in the community. This is really only applicable when it comes to community days where groups are made with dorms and then day student groups are randomly shuffled together. All of my boarding student friends can relate that they have the community of their dorm and that because of that, they are more in touch and connected with one another. While the social gap for day students isn’t extreme, I know many of my fellow day students feel as though there can be a lack of that connectedness feeling at times. 

Phoenix '23: "Sometimes it can be hard as a day student to find spaces on campus that we can use all day long between classes and during study blocks. The boarding students have their dorm rooms, but for day students there are not as many available spaces on campus like that."

Libby ‘23: “One challenge that arises is the commute that you may be making. Boarders have the luxury of sleeping late in the morning and being able to go straight into homework at the end of the day, whereas some Day students have a half an hour commute that needs to be taken into consideration. Not living on campus can also be inconvenient when class or athletic schedules change or when extra help sessions are held later at night or on Sundays.”

Day Students at Boarding School

What advice would you share with new Day Students regarding how to best take full advantage of all that Proctor offers? 

Ella ‘23: “If I could give one piece of advice to incoming day students I would tell them to take advantage of every opportunity that comes with the freedom of being a day student. Stay on campus and be with your friends. I know that some weekend nights are a little bleak in terms of activities on campus, and it can be easy to just want to go home, but take advantage of the time you have with the people here. Some of my favorite memories from my time here are from simply sitting on the turf with my friends on a warm Saturday night in the fall, or playing board games in the coffee house in the middle of the frigid New England winter. Being a day student can certainly be challenging but the freedom you have is completely worth it.”

Phoenix '23: "I would say that as a day student I have been able to get just as much out of Proctor as any boarder. Staying engaged in off campus programs, classes, sports, and weekend activities. There is no less opportunity to be part of the Proctor community for day students than boarding students."

Libby ‘23: “Some advice I would share with new Day Students is to spend as much time on campus as possible. It's easy because we can go home whenever afternoon activity commitments end, but a lot of my favorite Proctor memories happen after sports--whether it's Just Dance in the Wise, games in the coffee house, or a massive game of kickball on the turf under the lights--so many fun activities happen and it will always be worth it to stay on campus.” 

Day Students at Boarding School

Day Students and their families are invited to a Day Family Welcome Event on the evening of Wednesday, September 1. In the meantime, don't hesitate to reach out to our Day Student Coordinator, John Bouton, via email. 

Read: Our Hopes for Our Children, a Parent Perspective


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