Proctor Community: Advice for Day Students at Boarding School

Posted by Scott Allenby


When Mrs. Eliza Butterfield gathered with a group of women in the her livingroom on Main Street in the spring of 1848, she shared her strong conviction that the village of Andover needed a school for its growing population of children. Throughout the 20th century, Proctor’s student population shifted to serve primarily boarding students, however, today, more than 90 day students (roughly 25% of the student body) are enrolled for the upcoming school year. Being a day student brings with it obvious benefits, and a unique set of challenges, so we asked our Day Student Leaders for 2017-2018, Sage ‘18 and Lance ‘18, to share insights into the world of being a day student at a boarding school.

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Sage '18 serves as a Day Student Leader, studied abroad on Ocean Classroom last fall, in South Dakota this summer, serves on the DIVERSITY committee, and helped the girls' basketball team win back-to-back NEPSAC championships

Do day students feel they are treated differently than boarding students?

Sage ‘18: All day students are welcome on campus from breakfast through study hall, and I often tell people that the only thing I don’t do on campus is sleep! I feel so engaged in all my classes, sports, and homework that I usually stay through 10:00 PM and leave just as my peers are headed to their dorms to go to bed. Proctor is very inclusive of day students and makes an effort to make all people feel respected in our community.  

Lance ‘18: Proctor does a great job integrating day students within the community. We are welcome for all meals and activities. We do everything boarding students do except for sleep over!


Lance '18, a day student from Enfield, serves as a captain of the varsity lacrosse and football teams and is a Day Student Leader.

Do day students miss out on life at boarding life at Proctor?

Sage ‘18: There is no significant divide between day students and boarders. I am at Proctor six days a week, sometimes seven, and I often do not leave campus until after study hall. It doesn’t feel awkward at all to either be on campus all the time or to leave right after sports to head home to be with your family. Either option is completely acceptable, and the flexibility is really helpful for students and their families. Day students definitely miss out on relationships formed in dorms during the evening; however, it is still easy to form long-lasting friendships and connections with your teachers and your peers during the day through classes and afternoon activities. The welcoming atmosphere of Proctor and the support from home make up for not living in a dorm.   

Lance ‘18: I always feel I can get involved and take part in anything that is going on. One time I even made my parents wait until 11:30 PM to pick me up so I could go on a weekend trip, but I'm not sure you want to tell incoming parents that or they'll get scared! 

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Day Students DJ '19, Finn '18, Matt '17, Reilly '17, and Myles '19 played a critical role in baseball's undefeated season.

What is the biggest challenge to being a day student?

Sage ‘18: The biggest challenge is balancing academics, athletics, social time, and family. It is often a challenge for me to decide between participating in experiences with my parents and siblings or spending additional time on campus getting to know more of my peers. As the school year progresses, however, day students get acclimated to the demands of Proctor, and it becomes easier to balance those challenges with family life.   

Lance ‘18: For me, the commute to campus was the hardest part before I got my license. I live quite a distance from Proctor, and my parents would drive an hour each way to drop me off and pick me up. I would have to guess ahead of time when I wanted to leave campus, which was tough. We have moved closer since then, though, and with my license the commute is no longer an issue. 

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What is the biggest benefit to being a day student?

Sage ‘18: The biggest benefit to being a day student is that in addition to the support available from Proctor’s faculty and peers, day students have access to the comforts of home and the direct guidance of living with their parents. It truly is the best of both world because one can be fully immersed in all aspects of Proctor life, but also be able to step away from the pressures of school to have quiet reflection time.

Lance ‘18: Seeing my parents and grandparents regularly is the biggest benefit. I also enjoy having my own space at home where I can complete homework more effectively without the temptation to get distracted by friends in my dorm. 

All Day Student families are invited to our annual Day Family Picnic on Wednesday August 30 at the Brown Dining Commons. If you are an incoming or returning Day Student and have questions about the upcoming school year, don't hesitate to reach out to our Day Student Coordinator, Linda Sargent

Read more about Student Life at Proctor! 


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