Moving from Alpha to Rockhampton as a Year 10 student was a ‘culture shock’ to say the least but, Erin wouldn’t change her experience for anything.
ERIN Goodwin began life in the boarding dorms of Rockhampton Girls Grammar as a Year 10 student in 2017. The third generation Girls Grammar Girl was excited to experience life in a new town, however she didn’t realise just how big of a culture shock it would be.
Not knowing anyone at school and being so far away from home (Alpha) was difficult at first but, through friendships and support, her home sickness and loneliness quickly disappeared.
“My earliest memory of boarding school was receiving a friendly phone call from Kaylee, my school assigned Big Sister, introducing herself and giving me the opportunity to answer any questions I had about boarding,” Erin said.
“I remember Kaylee meeting me on the boarder’s orientation weekend at the top of the stairs of McKeague Hall with a box of chocolates and making me feel welcome.”
Erin has come a long way from her orientation days and shy Year 10 self, having secured the role of Boarding Prefect in her final year of schooling. Erin said the role had "given her the opportunity to be a school leader and to work with students and executive staff to implement goals to enhance everyone’s boarding experience."
With graduation looming, Erin’s job is nearly done, and she feels prepared to step into the world knowing that her time as a boarder has prepared her for the road ahead.
Erin said "being a boarding student broadened her horizons and helped her realise that there is a bigger world out there waiting."
“As a boarder, we learn to live with others, become independent and get to experience and participate in many things that we would never get the opportunity to do at home or as a day student,” she said.
“I have formed friendships and bonds that will last a life-time with not only the students who I shared a dorm with but with boarding students across the school from diverse backgrounds, day students, teachers and school staff. Boarding fosters a sense of community and inclusiveness.”
While boarding opened her eyes up to the many opportunities on offer, Erin said the most valuable lessons she learnt were those of independence and organisation.
“As a boarder, I quickly learnt time management skills and how to become independent. I learnt how to manage homework and assignments with sporting and club commitments, doing laundry for the first time and making travel arrangements to attend sport and appointments while taking care of myself,” she said.
“Boarding school has been my second home for the past three years, a place where I grew and a place that inspired me to be who I am today as a person. When I leave, I will miss daily chats with the girls and having friends around all the time.”
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ERIN
• Wake-up call is at 6:45 am. We must be at the dining hall for breakfast in school uniform by 7:00 am.
• After breakfast we continue to get ready to start school at 8:20 am.
• At the end of the school day we have afternoon tea and return to the dorms for free time, attend clubs, or do sports training. The school transports us to and from sporting fixtures held on week nights.
• Depending on your year level, prep starts at 4:45 pm. Dinner is at 5.45 pm followed by showers and more prep. Students from Year 10 to Year 12 do quiet study in their rooms, while younger boarders attend supervised prep.
• Lights out at 8.30 pm or 9.30 pm for older students.
• On the weekend boarders can go shopping and participate in a variety of planned weekend activities, sporting fixtures or training.
• To keep busy, I attend cricket and netball training after school. At night fixtures I referee and play netball. I also play interschool cricket. Being interested in the rural industry, I attend Cattle Club one afternoon a week.