As an experienced traveller but first-time boarder, Form 6 pupil Mollie shares how she’s settled in at Oakham School in the latest interview in The Boarding Bios series.
Originally from the UK, Mollie’s family move around a lot for work so she sought the stability of boarding at Oakham School to complete her Upper School years.
Mollie joined the School this year when her family moved from Thailand back to the UK.
“My family moves around quite a bit because of my dad’s work so I’ve always found myself living in different countries.”
“I was most recently at an international school in Thailand, which was great and I really enjoyed it, but when my family said they were moving again I knew I wanted to come back to the UK and stay here more permanently.”
“I feel like I can’t really compare Oakham to Thailand, because they’re both so different from each other but are both so good in their own ways. I will say that I definitely miss England whenever we’re living somewhere else though; it will always feel like home to me.”
“Comparing Oakham to my previous school I think I always feel like I’m included when I’m here and I’ve met some really good friends already. Because I live with my friends here I’ve become so much closer to them and they become like your siblings which is really nice. You make much better bonds with people when you’re a boarder.”
Mollie was nervous to board at school as it’s not something she’d thought about before.
“I definitely felt nervous coming here, because it was something that was unknown to me, but I wanted to do it. I was the one who told my parents I wanted to go to boarding school and they were the ones who weren’t too sure about it at first.”
“I didn’t really know that much about boarding before I came to Oakham and I didn’t have any expectations; I just wanted to see what it was like for myself.”
“My family are about to move to Prague and I guess I didn’t really want to go there; I knew I’d much rather stay in England.”
At a vital time in her education, Mollie has found a home away from home at Oakham.
“As I’m in the senior stage of my school education, I knew that this was a really important time to be focusing on my school work and for me it made sense that I would stay in one place to do that and have this stability.”
“I feel like Oakham School really supports me and I’ve made myself at home here in the short amount of time I’ve been at School.”
“My friends and I laugh because when we’re out and about we’ll always say that we’re going to head home soon and we really mean we’re going back to our House. It’s great that we’re all so comfortable here.”
Despite its 70-acre campus, Mollie enjoys how well connected the School is.
“I like how close I am to my friends here and I like that our Boarding House is really close to everything else at the School, so I’m never too far away from anything.”
“I’m also never too far away from my teachers; I can always go and see them if I need anything and some of them are tutors in our House, so you never feel like you’re not being supported.”
With so many activities to choose from, Mollie makes sure she has time to experience the things she loves.
“Inside and outside of the School I really enjoy playing football and I play for our local team. I also like going to the School gym and it’s good that we have a Strength and Conditioning Coach to help us improve our fitness.”
“On top of this, I’m also learning Sign Language as my School Activity and I’m part of the Voluntary Action team which works with disabled children in Rutland.”
“It’s been really interesting to learn Sign Language and whilst I’m not 100% confident in using this yet, I’m slowly getting there and it’s a great activity to be involved in.”
“There are so many different activities that you can sign up for and if you want to try something or get involved in a new opportunity you definitely can here.”
As well as activities in the School, Mollie and her friends enjoy the charm of Oakham and its surrounding areas.
“As a House we usually go to the School’s dining hall for brunch on Sundays or we’ll go out to a café in Oakham instead. We love to go to new places and try new things in the area.”
“I didn’t really know much about Oakham at all before coming here but I really like it. I like how the town centre is quite small and you can walk anywhere.”
“I think that being at School six days a week can be a lot though, so it’s nice that we have places we can go when we need a break. My sister lives in Loughborough and I sometimes go and see her on Sundays, which is really nice.”
Keeping in touch with her family is still a high priority in Mollie’s life.
“I call or FaceTime my parents every day and it’s nice to keep in contact with them as much as I do and feel connected to them.”
“Coming here, I didn’t think I would get homesick at all but sometimes I do slightly, but I know that I get to see them regularly so that’s always comforting.”
“Knowing that my friends are always there for me is really good too because they’re literally like, two steps away from me and it’s always so nice to talk to them.”
Mollie’s new home away from home is seeing her make friendships for life.
“One of my favourite things about the Boarding House I’m in is the kitchen. Our whole House has Supper Club on a Thursday night where we all hang out in the kitchen and cook dinner together and it’s such a nice time for us all. It’s really comforting and it’s nice to share a meal that we’ve all prepared together.”
“In the short time that I’ve been at the School I’ve already made friends for life. Whether you want to spend the evening as a House or you want some time on your own after a busy day, your friends are always there for you, and we have a mutual understanding and respect for each other.”
Find out more about Boarding at Oakham School.