Opinion & Commentary

Comparing Boarding Schools

By Peter Murphy ’24

When I was 14 years old, I was sent to Rumsey Hall School in Washington Depot, CT mid-year.  The first day I arrived, I was terrified of what lay ahead for me. Like many other students during the pandemic, I lost my school experience and missed out on so much of what Rumsey had to offer. I attended online classes at my house until the school invited students to come back. 

Everything was very closed off and restricted. We all had to quarantine in our dorms for more than one week in the beginning of the school year. Co-curriculars were not allowed to have games against other schools and you had to wear a mask wherever you went at all times. We would have to receive food in boxes and were confined to the four walls of our rooms. I then would finish school in a less restricted state a couple months later and graduated from Rumsey Hall. After a long and hard application process, I eventually got accepted into the Frederick Gunn School which would be my final choice to settle down for the next three years. 

This was a very hard move for me because I would leave the place that I had only known for a limited amount of time because of COVID. The first day I arrived at Frederick Gunn, I felt the same as I did when I arrived at Rumsey. As I was unpacking my things, my spirits were raised as I saw some of my Rumsey Hall friends and quickly got introduced to the people around me. 

What I realise as I continue to learn and live here at Frederick Gunn, is that I see a very big difference in each respectable school program. For instance, Rumsey was a junior boarding school which is a school for grades K-9, while here it is 9-12. Rumsey was also a very small school with a very warm atmosphere. What I love about Frederick Gunn is that it keeps that same atmosphere inside of the school. The sense of community is embedded into our everyday school life and it shows when we have different gatherings, games, and activities. The differences are very apparent to me. Everything goes so much faster and the work is a lot more challenging. The campuses are completely different from each other as well. The biggest part is the wide range in age. Coming from a school only being surrounded by younger kids, it is almost odd to see seniors who will soon be going to college attending the same school as me. Although that might sound right, this was a huge step up from Rumsey. Always being seen as the older kid by others was something that I was told to embrace at Rumsey, but that was more or less stripped away from me as I got to Gunn. I may be a sophomore right now, but as time goes by, I’ll be the senior one day thinking back to my freshman and sophomore year and how I looked up to the person that I am in that present day.

Photo Curtesy of Rumsey
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