3 Common Prep School Problems And How To Handle Them

Life at a preparatory school can be challenging academically and socially as you get used to your teachers, meet and make new friends, and start digging into your school subjects.  There are often other problems to deal with that are unique to prep schools. Fortunately, some of these challenges are quite common and are easily solved by you or with the help of a dorm parent or counselor.

Your Clothes Get Stained or Dirty

If you dropped ketchup on your favorite jeans or spilled soda on your shirt, normally you could just hand the soiled item to your parent or housekeeper at home to launder and grab a new one to wear. Away from home at prep school, this might not be the case if you can only do laundry on certain days. You don't want to ruin your clothes by waiting and allowing the stain to set, so here's what you can do.

Keep a spray bottle of pre-laundry treatment in your dorm room for those laundry surprises. As soon as you can, rinse out the stain in water and spray it with your pre-treatment spray. Use cold water on protein based stains like dairy products, blood, eggs, deodorant and glue. Otherwise, use hot water for everything else including chocolate, coffee, oil-based spills, and water-based ink. This keeps the stain from setting in until laundry day rolls around.

A Bad Grade Really Bums You Out

Getting a bad grade on a test or other assignment can really stress you out. As long as this is not occurring consistently, let this moment be a teaching experience. Making mistakes in life are learning experiences, helping define who you are and how you handle disappointments. First, calm down and remind yourself that one bad grade won't ruin your academic career. Recount the points and make sure the score is accurate, and maybe compare your score with other students in the class. Maybe the teacher grades on a curve, or you discover several other students just as badly as you did.

Work on improving your knowledge of areas or concepts you got wrong, and learn to study more efficiently rather than just for longer periods of time. If necessary, talk to your teacher about getting extra help or consider hiring a tutor.

Feeling Homesick

If you're feeling homesick at first, this is normal. Up to 35% of first year students feel this way. Two good bits of news about being homesick at prep school are these:

  • Homesickness is only temporary
  • Prep school is a great place to meet people just like you

The best way to banish homesickness is to get out there and make new friends. All of your peers have so many things in common with you – they're about the same age, they're in the same boat as you, and they have a lot of common interests such as subject matter likes and dislikes. They are all your potential friends. Years later, you will discover that some of your best friends in life were those you met in school. Talk to them about your feelings; most likely they feel the same as you. Your school, one like Montessori Academies, probably has a lot of clubs where you can explore new hobbies and interests while meeting new people.