As told by Liana, Boarding student, aged 16 

Boarding is a time of growth. We begin our experience as young girls and grow into self-sufficient women. Beginning in Year 9, I have been challenged, I have learnt independence, time management and acceptance skills. Living amongst other adolescent girls has allowed me to grow and develop personally, where I have learnt how to enjoy the balance between socialisation and the need for my own private time.

I’m a boarder at MLC in Melbourne and share the boarding house with around one hundred other girls. In the boarding family, we form bonds that are inimitable. We come from all over Australia and the world, allowing us to make connections globally. We help each other to be the best version of ourselves.

Whether it be the friendly banter across the dinner-table, the supportive conversations in our common rooms or the spontaneous dance parties before study prep, the boarding house is a place of constant activity. Personally, the bonds I have formed with the girls have allowed me to feel supported during difficult times and I would never replace the opportunity to form these ties. It truly is a second family. We can all experience some bouts of homesickness, and journey through these times together, but boarding is an opportunity I would never replace for the world.

When I graduate, I know I will nostalgically look back on the movie nights or the surfing excursions, wistfully willing to experience it all again. Moving from regional Australia to a metropolitan city can seem frightening at first, however, you are never alone. As boarders we learn to navigate the public transport system and how to get around the city together. We’re also lucky enough to have a whole road of cafes, shops and even a cinema within a short walk from the school gates. We become independent, and the opportunity to have these adventures whilst surrounded by our friends is irreplaceable.

I will forever be grateful for this opportunity to grow and be supported by the other girls and staff, forming bonds that cannot be replicated. It truly is a home away from home. Our supportive environment is a safe place for us to feel loved and welcomed, with the staff always ensuring our safety and wellbeing.

This is a family that learn together, dance together, workout together, and support each other as equals. I feel valued as an MLC boarder, and I want to share this feeling with many more girls who may currently be thinking about the opportunities that await them. Boarding is an experience I will never forget, and I wouldn’t hesitate to invite other girls to join me and my boarding family!

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