William Rich was a conflicted eighth grader, not sure whether or not to leave his family to go to boarding school, or stay and eventually have to change schools. Rich faced this conundrum now, but his internal argument began at a very young age. Will Rich is currently an 11th grader at Woodberry Forest, a boarding school in Virginia.
When Rich was in eighth grade, he made an interesting decision on his own to go to boarding school. Since first grade Rich has wanted to go to boarding school, it started because he had a fifth grade buddy who ended up going to Woodberry, and Rich said in an interview with The Charger, “I originally wanted to go to Boarding School because I thought it was cool,” he laughs because, “ Woodbury is an all-boys boarding school, but it has its benefits”.
Boarding school for sure has its benefits, “Boarding school made me such a mature person, I am so much more prepared for college, and life now.” According to Will getting into college from Woodberry is easier too, but mainly he said,” by me going to boarding school the transition from here to college will be nothing.” Another benefit to boarding school is the strong alumni network, he said it's the biggest benefit when it comes to going to boarding school and getting a job.
Rich with his cross country team (pictured second to last on the right in the first row) photo courtesy of Anna Rich
When Rich was asked why most kids are at boarding school he said, ”A good amount of kids are here because of their parents forced them to, at first, but a lot of kids end up liking it better than their previous school.” This quote made his decision to go on his own even more interesting, why would somebody opt to leave their family for the rest of their high school years. Rich said his case was different,” my dad hasn't really lived with us, for three years so I was used to being without him, but being away from my mom, and brother were hard, but I mostly just felt bad for them.”
Rich’s dad works in New York City, and after Will’s little brother Henry was going to graduate eighth grade at Providence Day, his whole family was moving to New York. Henry is two years younger than Will so when the family would move Will would be going into 11th grade. Going into a new school Junior year in New York City would definitely have been to especially for someone like Rich, “I am not going to lie, I will talk to anybody, but even I know I am a hard person to like.”
“Going into a school in eighth grade is a lot easier than 11th because by then you pretty much already have your friend group”. Rich was on the fence about boarding school for the most part before knowing his family would be moving to New York, but when he found out it was, “the nail in the coffin”. Going to Woodberry at this point was an easy decision to make for Will and his family.
Photo courtesy of Woodberry forest
While Rich seems to love boarding school, but it is not all great, and when asking him about the negative aspects of an all-boys boarding school he was reluctant to commit to being totally against some of the negatives; he always stated the bad with the good.”Not having girls at the school is annoying, but it creates a loose environment, and you do not really have to care what you look like.” Also,” Being away from my family sucks, but when I am home they are a lot more willing to do stuff for my and get me things.” Boarding school can not be all great, and to most people Saturday classes seem horrible, but according to Rich, “I actually kinda love the Saturday classes, I mean it is kind of annoying, but it means we get way longer breaks.”
Rich’s decision got confusing when he started to talk about being away from home more than half of the year and Saturday classes. But all in all William Rich is definitely at peace with his decision, and definitely thinks that going to Woodberry is going to help him later in life more than any alternative option.