The Top Five Ways in Which a Student Will Emotionally Mature at a Prep School. Part 4 of 5.

This is the fourth post in a series which will address the reasons why a basketball player should consider attending a prep school for a post graduate year.  The goal of these articles is to provide information which will help one better understand their options. You can see the previous three posts here. This article will focus on the five benefits of emotional maturing at a prep school.

1) Homesickness: Leaving home for the first time will cause homesickness in a majority of students.  Once this happens it is done.  When a student graduates from a prep school onto a college campus they hit the ground running whereas their fellow first year classmates and teammates are experiencing the homesickness bug for the first time.

2) Self-Discipline: Once a student is on their own at a prep school and away from their parents, they have to be able to self-motivate.  Finishing homework, writing papers and studying for tests will all be up to the student to complete.  If not, there might be a dip in grades during the first semester.  Yet once the prep school schedule and daily flow is fully realized and academic support is sought out, most students will fall into a successful rhythm.  Achieving this without a parent’s assistance will give the student a new found confidence.

3) Home Life: Leaving home is a lifesaver for certain prep school students.  I have worked with some families whose home environment was toxic.  It can be drugs, mental health issues, or an unsafe neighborhood.  It can also be a student running with the wrong crowd.  Removing a student from this setting, and enrolling them in a supportive and nurturing environment of the right fitting prep school will give them a chance to overcome these unfortunate circumstances.

4) Life Skills: After a few days in a prep school dorm room a pile of dirty laundry will start to accumulate.  A student will need to quickly learn how to do his laundry for the first time.  Learning how to clean clothes as well as go shopping for essential supplies and making their own ramen noodles/mac and cheese will help enhance their independence.

5) New Peers: At a prep school the student body will consist of students from multiple states and countries, who come from different ethnic, financial and religious backgrounds.  If a student has only been around one culture during his life prior to prep school then he will have the opportunity to gain new friends and learn about cultures other than his own.

I completed a post grad year and experienced many of the benefits mentioned above.  I was homesick, but since I was at a military prep school I was too busy with basic training to have time to be depressed.  It actually hit me harder during a basketball road trip in January.  Once I recovered from that bout I didn’t experience it again in my college career.

I personally was self-motivated to do schoolwork since first grade so this transition was not a challenge for me.  I got a crash course in laundry before I left for school.  Use cold water for everything was a life lesson that saved me from ruining too many clothes!  I am grateful too that I didn’t have to leave a toxic environment.

One of the biggest gains of prep school was meeting some of my best friends.  Two of my four groomsmen in my wedding were from prep school.  The first person I met at basic training was my roommate Lawrence “Yaz” Yazzie.  Yaz was a basketball recruit like me, but was also a Navajo from Arizona.  I had never met a Navajo from Arizona before, and I was the first Catholic and Kentuckian he had met.  We spent most of the first night talking and asking each other questions about each other’s life.  We both bonded over our shared love of basketball even being from different parts of the country.  I have other prep school friends who now live all over the world.  When I visit a US city or foreign country I reach out to see if anyone I know lives there.  It is a prep school benefit that is not talked about enough.  Meeting these fellow preppies of mine from all over the United States definitely helped me mature at a much faster rate.



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