Written by Mr Rogers, Head of Boarding


“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”

This quote is taken from Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.  The book, written in 1952, follows an American man’s life as he battles to reach the ‘American Dream’. America celebrates Independence, a celebration of freedom. In a microcosm, boarding life in central London can provide the same opportunity for students to live their own ‘American Dream’.

Independence benefits all aspects of life and assists in maintaining holistic well-being in all individuals. Independence can boost confidence and aid in decision making, no matter how big or small a decision it is. This in turn reduces stress and raises self-value and self-worth. From this position, an individual’s self-efficacy can be raised to feel that they are valued as an individual within a community and have confidence to be themselves, not someone society expects them to be.

Independence is not something that is simply given and received. To benefit from its value, independence needs to be experienced and boarding provides the perfect framework to safely find out what works for each individual. Too much independence can be seen as isolation whilst too little can be feel suffocating. Life in Princess Beatrice House has a routine; within that routine students have the chance to shape their own habits. Our dedicated pastoral staff will work with the students to help manage their time and identify what works best for each student. The common room is a great environment for independence to thrive. Sharing different perspectives in conversation and having the confidence to meet new people from all corners of the globe are all tell-tale signs of a healthy independent mind. When it comes to academic work, the capacity to be independently driven is vital. For some this drive is innate, for others, it is learnt. Whichever a student is, boarding can either feed good habits or help to instill new ones. Central London has independence in abundance. Food, fashion, sport and music are just some of the areas for inspiration that our current students spend their personal time following. 

Learning your own independence is a journey- not a destination and boarding life at Princess Beatrice House is the perfect place to start walking.