Why We Love Purnell




Real students. Real answers. This is the real Purnell.

Okay, so you may already know, Purnell is an awesome place -- an all-girls boarding and day school where students of all learning styles can come and grow into confident, successful learners.

But now you may be thinking, okay, yeah, that all sounds good, but what is it actually like to be there?

Well, seven of us who live and learn and sleep and eat and play at Purnell each day are ready for your questions.


Q: How easily will I fit in at Purnell?


Fitting in at Purnell isn't hard because it's such a small school. We're this small community, like a cool family. Everyone is very warm and friendly. There is a lot of support here. Best of all, it is so easy to make friends.

girls at Purnell School


Living away from home, you learn a lot about responsibility. You're taking care of yourself, cleaning up after yourself, managing your time, doing your own laundry. It gives you a lot of skills you'll need later on in life. It makes you proud of yourself.





It takes time. At first, it's a little weird and different, but you quickly make great, new friends. You become part of this beautiful community that is a very special place -- and you love it!




When I first arrived at Purnell, I had no problem making friends. I just clicked with my class because even though we're all different, with our unique personalities and views on life, we have some similarities. It's just great being a part of the community.


Q: What's it like living at an all-girls boarding school?


Living away from home, you learn a lot of responsibility. You're taking care of yourself, cleaning up after yourself, managing your time, doing your own laundry. It gives you a lot of skills you'll need later on in life. It makes you proud of yourself.



Boarding gives you a sense of independence -- and pride. You see yourself maturing and developing as a person. And your parents see it when you go back home. It prepares you for college. You're not as sheltered, but you do have a support system here, so you're never alone.




I was one of those who had never done her laundry before! At Purnell, I have to do little things like that for myself. That is why I came to boarding school because I wanted to be more independent. I'm thankful that I did because I am becoming more responsible and confident every day.


Q: Are there things to do at Purnell?


There are so many choices of things to do at Purnell -- from the arts to sports, to different electives and activities each day. It's a great opportunity to become your best at what you like, or to try something new and different. It helps you develop yourself. It makes you more open to life.


With all the many activities at Purnell, there are also a lot of leadership opportunities -- whether it's student council, a student club, a sports team, or a service project. You have the chance to share your voice, to speak in front of people, which is an important skill to take into the world.



This year I took a guitar class, and I was so nervous. I had never picked up a guitar before. I wasn't sure if I could do it, but my teacher was so supportive. She really inspired me to work hard. Now, I feel very confident about my playing -- I've even performed in front of the school! I developed skills and a passion for the instrument -- and I owe that to Purnell.


Mia playing the guitar

Q: What is life in the dorm like?


I live in a triple with my two roommates, and it's great. We laugh, we joke, we support each other. It's so much fun spending time together, and it helps to have someone to confide in when you're stressed out. Special bonds develop between roommates. It's a great way to make really close friends.


Having a roommate, someone who lives with you, who's always there for you, is awesome. Living in the dorm is special. Hanging out in each other's rooms, sharing how our days are going, watching TV shows, planning our weekends -- these are great times and great memories.


We have study halls Monday through Thursday and Sunday night, from 7 to 8:30 -- an hour and a half. It gives you that needed time to study and do your homework. Without it, I don't know that I would be nearly as focused. It instills an important habit -- managing your time -- that will definitely help you succeed in college.

Q: What's the food like?


I'm a very picky eater. But even if you're picky, or if you have allergies, or you have special diet needs, there's always something for you to eat -- and it's delicious!




We're able to eat foods from many different cultures -- Mexican, Chinese, Italian, and others. It's fun trying different foods. I like the chicken and pasta bar -- and we have great desserts!



There's a lot of variety -- vegetarian, vegan, everything you would want. And, you can always make suggestions for different meals. Most girls are healthy here, which is good. So everything is very fresh; it's a very healthy diet. Plus, you can stop in anytime for tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or maybe an apple or banana.


Q: What is there to do on weekends?


On weekends, sometimes it's nice just to chill. You can hang out in your friends' rooms. You can watch TV in the lounges. You can relax on the swings by the pond. And then, there are always mall trips -- after all, it's a girl's school!




Weekends are always fun. You can hang out with your friends, or you can go on trips. One of my favorite things about Purnell is, if you want to do something specific, you can just send a quick email, and it can happen. I remember last year I needed a mirror, sent an email, and all of a sudden we had a Target trip!

New York City Birdseye view


On the weekends, we have lots of trips. It might be to the supermarket, or the movies, or the mall. We have trips to NYC where we see Broadway plays; we have an upcoming trip to see an opera! We take trips to Philly. We go to boy's schools for dances. There's always somewhere to go, something to do.

Q: Do you ever see boys?


Being someone who came from a coed school, I was very nervous about the all-girls situation. But when you're at Purnell, you're working hard, you're having fun, you're making memories. There are so many things going on; you hardly notice that there aren't boys.


We see boys at dances and events throughout the year. Recently, we had a community service weekend with a boy's school, where we had dinner and a hypnotist show. when we meet with boys, it's always fun. And you can always propose events with boys.


When you hear the term "all-girls school," you may think something is missing -- but that's not the case. There are plenty of occasions to meet boys, and it's always fun, but because we're such a close-knit family we're not always thinking about boys, boys, boys.

Want to learn more about Purnell? Contact our Admissions team!

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