Student Life

Students at GSSM are provided with an unrivaled residential experience.

Your Best Memories Are Made Here

Who knew living at school could be so fun?

Living at GSSM is a lot like living on a small college campus. You'll meet people from all over the state and around the world. Most of them share your passions and will be some of the best friends you'll ever make. Alumni say it over and over, the friends they make at GSSM are their some of their life long best friends.

The Residential Experience

Living on campus provides students the opportunity to create lifelong friendships with individuals from all over South Carolina. GSSM students have the opportunity to eat meals, hang out and live with friends in a family-like atmosphere.

Houses of GSSM

The Denny W. Neilson Residence Hall provides comfortable living suites, study lounges, and recreational lounges for female students. These facilities are available to male students James D. Daniels Residence Hall.

Each floor in the residence hall represents a House, rooted in the centuries-old model of English boarding schools. The House System creates a family-like atmosphere on the halls and develops strong community values and a sense of belonging. A student's House becomes a point of pride through healthy competition throughout the year and especially during Spirit Week.

The GSSM community is governed by the following values we call Our Civitas: Accountability, Commitment, Compassion, Fairness, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Safety, Trust, and Wellness. GSSM student leaders play a significant role in the operations of each house.

Campus Life Team

The Campus Life staff members are responsible for managing the residence hall and providing guidance and support to GSSM students, particularly in the areas of character and community development.

The Residence Life Coordinators (RLCs) are professional, full-time staff members with a master or bachelor degree, who live in the residence hall. The RLCs supervise two Resident Assistants (RAs) who also live on their floors. RAs are local college students who are chosen for their maturity, leadership, communication skills, and interest in working with teenagers. Staff members plan hall activities, assist in enforcing guidelines, and act as liaisons between the students and staff.

Campus Life and Student Engagement staff members create activities, programs, and trips that create educationally meaningful experiences outside of the classrooms. These experiences are also fun and relaxing.

Daily Schedule

A hot breakfast is available from 7:30-8:30 a.m., with cereal, fruit and drinks available all day long. Students attend class between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Because courses operate on a college model, students may have free time between classes during the day. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Most students have dinner from 5-6 p.m. After dinner, students have club meetings, play sports, play music or just relax by watching TV, playing pool or video games until QUEST begins at 8 p.m.

From 8-10 p.m. on school nights, GSSM students QUEST—which stands for Quality, Uninterrupted, Enforced Study Time. During QUEST, the entire school is devoted to silent study, with the exception of the dining hall where students may study in groups.

From 10-10:30 p.m., there's "happy half" when all male and female students mingle and socialize one last time for the day. At 10:30 p.m., all students return to their rooms and then relax and wind down until “lights out” at midnight.

Weekends are more laid back with no QUEST or lights out.  GSSM students spend the weekend mornings sleeping in and the rest of the day studying, doing laundry, going on trips, going home to visit their family or just relaxing.

Dining Services

Our dining hall serves three homemade meals a day. Our chefs take great pride in the food they serve and are happy to work with students who have allergies or food sensitivities. The dining hall has a hot food bar with new options every day, a salad bar, a sandwich station, desserts and drinks.

Campus Safety

The security team is on duty 24 hours a day. Our Public Safety personnel, including certified Law Enforcement Officers, make rounds inside and outside the Campus to help ensure the safety of GSSM students. Other systems for safety include GSSM's keycard swipe system to help ensure access control for visitors, cameras, fire safety and other emergency procedures. Security officers, staff and students are trained in emergency procedures to include responses to fires, tornadoes, other threats and power outages.

Our Town

Hartsville is a small town that will surprise you. We love our vibrant community and think you will too. The downtown, full of restaurants, coffee-houses, and shopping, is practically our backyard. Each year, festivals, block parties, and outdoor markets are popular destinations among GSSM students.

Visit Hartsville

Fun & Games

There are dozens of clubs, groups and competitive teams at GSSM. If you're into cooking, video games, personal fitness, or even frisbee golf, we've got you. If you can’t find a club that suits you, just make your own! You're sure to find someone here who shares your interest.

Explore Clubs & Activities 


Believe it or not, students who excel in the classroom often excel on the athletic field too. GSSM has 14 varsity athletic teams and dozens of regional and state championships. We play smart, we play hard, and we Protect Our Nest. All of our teams are no-cut. If you do the work, you get to play... simple as that. We also have fun with intramurals and, at GSSM, Chess is a full-contact sport. 

Learn About GSSM Athletics

Leadership Opportunities

You're already a leader and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to shine at GSSM. Students develop leadership skills through student government, running a club, or becoming a GSSM ambassador.

All clubs and societies are "student driven," meaning that every student at GSSM can be a leader in some way. You may choose to initiate a new club, serve as an officer, be an active member, participate in student council meetings, or become a natural helper or ambassador. There is something for everyone!


GSSM Ambassadors represent the school in many ways including public relations, tours and special events.

Ambassadors speak with parents and students during orientation in May, help the Admissions office when needed, serve as role models for prospective students, guide campus tours for interested students and parents, and assist with GSSM's Preview Days in the fall and winter.

Ambassadors are selected each year in the spring.

Natural Helpers

Natural Helpers are the "front line" when it comes to assisting the Guidance and Residence Life staffs in meeting the physical, emotional and psychological needs of our students. They serve as peer counselors and role models. They are nominated by their peers and carefully selected by a committee of staff and faculty.

A Natural Helper is a facilitator developing a relationship with his or her peers, helping to solve problems, and guiding new students in their adjustment to the GSSM environment. The mission of a Natural Helper is to instill a "sense of belonging" in new students. They help new students adjust to the academic and social transition from their home high school to life at GSSM and to provide assistance to any student in need. Natural Helpers are selected each year in the spring.

Some students choose to get very involved in Residence Life activities and take on a more informal (but very important) role by assisting the Residence Life staff with programming ideas and maintaining a safe, comfortable, clean residence hall environment that is also conducive to studying. These student leaders may also help create an educational bulletin board, call a floor meeting to discuss a concern or just rally the floor together to perform a community service project.

Student Activity Board

The Student Activity Board (SAB) is made up of two members of the Student Council and six members elected from the student body at-large. SAB is responsible for planning Homegoing Week, Winter Formal, Prom, other campus wide events, and off-campus trips to Carowinds, Myrtle Beach, Frankie's Fun Park, the Highland Games and Medieval Times. They help plan, advertise, set up and clean up for these activities. The SAB is advised by a Residence Life Coordinator.

Student Council

Student Council represents the viewpoints of the student body and brings ideas, concerns and suggestions to the faculty and administration.

The GSSM Student Council was created to maintain a strong relationship between faculty and student body; to maintain high standards of cooperation, loyalty and school spirit; to help students prepare for adult life and citizenship; to encourage all worthwhile activities in the school; and to continue to improve the quality of life at the school.

The student council represents the ideas, wishes and attitudes of the student body and conveys these to the faculty. The student council is focused on creating a bridge between faculty and students for ease of communication and to provide a mechanism by which to improve the quality of life at GSSM.

The student council consists of eight seniors and six juniors.

Orientation Leaders

GSSM Orientation Leaders assist incoming juniors and their families in their transition to the campus community during their initial days at GSSM. They play a vital role in New Student and Family Orientation in May and the New Student Transition Welcome Week Programs in August. They work closely with incoming students on a wide variety of topics that encompass campus and academic life.

To be considered for this leadership position, students complete an application that reflects their desire to serve in this capacity and they are selected based on the quality of their applications and specific criteria.

House Captains

The residence hall at GSSM is set up on the House System. Each house is led by a house captain. These residential leaders set an example for the other students in their House. House Captains embody the values, mission, and goals of the GSSM Community. They encourage and motivate fellow House members, work with Campus Life staff members to implement programs, assist with House operations and activities, encourage school spirit, and serve as a liaison between students and the Campus Life staff.

To be considered for this leadership position, students must be nominated by a faculty/staff member in order to receive an application for the position.