St. George's School - Review #4

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About the Author:

College Enrolled Smith College
Home Town, State (Country) Cape Cod, MA
Years Attended Boarding School 3
Activities During Boarding School Choir, girl's acapella, drama, multi-cultural club, international students organization, dance, literary magazine, newspaper, tennis (JV captain), community service.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
The faculty at SG really expect a lot from their students, and although the school may not be considered a 'top-tier' by some, I feel that the academics are challenging and prepare students of various aptitudes extremely well for college. The quality of life at SG is unparalleled. Not only is the campus beautiful (amazing views, beautiful architecture, etc.) but the location itself is amazing. Rhode Island is a gorgeous state and everything you need is easily accessible (shops, restaurants, movies, beaches, etc). Students from New England, in particular, will love the location because it is close enough to pretty much everywhere (Cape Cod, Boston, NYC, Providence, etc.) and it is easy to get around (cabs, trains, airport in Providence). This way, you feel like you're just far enough away from home.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I am a more mature, outgoing, open-minded, multi-faceted person as a result of having gone to SG. I found that my experiences at SG not only contributed largely to who I am today but also helped shape me into a better student overall. I am so much more academic and even FEEL more intelligent by virtue of having gone to school at SG. I was a mediocre student in high school but have gone on to achieve great academic success in college and grad school, and I can't help but attribute much of that to the skills I learned at St. George's.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Be aware that many aspects of boarding school life are no different than at any other school you would attend. Kids are still kids, and there were and will always be issues with social standing/popularity, drugs/alcohol, peer pressure, etc. No school is perfect or immune from these things.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Location, campus, diversity of student body (although it could have been much, much better), amount of international students, size of student body, academics (partic. English, foreign languages and theology). One of the best things about coming to SG is that each year, the more priveliges you receive and the more you are treated like an adult (just like -hopefully - at home or in the outside world).
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Don't do the laundry service unless you are willing to have things lost/ruined. Be prepared for very iffy food. Order food from Subway, Pizza Hollywood, Via Via. Experience Newport as much as possible because you will miss it when you leave. Have a blast during the Spring semester -- it's the best time to be at SG. Take advantage of the beaches as much as possible. Use your free time wisely! Try to branch out in your friendships and not limit yourself to the same group of people 24/7. Appreciate and take advantage of your alone time (i.e. showers, walks, etc.) because you won't get a lot of it and it is easy to overload on being around your classmates day in and day out.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I always felt challenged in the classroom, even in subjects at which I excelled. Having come from a public school before coming to SG, I noticed right away that teachers at the school really care about their students. They want them to succeed and to be curious about learning. Slacking off, procrastination and being unprepared were completely unacceptable, and although I might have resented it at the time, I appreciate this strictness as an adult. I learned more about self-discipline and respect for learning/educators from SG than from any other institution I have attended and it has made me the contientious, hard working person I am today. I credit all of that to SG, and I am thankful that I was so well prepared for college.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Athletics were very strongly emphasized when I was at SG. Although athletically we were not as strong as many other schools in the ISL, I often felt as though the emphasis on sports was too strong. Those who were not athletically gifted or who were not interested in sports were often left behind in the shuffle or made to feel guilty. I often felt as though many coaches expected their teams to concentrate more on sports than on academics or extracurriculars, and this bothered me very much. I disliked the fact that sports were always mandatory, because although I understand and respect the importance of sports and excercise, I think kids need other outlets as well. I think I would have felt better about the athletics situation if there had been more non-traditonal sports/excercise options available at the time such as riding, ballet, aerobics, kickboxing, yoga, etc. Don't be fooled -- SG is no different from any other school in that the better you are at sports, the more attention you will undoubtedly receive (both from teachers and from students).

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
SG has made numerous improvements to their arts program since I graduated, and I think it has added a wonderful new dimension to the school. Yet even when I was there, participating in the arts (mainly in singing) was the greatest experience. When I look back at my SG days, I have more fond memories about choir and singing than about anything else, and it is something that I carry to this day.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There were many extracurricular activities available, which was great. It was also fairly easy to begin a new club or organization. I found that my closest friends came from the organizations I belonged to more so even than from simply living with people or being in class with them. I suppose my only complaint about the extracurricular activities would be that our days and nights were so busy with everything else that there often seemed little time left to devote to them. Perhaps if sports were a little less emphasized than they are...

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I liked the amount of freedom we had in selecting roomates and dorms. Although I had several bad roommate experiences, it wasn't the school's fault, and problems were very quickly dealt with by the faculty. I liked the fact that if the need arose for someone to change roommates or dorms, it was possible to do so. Dorms were also a great way to meet people and hang out with kids I might never have interacted with otherwise.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Dining was not a pleasurable experience, for the most part. I felt that the food got increasingly bad as the years went on and by senior year I was completely tired of everything. But there was always the option to order food (pizza, subs, Chinese, etc.) for dinner if you didn't like what was being served. The kitchen did really well at breakfast/brunch, soups, salads, and desserts.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Everything we needed was close at hand even for boarders. Food, CVS, shops, movies, etc. However, if you needed to get into Newport, you had to time yourself accordingly (either take a cab or make sure you had enough time to walk there and back). There were also options for trips to Boston, Providence and NYC on weekends.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
My own social life, as I mentioned above, was a work in progress. I arrived as a sophomore and initially felt awkward because so many kids seemed to already know each other and have previously formed friendships. But I made great friends during my three years -- mainly from dorm life and from extracurricular activities. I also had a few upperclass friends who I also met through the dorms and I liked that -- it added a new dimension to my social life. Even though SG isn't the most diverse school ($-wise, racially/ethnically), I most enjoyed being able to meet and make friends with people from different backgrounds. That added a fabulous dimension to my life that has stayed with me throughout college and beyond. I feel I am more interested in and appreciative of other people's differences because of my SG experience.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:30 AMBreakfast
8:00 AMSpanish
9:00 AMEnglish
10:00 AMAssembly
11:00 AMFree Period
12:00 AMLunch
1:00 PMTheology
2:00 PMScience
3:00 PMMath
4:00 PMsports practice
5:30 PMdinner
6:30 PMstudy hall
9:30 PMfree time
10:15 PMback to dorms
10:45 PMBed
Weekend
7:30 AMbreakfast
8:00 AMEnglish
9:00 AMSpanish
10:00 AMFree Period
11:00 AMHistory
12:00 AMlunch
1:30 PMHome or away game
5:30 PMback from game
6:00 PMdinner -- usually in Newport
10:30 PMcurfew
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