Miss Porter's School - Review #1

Read more details about Miss Porter's School on their 2018-19 profile page.
Miss Porter's School
5

About the Author:

College EnrolledBrown University
Home Town, State -, -
Years Attended Boarding School4
Activities During Boarding SchoolI was on the Varsity Tennis and Soccer teams and snowboarded after school in the winters. I also went abroad for a semester my junior year to Switzerland. I was the managing editor of my school newspaper, the head of the community service club, a delegate in Model UN in DC, a tour guide for four years, and a member of many other clubs.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Miss Porter's is not just an all girls school, it's a school where girls find out who they are and what they can achieve, particularly as women. You enter the school with a few interests and some talent, and you leave the school with passions and new-found abilities and confidence that will carry you through in the years to come. The school creates a small community where girls become the leaders and realize their full potential. Porter's not only gave me an incredible education, but it also gave me a confidence that I don't think I could have gotten anywhere else. The school environment at Porter's encourages students to want to challenge themselves- on the fields and courts, in the classroom, and in the community. I jumped into all sorts of activities and interests at Miss Porter's and found out that I could succeed at a lot of things and could even become a leader. The entire system at the school is designed to bring about this, for students head the disciplinary committees, school newspapers, clubs, and even voice their concerns in "town meeting", which are then brought to the attention of the head of school.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
In boarding school I really found what I was capable of, both in terms of actual abilities and motivation and drive to succeed. I started out being very shy and unsure of myself in all areas, but by the end I was head of clubs, taking almost all AP classes, and had great friends. I became really passionate about learning in high school and learned to set very high goals for myself, as well as how to achieve them. I definitely matured more than I would have if I had not gone to MPS because I learned so much about myself while at the school.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
If I could change one thing it would be to have been more outgoing when I first got to boarding school. Everyone is nervous at the beginning, but everyone is also excited to make new friends, so it really isn't worth being shy. Also, it's easy to fall into the trap of working too hard academically. I wish I had spent more time with my friends and less time in the library.
4.) What would you never want to change about your school?
The fact that Porter's is all girls gives it its character and is what allows it to educate girls so well, both in and out of the classroom. I don't think MPS would ever go co-ed because it is such a firm believer in the all girls education.
5.) What things could be improved about your school?
The school would probably be better if the workload were decreased a little bit. It would allow for a little more of a balance in girls' lives. It's hard enough being a "normal" teenager when at boarding school- having a little more down time would make it easier.
6.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
If the same chef is there- try the chocolate chip cookies, they're to die for!

Academics:

1.) What did you like best about your school’s academics?
The academics were extremely challenging, but at the same time, students could decide how much work they wanted to put into their classes. The material and classwork allowed for the possibility to spend 2 hours a week per class or 20 hours a week per class. In other words, the work was not "busy work", but rather, it was intellectually stimulating and interesting, so that if you wanted to put in the extra time and learn more, it was easy to do so, as well as encouraged. Going along with this was that the environment was not very competitive. GPA's were not advertised, no list of who was at the top of the class was formulated, and their was no ranking. The emphasis was on learning, not on grades.
2.) What did you like least about the academics in your school?
For those of us who did put a lot of time into our classes, the work was exhausting. I did more academic work in high school than I do in college.

Athletics:

1.) What did you like best about your school’s athletics?
There was a wide range of sports to choose from and many different levels so that people who had never played a sport could pick it up when they got to high school. This encouraged a lot of my friends to play team sports for the first time in their life.
2.) What did you like least about the athletics in your school?
Some of the teams were not very competitive, such as the soccer team. However, it seems to go in cycles and some years MPS is very competitive. It really depends.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) What did you like best about your school’s art program?
The art teachers are wonderful! I am definitely not an artist but I tried studio art, pottery, and photography, and my teachers were all very enthusiastic and patient. Art classes were essentially seen as "fun periods" for me. I ended up taking a number of photography classes and really loved them.
2.) What did you like least about your school’s art program?
Nothing. Everyone seemed to be very happy with the arts.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) What did you like most about the extracurricular activities offered at your school?
The extracurricular activities varied greatly, from Model UN, to the ski club, to the environmental club. People are generally a part of a number of clubs and by their junior year become very interested in 1 or 2 clubs/issues and really delve into them. This allowed girls at Porter's to have impacts beyond the Farmington community that reached far off places like Afghanistan. One girl organized the making of scarfs that were sold to make money to open a school for women in Afghanistan.
2.) What did you like least about the extracurricular activities offered at your school?
Sometimes people might have been a little too stressed with school work to put maximum effort into their clubs, but that's probably to be expected anywhere.

Dorm Life:

1.) What was the best thing about dorm life in your school?
Dorms become like families. Everyone becomes very close and has a lot of fun together. Some of my best friends were people I met from being in my dorm by chance. The dorms essentially provided another opportutnity to make friends outside of your normal group of friends. This added to the community feeling of the school.
2.) What did you like least about dorm life?
Lights out on the weekdays was sometimes an issue as a freshman and sophomore, but it was probably good for me.

Dining:

1.) What was the best thing about your dining arrangements?
There were a lot of options- salad bar, pasta bar, sandwiches, etc. The dessert bar especially was the best. I think a lot of us owed some extra weight to that one.
2.) What did you like least about your dining arrangements?
Sit down dinners held two times a week for 45 minutes were somtimes not very fun, especially when you have been going nonstop since 7am to class and practices. However, they were a nice time to relax, and get to know new people and faculty at your assigned table.

Social and Town Life:

1.) How welcome did you feel by the other students when you first arrived at the school
When students first arrive, they are greeted by their "old girl", a senior who has been matched up to them based on similarities. Having an old girl is a great way to start school because she is there to help introduce you to people and make you feel like you're not alone the instant you get there. The school is very friendly, so if you want to make friends and make some effort to do so, you'll have no problem.
2.) Describe the level of diversity and integration of students in your school:
Looking back, MPS was actually very diverse and integrated. My friends at MPS were from Africa, Saudi Arabia, England, Arkansas, and were of all sorts of races. Sometimes people of the same race grouped together but there was no real dividing line and in general, everyone was very well integrated. When I got to college I was surprised at how much less diversity there was than I had seen at MPS.
3.) Describe typical fun activities you did on a weekend:
Ski trips, dances with boys' schools, renting movies, going to the movies, going to day students' houses, etc.
4.) What was the town like?
It's about a 10 minute walk to Starbuck's, a pizza place, CVS, and a grocery store and that's mostly where sudents went on the weekdays. On the weekends, Avon Old Farms (our brother school), the mall, and the movies were all close by.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:00 AMWake up
7:30 AMBreakfast
7:45 AMAP Biology
8:30 AMAP European History
8:30 AMAP European History extended period
10:15 AMMorning Meeting
10:45 AMAP Spanish Literature
11:30 AMLunch/ Free Period
1:00 PMEnglish
2:00 PMAdvanced Projects Photography
3:00 PMFree Period
3:30 PMVarsity Soccer Practice
5:45 PMDinner
6:30 PMStudent Newspaper Editors Meeting
7:30 PMStudy Hall
10:00 PMCurfew
12:00 PMSleep
Weekend
9:00 AMWake up
10:00 AMBreakfast
11:00 AMHang out with friends
1:00 PMSoccer Game
4:30 PMTake pictures for Photo Class
5:30 PMDinner
9:00 PMDance with Avon, Salisbury
12:00 PMWatch a movie with friends in the dorm
2:00 AMSleep
Read more details about Miss Porter's School on their 2018-19 profile page.

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