Wayland Academy - Review #4
Reflections and Advice:
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Upon first arriving at Wayland, it does not take long before you realize the family atmosphere of this school. I think a big reason for this atmosphere is the small size of the school. Many of teachers, their children, and spouses eat three meals a day with all of the kids in the dinning hall. Many teachers live in the dorms with the students, and these teachers are always available to the students. Also, there seems to be very little class division at Wayland; freshman eat dinner with seniors and such. What also attracted me to Wayland was the academics. They offer multiple AP and honors courses, and help to tailor your schedule to your needs. Many of the teachers will also go out of their way to allow you to take an independent study if their class does not fit in your schedule, or if a subject you are really interested in is not offered. Basically, all the teachers and many of the upperclassmen are there to help you with whatever you need.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I just feel like going to Wayland was the best decision I made. It made me grow up quicker and become very responsible at a young age. I also learned how to work with others, and be okay with who I am. I gained many great friends and a lot of confidence in myself. Well, plus I received an amazing education and worked very hard academically. I can't really pick a best thing that happened, because I enjoyed too much of it.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would have been a little more outgoing upon first arriving. Basically, just remember that everyone else is going through this transition at the same time. Look on the positive side of everything, and don't wish the years away. They go by quickly, enjoy them before it is too late. Make friends, take risks, get involved, just enjoy these years!
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Overall, I really enjoyed the family atmosphere at Wayland. This is not just a high school it is a life. You don't leave here everyday to go home. This becomes your home. I just really enjoyed the individuals and teachers I spent the last four years with. I enjoyed getting involved in the school, being constantly busy, and just the whole experience. Sure, at times it was hard. The beginning of my freshman year I hated it, but as I got used to the changes I began to love where I was; and now I couldn't have imagined spending high school anywhere else.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Hmm... go to the Union on the weekend when it is open. Try Guitar Hero in the union even if you don't like video games (I didn't but had too much fun playing it). Order a calzone from the Family Connection at least once. Try rice on the weekends (usually at Saturday dinners) even if the line is long. Have fun! Play sports, even if you don't like them. Enjoy it!
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics at the school are much better than what I would have received at home. The teachers are all very good, and most hold masters' degrees in their fields of study. Plus, most teachers either live on campus, or on the street across from campus, so if you need help in a subject the teachers are basically always available and willing to help you as long as you ask for the help. Multiple AP courses are offered here, in my four years I took 7 AP classes. You have a lot of control over your schedule so it is up to you how hard you want to make your schedule. Most courses offer regular college prep section or honors section, and then many classes also offer AP classes. Keep in mind one year of Latin is required to be taken, by preferable, your junior year. I had a rather large work load while I was there, but keep in mind my schedule was honors and AP courses. Also, keep in mind there are mandatory sports practices after school for everyone, so that takes up around an hour and a half to two hours of time in the afternoon. I would say, my freshman year, most of the time, I could get all of my homework done during the two hour mandatory study hall. Sophomore year everything basically got done during study hall as well, with maybe a half an hour required after study hall to finish it up. Junior year, I probably had at least three hours of homework a night. My senior year probably around three hours a night too, maybe a little less. Don't let this scare you, while the academics do require a lot of work, every once and a while you got that random night where you had very little to no homework.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Well, athletics at this school are required. Freshman year you are required to be involved with a sport all three seasons. Sophomore and junior year you have to be involved in at least two sports seasons, but if you take only two sports in your off season you must be in AAP(this is kind of a mix between an after school gym class, and training like weight lifting and things). Remember though Wayland does not have a gym class you have to take during school. Seniors are required to be in at least one sport and can take two sessions of AAP. With this in mind, many of the sports teams have many first year players in them. Our school is small, so sports teams do not cut. Most of the time the teams aren't very good, but in my four years there the sports were beginning to improve greatly. Girl's volleyball and softball have been doing well lately. As well as boy's football and baseball. We did win many conferences championships in many sports in the past couple of years. The sports are really improving. The teachers are the coaches. Most of them are good at what they are coaching. I would say there is a pretty good diversity of sports offered. Although, winter sports season seems to have the worst options, as most students take AAP in the winter. In the winter basketball, swimming, and skiing are offered.
Art, Music, and Theatre:
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Okay, I don't really know much about this because I am not a fine arts kind of person, but one credit of fine arts is required to graduate. There are private lessons offered in piano, clarinet, trumpet, and guitar, could be more but I am not sure. Wayland also has a chamber ensemble, a choir, a pep band, and a couple other bands. Theater-wise, Wayland always puts on a fall play and a spring musical. There are also the One Acts, that are plays either written or directed (or both) by students. I was involved in a One Act my senior year, just to try it out, and I had a lot of fun. Plus, there is a coffee house every spring, that is basically like a talent show. Wayland offers many painting classes, as well as photographer classes. I took a semester of stained glass and absolutely loved it.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There are many clubs offered at Wayland. There is a student government, but really they just do fund raising for prom and classes. We offer a Model United Nations team, which is growing in popularity and probably one of the most popular extra-curricular activity. We have a student-to-student math tutoring program, a Japanese club,Junior Classical League, Amnesty International, breakfast club (religious), Tuesday prayer service, Student Ambassador program, junior and senior prefects, proctors,a thespian society, and ecology club. There could be others that I am forgetting right now, but that is the basics. Also, if there is enough interest to start a new club it is very easy to do. This past year we also had an equestrian club and science club.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
There are four dorms, two underclassmen (one guys, one girls) dorms in the front of campus. They have communal bathrooms per floor, and are older buildings, so the rooms are not uniform. They vary in size. Your freshman year you are paired with a roommate, and do not get to pick your room, but sophomore through senior year you get to pick your roommate and your room. Usually you get the roommate you wanted, but the rooms are not always guaranteed. The underclassmen boys dorm is undergoing a renovation, starting the 2008-2009 school year. So, that dorm will be a little cramped next year, but once it is renovated it is supposed to be set up suite style similar to the upperclassmen dorms. Upperclassmen dorms are located at the back of campus. They are set up suite style, so two rooms share a bathroom. These rooms are uniform, and there are vaulted ceilings. Both dorms just received brand new furniture for the 2007-2008 school year. The rules also seem to be a little more lax as you move up to the upperclassmen dorm. I also kept a drawer full of snacks in my room. All dorms have a microwave that you can use and a refrigerator to share. The school has wireless Internet. They have been having a little bit of trouble with it the past two years, but they finally started fixing it my last semester there. They were getting new equipment, so it should be running smoothly in the dorms now. What I liked most about dorm life was just living with my friends. You become very close! Plus, I also enjoyed living with the faculty. It was just fun to be living alone and away from home. Plus, if you needed homework help there were always ten people around that were in the same class as you!
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Alright, the food was pretty good. At every lunch and dinner there is pizza, a salad and sandwich bar,soup, a hot lunch option, a vegetarian option, hard dip ice cream, soft serve ice cream, cereal, waffles, and a dessert. There are also special days for certain foods. Usually once a week there is a made to order wrap bar, or pasta your way (this is probably the most popular) they make you your own serving of pasta with whatever you want in it. Yet, as enrollment at the school increases it becomes harder to do at lunch. Breakfast is also good. There is always a hot option, then they usually have either muffins or banana bread or something, they always have cereal, you can make toast, and coffee. One day a week they have made to order omelets, as well as on the weekends. Basically, you can usually find something to eat. The food is good. Chef Richard is amazing. If there is something you want just ask him and he will get it for you. There are three meals offered Monday thru Friday. Saturday and Sunday there is brunch at 11 and dinner at 5.
Social and Town Life:
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Beaver Dam is small and pretty boring. It is kind of in the middle of no where, but there are places around to go to on the weekends. There is a Shopko and Piggly Wiggly within walking distance, so you can get the supplies you need. There is a movie theater although it usual doesn't show really good movies. There are many restaurants including Chinese, pizza, and Italian. Plus we have fast food around, and there is also a Super WalMart within taxi distance. Basically kids leave campus on the weekend to eat, because there is not much else to do.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I loved being at Wayland. Most of the kids are really welcoming and friendly. There isn't really class division. Most of the time on weekends you will find kids in the dorms watching movies, if its nice outside just hanging out outside on a blanket or playing ultimate frisbee, or in the union eating and playing guitar hero. Really there isn't much to do off campus so you and your friends learn to entertain yourself on campus in random ways whether it be a huge twister marathon, playing card games, or just hanging out. A regular weekend for my friends and I went like this... We would get done with sports on Friday, take showers, and all go out to dinner together at our favorite pizza place. There were usually at least ten of us that went. Then we would stop by the movie rental store on the walk back to campus and find a scary movie to watch. We would go back and watch the movie and just hang out until midnight (when seniors were required to be back in their dorms). Saturday no one was up moving until 11, so we would go to brunch and then just usually spend the day lying around and hanging out. Sunday I would get up early, walk to church, go to brunch, clean, do laundry, and then most of my day was spent on homework. The people are really cool and I have made some of the best friends at Wayland.
Breakfast Sign-In Duty (prefect and freshman)
Room Checks (clean rooms)
Study Hall Begins
Study Hall Ends
Lights Out (Seniors)
Wake Up and Brunch
Hang out with friends
Union Open (snacks, games, music)
Union Closes, Underclassmen must be back in dorms
Seniors must be back in dorms
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