Groton School - Review #10
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2001-2006|
|Sports and Activities:||At Groton, I participated in a ton of theatre productions, including two musicals, "Anything Goes" and "Guys and Dolls." I also held various leadership positions: Chapel Prefect, Dorm Prefect, Book Club Head and French Club Head. I took part in the Choir for three years as well.|
|College Enrolled:||University of Pennsylvania|
|Home Town, State:||New York, NY|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
"Handshaking" is one of many unique traditions at Groton but one that I find the most special. Every night after "check-in" ends (at 10pm every night, each dorm gathers in the common room to hang out, practice skits and make announcements; often you will get baked goods at this time!), you have to shake the hand of your dormhead and, if you are in lowerschool (second form and third form), the senior prefects as well. The act of shaking hands with your dormhead (and senior prefects) cements the sense of community that you find at Groton - it reinforces the degree of intimacy and togetherness found at Groton and the strong bonds formed between people over time. As a younger student particularly, it creates an extremely homey atmosphere.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I met really amazing people at Groton, both teachers and students alike. They all affected who I am today in some shape or form. Towards the end of my Groton experience, I often looked back at the girl who first came to the school as a second former and realized how drastically I had changed. I truly came out of Groton a different person.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would definitely take advantage of every moment and cherish every tradition that boarding school offers. In my five years at Groton, every thing flew by it seemed – “Surprise” holidays, parlor, sit-down, Spring Fling, etc; out of nowhere, I found myself experiencing my last tradition: Prize Day (graduation). My advice: take a moment every so often and breathe - don’t take for granted what’s around you!
4.) What did you like most about your school?
My friends and the Groton community! I still really miss being with them, even in college where I have met wonderful people. I just feel that the friends I acquired at Groton though are incomparable.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
When you need a friend or comforting words, go to CHUCK at the sandwich bar :)
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics at Groton were definitely an adjustment for me, someone who came from a public school background. There was a higher level of expectation in every single academic area, pushing you to really think out of the box. Though it was challenging, I never felt overwhelmed, thanks to the support network that Groton had around you. Having a time allotted for studying up until fifth form helped one make good use of one’s time and finish the work due as early as possible. It was a good habit that I acquired at Groton that I still use to this day. In addition, the teachers were tremendously helpful and understanding. They understood how much work we had and tried to make everything as manageable for us as they could. I can’t say enough about how tremendous the teachers at Groton were- they made all the hard work worth it! Above all, I felt advisors were instrumental in learning how to juggle academics and a personal life. I always went to have tea with movies and at least once a trimester went to the movies. It helps to talk it out with everyone and have another perspective onto what is going on with your life.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
At Groton, I really gravitated towards performing (singing, plays, etc) but thought that the first few years in which I had to do a sport were instrumental in helping me develop a healthier lifestyle. I tried a different sport every trimester to get a taste of sports that I might not have played as much before. I thought the instruction even at the lowest level was great and they really tried their best to have improvement, strongly aiming to have one move up through levels. Being a person that likes individual sports, I specially liked cross country and to this day, I run about 4 days a week.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I thought the performing arts department was amazing at Groton. Everything was done so professionally and so much detail was paid to every single aspect- new performing arts building, period costumes, makeup, dress rehearsals, etc. No matter how big or small the play, equal attention was given. I myself participated in two musicals and one play. It was a way for me to try something new, whether it be dancing, acting or singing. I saw students (like myself) learn to excel in different ways there and vastly improve thanks to the great people constantly around you. The performing arts faculty always emphasized the importance of every single part and thus managed to make everyone (small or big part) feel included in the play. For me and many other students, the performing arts department became like another community within Groton.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
I was big on extracurricular activities, involving myself in different types of positions, varying from dorm prefect to French club head. Extracurriculars were a great way to meet people who had similar interests and another way to pick the brains of students and faculty alike. There were a lot of extracurriculars that not only were of interest to me but that also were a reflection of the school. It is for that reason that being a chapel prefect was so important to me. There were so many Groton traditions that happened in the chapel- Sunday chapel, morning chapel, Lessons & Carols, chapel talks. Chapel was a really comforting and relaxing place for me and to this day, I miss the daily morning hymns that we sung. In becoming a chapel prefect, I felt like I myself became part of that tradition. Groton is very special that way.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life was really a great experience for me. I loved the idea of having senior prefects in dorms; it immediately gave you somebody to look up and really helped shape the dorm ambiance. I myself even became a lower school prefect, wholly believing in the impact a prefect could have in a dorm, especially dorms for new students just getting accustomed to living away from home. There were other aspects that made dorms homey at Groton: “handshaking” (as previously mentioned) and the dormhead. With respect to the latter, I felt that whereas students looked up to prefects to know the “do’s and "don’ts", you looked to the dormheads to make the dorm feel like home. Groton made it a point to do so: coming in every so often to check up on you and bringing baked goods to “check-in.” Having all these components in a dorm, made one look forward to going back to the dorms.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The food was really good at Groton. The school even had their own food creation called “broc chick” that everyone looked forward to every time it was served. There were even competitions to see how many people could eat! A really unique dining tradition at Groton was having sit-down during the fall and spring. Every student would be assigned at least once a semester as a server. You had to go ahead of time on “sit-down” days to prepare the table and then during the dinner, help bring the food to the table and finally, help clean up the table. Though one never looked especially forward to being a server, “sit-down” was a time to sit down with others, meet new people, talk with teachers assigned to the table, and served as an opportunity to get dressed up once in a while.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Groton is a very small town and thus feels homey and safe. It’s about a 15-20 minute walk to get into town to go grocery shopping or to eat Italian at Filho’s. It is a really nice walk - I remember countless times walking into town with my best friend just for kicks, especially during the fall! The people in the town are also really nice so you feel very welcomed.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
No matter what day, you could always find something social to do at Groton – whether it be meeting up with friends and having a burger at Scud’s during the weekday or going to a dance on Saturdays. The themed dances at Groton were really enjoyable- I remember looking forward every year to the date dance and the 80’s dance above all. The dances were always something you eagerly awaited for during the week and were very fun to get dressed up to. I also loved the fact that it was always truly a student - the students even personally dj'ed the dances. Apart from dances and student-run food bars, living with students all the time gave way to socializing in some fashion or another at all times. I remember spending Sundays sitting down to watch movies with countless of other students, back to back to back, or going to the Circle at night to play games with friends. It was just a really close-knit family.
|8:00 AM||Morning Chapel|
|8:45 AM||Roll Call|
|9:00 AM||First Period - Third Period|
|11:15 AM||Fourth Period- Eight Period|
|6:15 PM||SIT DOWN|
|7:15 PM||Visit Friends, Extracurricular activities|
|8:00 PM||Study Hall|
|8:00 AM||First Period - Second Period|
|9:30 AM||Roll Call|
|10:00 AM||Third Period|
|11:00 AM||Choir Rehearsal|
|1:00 PM||Athletic Competitions|
|8:00 PM||Saturday Dance|
Alumni Reviews Review School
- Review Description
- Stanford University I think the most influential part of Groton is it’s emphasis on community. As an effect of the small size and commitment to inclusion, Groton skillfully combines the independence that comes with attending a boarding. . .
- University of Virginia Groton is unique in its campus set-up. It is centered around the "Circle" a large expanse of grass that is used as a soccer field in the fall and for lawn games in the spring. . .
- Stanford University Groton is a small school in the countryside with immense resources and an extremely demanding academic atmosphere; the first word most students associate with the School is "intense." The School's long history and honored traditions. . .
Several things make boarding school special. The learning, the community, the sports. All these and more.
A private school in its infancy is quite different from the mature community it becomes over time. I wonder what the founders of these five schools would think about them today. I bet they would be very proud of their creations.
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