Loomis Chaffee - Review #20
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2004-2007|
|Sports and Activities:||Co-President of the Acapelicans, Chamber Singers, Pit Orchestra for musicals, prefect and resident assistant, tour guide/admissions volunteer, JV Field Hockey.|
|College Enrolled:||Tufts University|
|Home Town, State:||Norfolk, CT|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
The community sense at Loomis Chaffee made for a great high school experience. I came in as a new sophomore, and instantly felt like all of my teachers, peers, and advisors were watching out for me, helping me with everything from class to personally adjusting to living away from home. Though it's sometimes daunting that everyone knows everything you've been doing, it creates a true sense of community because you are always supported and people are honestly concerned with you. Also, I think that the ratio of boarding students to day students makes LC a bit different from other boarding school experiences. When it came to activities and classes, I was challenged by being at a school with 750 highly committed peers, but at nights, there was something special about being on campus with only half of those people and having your own subset of the culture of the school. For me, it was the best of a big school and a small school; many opportunities that couldn't have been offered had the entire student body been 400, but a close-knit boarding community on the weekends and at night for events like family style dinner.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I think that a competitive school like Loomis offered me the chance to fail in a safe environment. Though it sounds like perhaps a negative, Loomis Chaffee is full of students who have succeeded, and not everyone can "win" all the time at Loomis. That said, for me it was a great growing experience because I learned to "fail" gracefully - not getting the grades I necessarily had always seen, getting cut from a team or group - in an environment where I could bounce back and learn from it. With all the administrative support, I never felt like I was floundering, and I learned a lot about myself and how to be happy with new and different options or outcomes. I was also given the opportunity to do things I wouldn't have been able to do at other schools, like sing in a student run a capella group and experience first hand the challenges involved in running something so focal on campus. I've definitely grown up, learned about what I can and can't handle, figured out how to deal with new opportunities from "failures" - I have a much better sense of myself having experienced what I did in the LC environment.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I think that the most important part of starting boarding school is to just let it be fun - you must immerse yourself to have fun. A lot of people leave home, but stay so connected to the outside community that adjusting is hard, and some students give up. But if you let yourself enjoy it, meet new people, and become involved, boarding school becomes a new home and the outside world is less pressing. It's hard to leave old friends, but I think that the most important thing to remember when you do start boarding is that these people, no matter what you think on the first day, can be your new best friends (and you really will make connections stronger than with day schools).
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I think I liked the experience of being a boarder most of all. I met people I would never have met before, and spending time with people and seeing them at their best and worst creates friendships that are incredibly strong. I really learned a lot about myself because I was around people so much, and I appreciate Loomis for being a great place for personal growth.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Don't get scared by hard professors - they're some of the best. Spend a long time at brunch on Sundays - you only get one a week. And shoot for a porch room as an upperclassman (there's nothing better than having a porch outside your room)...
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The teachers - in my three years, I had more than a handful of EXCELLENT teachers. I think that in my time at Loomis, there were at least 3 teachers that still stand out to me as the best I've ever had (including my 4 semesters of college). There is such a high level of learning, both in and out of the classroom, and the teachers and students set very high standards for work. Though the workload is heavy, I never felt like the standards were untouchable; teachers were always available to help, and most students wanted to work hard and do well. Also, after Loomis, I feel like I was definitely prepared for the college workload; unlike some college students, coming in I was more prepared and ready to write papers in a night or read hundreds of pages for each class. The academic preparation was standout.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I think that mandatory participation in sports at Loomis is a great thing. The focus on health (for body and mind) was really valuable to me, and I think that a lot of people would benefit from being more physically active, even if it's just attending a yoga class or doing cardio and fitness daily. It's a value I've carried through with me to college, and I'm thankful that Loomis instilled that in me. Though I thought that some of the more competitive sports weren't quite inclusive enough (that there were more people that wanted to be involved), I think that there are a lot of options and people do have the chance to try sports they've never experienced through club, intramural, and 3rds teams for the more popular seasons. The facilities, too, are great. On many of my college visits, I remember thinking that Loomis had the nicest workout facilities.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The Music program is pretty good - I've been a singer all of my life, and really enjoyed being in the choirs at Loomis. I also took music theory, and because it's such a small class, I learned a lot and even used it as a stepping stone into a senior project. The theater program, from what I know, offers a great community - I played in the pit and got a taste of it, and really enjoyed playing in that as well, even though I hadn't played in the band or orchestra. There is a pretty high level of performance, and the musicals, plays, and concerts are very well attended and popular, and they tend to be pretty impressive for high school productions.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
I think that there are a lot of options - from community service (which is offered every semester in lieu of sports) to PRISM to the LOG. Many people are really invested in their extracurriculars, and they form new communities that you might otherwise not be in. For me, Acapellicans was my most time consuming extra-curricular, and I loved being a part of such a strong student group (and we became such good friends from all the time we spent together and organizing ourselves).
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life really was why I attended Loomis Chaffee - I wanted to be a boarder. The dorm process was easy, and the community we built in our dorms left some of the more valuable memories on me. I liked that most new students were placed in doubles because it is a good way to learn how to cope with other people, as the whole boarding process really is a great growth experience. The rooms and facilities were pretty nice (very nice for underclassmen), and the set up with in-house staff was great for making dorms feel like homes. I think that the idea of living in a dorm and being required to respect other people's rules and comfort zones is a great experience for many high school students. Late night conversations with my floor mates over pizza in the hallway and other activities like this really made my experience at Loomis more than just "school."
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
I think that the family style dining is really the best part of dining at Loomis - the food is better, and sitting down with your dorm-mates and live-in faculty is a very homey experience. Otherwise, I think dining is pretty unremarkable. Sunday brunch is good, but otherwise the food is what could be expected of a boarding school (many options, alright quality).
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The proximity to town is really nice, and with a grocery store and CVS right there, any necessities can easily be acquired with a short walk. Subway and Whistle Stop Cafe, as well as the ice-cream parlor were regular stops for me, as well as Bart's on nice days, and I really enjoyed that I could head into town for a meal or nice walk.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Honestly, just like any other high school experience, the best memories I have are from the unplanned moments. I think the social life was pretty good - either on campus or visiting day student friends off-campus. I think it is a little clique-y, like any other high school, but at the same time, we are all connected in the community (among boarders especially) and I think that making friends and finding things to do is fairly easy.
|7:00 AM||Wake up and head over to eat breakfast.|
|7:30 AM||Get ready before class starts at 8:10.|
|11:45 AM||Eat lunch after 3 or 4 morning classes.|
|12:15 AM||Head to class for afternoon 5/6 double.|
|1:30 PM||Spend some time in the snug or in my room, relaxing during a double free.|
|3:30 PM||Head over to the gym for cardio/fitness, or yoga.|
|5:45 PM||Go to dining hall for family style dinner.|
|6:30 PM||Mill on the quad, talking to friends or starting to study.|
|7:15 PM||Sign people in for study hall and do room checks if I'm on duty.|
|9:00 PM||Go to another dorm for help from a teacher on duty on a paper or upcoming test.|
|10:00 AM||Wake up (slow), clean room.|
|11:00 AM||BRUNCH (get an omelette or waffle...mmm).|
|1:00 PM||Work in my room or in the library.|
|5:30 PM||Dinner (sundae sunday!)|
|6:00 PM||Acapellicans rehearsal.|
|7:30 PM||Head to the dorm for study hall check-in.|
|9:45 PM||Check in at the end of study hall, talk with duty person and eat some snacks before finishing up work.|
|11:30 PM||Start heading to bed.|
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