Deerfield Academy - Review #4

Deerfield Academy
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled Princeton University
Home Town, State (Country) Los Angeles, CA
Years Attended Boarding School 4
Activities During Boarding School I was the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, co-captain of the cross country team, a member of varsity track, a participant in wind ensemble and chamber music groups, captain of the math team, a participant in Model United Nations, and a Franklin County Big Brother.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Two aspects of Deerfield that make it unique as a high school are the dynamics of a student body of 600 and the school spirit. The school has a tight-knit atmosphere because the student body is small enough so that everyone knows everyone else's name. Also, people often talk about "bleeding green," and call their Deerfield days "days of glory," which are testaments to the incredible school spirit on campus.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Deerfield is an incredible place to go to high school. I have changed as a person in terms of my abilities as a student, musician, and athlete but also in terms of my perspectives. I have had several conversations with students from Burundi, Kenya, Hong Kong, Mexico, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as New York and Wisconsin. I have also seen the Parsons Dance Company and the Reduced Shakespeare Company perform and shaken hands with Paul Farmer and Ben of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. I have had opportunities given to me that I would otherwise not have dreamed of.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
My main advice for kids going to boarding school is to prioritize what is most important to them and allocate their time accordingly. There are a lot of push and pull forces at boarding school including academics, co-curricular activities, and the social life, so all students should be prepared to deal with that before they go.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I liked most that the school was big enough so that there were plenty of offerings in terms of academics and activities but small enough so that I personally got access to enough opportunities.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
I would tell incoming students to pay attention to how often people smile and greet you at the school. The general happiness and warmth of the student body is a great measure of how much the school is doing things right.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics at the school are rigorous but not overwhelming. The teachers, especially in the humanities, are incredibly competent and qualified. For example, my English teacher senior year had an M.A. from Harvard, and my English teacher junior year wrote his Ph.D. thesis about Hemingway and taught me a lot about how to analyze texts insightfully. A typical homework load for a freshman might be two to three hours per night and for a senior, three to five hours per night. I liked the small classes--most of them had 10 or fewer students. I got a lot of attention from my teachers.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Every Deerfield student needs to participate in a co-curricular activity after school each term, and most choose a sport. I liked that a lot of students went out to cheer for the teams during home meets and even some away meets. Deerfield tends to place first in our New England prep school league every year for a few sports--in recent years we've won baseball, boys' water polo, boys' swimming, boys' lacrosse, and a few more.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I liked most that it was easy for students to start exploring visual arts, music, and theatre for the first time at Deerfield. There are a lot of opportunities for beginners, and with the two-term art course graduation requirement, many students find passions in the arts at Deerfield.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There are a number of extracurricular activities such as Model United Nations and the school newspaper that require relatively little previous formal training. I would highly recommend all new students to try joining several groups and drop a few if they change their minds.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Most Deerfield students have singles, and it tends to work out well. Ninth and tenth graders live with each other as do eleventh and twelfth graders. For the underclassmen dorms, there are two or three seniors who live on each hallway as proctors to help them with day-to-day concerns. On each hallway, there is also a faculty member who oversees dorm life.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The food at Deerfield's dining hall is usually great. Though beef, chicken, potatoes, pasta, and salad tend to be the usual staples as at most boarding schools, I've found on my various visits to other boarding schools that Deerfield tends to use better tasting ingredients for the same dishes. My favorite aspect of the dining arrangements are the sit-down meals, at which students sit at randomly assigned tables. The assignments change every few weeks. It is a great way for students to get to know each other and various faculty members.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The school's surrounding area is very rural. I liked most that there were plenty of trails to run on. There is also a town called Greenfield that is a 5-10 minute taxi ride away with stores like CVS, a movie theatre, and various restaurants that students go to.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Partly because the school is in a relatively remote location, most of the students tend to stay on campus. In that sense, it is not a "suitcase school," at which a lot of the boarders go home on the weekends. That means there's always life at the school and more support for showcases, concerts, etc. that feature student work. There are also dances for students almost every weekend.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
8:30 AMAP Spanish Language
9:15 AMAP Physics
11:00 AMAdvanced Math Tutorial (Linear Algebra and Complex Analysis)
12:00 AMSit-down lunch
12:45 AMHonors Literature
1:30 PMWind Ensemble
2:15 PMAP Economics
3:00 PMCross Country Practice
6:00 PMSit-down dinner
11:30 PMSleep
Weekend
8:00 AMWake up and eat breakfast
10:30 AMGet on the bus to go to an away meet
2:00 PMCross country race
7:00 PMGet back having eaten dinner on the bus
8:00 PMGo to a school-sponsored dance, movie, show, etc.
11:00 PMCheck-in at the dorm
12:30 PMSleep

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Deerfield Academy Alumni #1
    Class of 2016
    5 Stars   12/10/2016
    St. Lawrence University
    The teacher-student relationship at Deerfield played a huge role in my Deerfield experience. First off, there is a great teacher student ratio, making class sizes small, which allows students to get to know teachers more. . .
  • Deerfield Academy Alumni #2
    Class of 2011
    5 Stars   12/12/2016
    St. Lawrence University
    Deerfield is set in a historic New England village preserved from the 18th century. History and heritage are therefore prevalent in all aspects of life at the school. The campus matches the lovely. . .
  • Deerfield Academy Alumni #3
    Class of 2009
    5 Stars   7/8/2010
    Colby College
    The most important things about my Deerfield experience were the relationships I fostered with peers and teachers. There is something about Deerfield that attracts interesting people and you don't have to dig deep to. . .
  • Deerfield Academy Alumni #4
    Class of 2009
    5 Stars   6/22/2009
    Princeton University
    Two aspects of Deerfield that make it unique as a high school are the dynamics of a student body of 600 and the school spirit. The school has a tight-knit atmosphere because the student body is. . .
  • Deerfield Academy Alumni #5
    Class of 2008
    5 Stars   7/21/2008
    Middlebury College
    Deerfield is a small school (600 students) that emphasizes community. If you pay a visit and take a tour you will hear and feel that consistently. I loved that aspect and now that I am. . .
  • Show more reviews (1 reviews)
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