St. Mark's School - Review #4
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2003-2007|
|Sports and Activities:||Varsity Field Hockey, JV hockey, Varsity Crew, Varsity Softball, yoga and aerobics, yearbook, community service committee, Peer Counselor, Peer Group Advisor|
|College Enrolled:||Georgetown University|
|Home Town, State:||Concord, MA|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
two things stick out in my mind as unique at St. Mark's: the relationships and the work ethic. I was extremely close not only with many of the faculty at SM but also with my advisor. She acted as my "mom away from home" which is exactly what young kids who are away from home need. Not only did she help me plan my courses for all four years (years in advance and to get ready for college) but she also listened to me when I was having an academic, athletic, or personal issue. She invited me into her home and allowed me to get time away from school while still being there. She was so great and made my time at SM fabulous. This is a common relationship between students and adults at SM and one that I cherished. Furthermore, the students at SM have a great work ethic. Students work hard not only in classes and on the sports fields but also to keep SM clean and in good shape. Morning work duties, while seemingly annoying as a student at 7am, helped shape every student and give a sense of ownership to the campus. I think this was also a valuable lesson imposed on students early on.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I became more confident, well rounded and self reliant in boarding school. It forced me to become assertive and speak for myself as well as spread my wings. I was able to get into my top choice of colleges and have loved every minute at Georgetown University. Without SM I would not have been able to handle the work load or social environment of Georgetown and am very grateful for it.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I wouldn't do much differently... I went home almost every weekend and was lucky enough to have my parents come out to see games, etc. on Wednesdays as well. This is a huge key to not getting too homesick. I would say to try to enjoy every minute of it and not get too stressed about college or tests or whatever is going on. Enjoy your friends, teachers, and surroundings because there is nothing like boarding school and especially nothing like SM.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I loved how small SM was. I got to know everyone so well and was not afraid to speak up in school meeting or run for any position I wanted. I made the best friends of my life at SM and learned some of the most important life lessons I will ever learn there.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
THAYER! Best dorm there is... Gaccon was also amazing but as a junior or senior I would definitely recommend Thayer!
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
There is a great core that forces students to take classes in all arenas and figure out what they enjoy. For instance, I was always mostly interested in math and took many AP math classes but senior year I had to take an art to fulfill my requirement. I ended up loving the ceramics class I took and it gave me a new perspective on my likes, dislikes, goals, etc. I ended up taking art classes in college and am so glad I discovered a love for it. Additionally, the theology requirement at SM is devoted to doing well for others and thinking about major issues. I found these classes to be a great place to reflect on issues going on in the world and how our own lives may or may not be tied to these things. Overall, SM is challenging and fulfilling. I definitely worked extremely hard at my classes but was never placed in a class too difficult or too easy for me. Advisors and teachers take the time to place you in the appropriate classes while challenging you along the way.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
There is nothing else like bonding with fellow classmates on the sports field. I got to try many sports at SM but the one I really excelled at was field hockey. Arriving before my freshman year for preseason gave me a chance to meet the other kids at preseason and get a hang on the campus. My teammates and I became so close both during season and after and are still some of my closest friends today. Athletics teaches kids things that cannot be taught in the classroom and are extremely important for kids of the high school level. I learned how to compromise, work my hardest, support my friends and teammates, work with others, and push myself. I was also always busy during a sports season and was "happily tired out" at the end of every day.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
I loved that SM allowed me to get involved in whatever type of activities I loved. My freshman year I started a community service project to write letters to soldiers overseas and the school was behind me 100%. Later on, I was a peer counselor and loved that role. It helped me to get in touch with younger students and was an outlet that I used as a freshman and sophomore myself. It feels good to give back to a school that has given you so much.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I had great rooms all throughout my time at SM and loved dorm life. In my mind, dorm life was the most important thing about boarding school and the reason that so many people love it so much. You get to know the kids in your dorm so well and you end up becoming a family. Logistics such as set up, food later at night, etc. was never an issue and every year I got to settle into a new dorm family.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
I love how grand the dining hall at SM feels. The food is good and the flow of the food line and tables are done well. You can get many different types of food and most students are satisfied. If you need something else or have dietary restrictions there can normally be something done about that immediately. I also really enjoyed sit down dinner because you got different food and got to eat with people you normally wouldn't.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The town near SM is cute and has a few places to eat, etc. but we mostly stayed on campus. There is everything you need and if you do need to get to bigger stores you can easily get transportation to Boston, the Natick Collections, etc. Many times, my advisor took me and her other advisees out to ice cream or to dinner in surrounding towns.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I loved how close you got to your fellow students in boarding school. Everything from sports to school meeting and dorm life all contribute to how you interact and get along. Even though the social committee puts together socials, dances, etc. the social life is constant and the best time to hang out with friends is before study hall.
Alumni Reviews Review School
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