Middlesex School - Review #15
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2008-2011|
|Sports and Activities:||JV Field Hockey- captain Dance Ice hockey manager Running crew for about ten theater productions including musicals, plays, and student run one acts Monologues (feminist club)- co-founder/co-head Chapel Chorus Peer tutor in english, history, and science Divine Visions (step team) Proctor|
|Home Town, State:||Essex, MA|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Middlesex'ssmall student body helps it foster a strong sense of community while still offering an impressive breadth and depth in its academics. It also makes it possible for students to get to know one another and the faculty in a much closer way than would be possible at a larger school. While the days are always full and for most there is not a lot of free time to be had, the range of possibilities at Middlesex in the academics, arts, and athletics give each day a good dose of fun and satisfaction.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Getting into Cornell was an enormous achievement for me as I had tried to stretch myself academically and take challenging courses. Getting into great colleges showed that my hard work had paid off.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Throughout my whole time at Middlesex I would have liked to get to know students outside my close group of friends better. As a senior I finally started to branch out more, and I would advise anyone in a small school like Middlesex to expand as much as they can socially and extracurricularly to keep from feeling too claustrophobic.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The beautiful campus coupled with the opportunities and growth provided by the faculty.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Go to breakfast. It's by far the best meal and it's never crowded. Also, enjoy the trails in Estabrook woods.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Middesex's biggest strength is definitely its teachers. From pushing you in small classes to promote the most productive discussions to meeting students at basically any time of day for extra help, every teacher is there to get the most out of every student. The faculty excels in finding a balance between being supportive and challenging students. While the workload is intense and challenging, it is also possible to vary the academic vigor by choosing regular, honors, or AP classes, especially in Junior and Senior year. While the intimate environment at Middlesex fosters excessive competition between students at times, it also allows for helpful resources like tutors, teachers, or even a friend down the hall that are extremely accessible.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
While Middlesex's Varsity programs are impressive and competitiveness, for me it was the athletic department's flexibility that was most important to me. I came to Middlesex as a serious horseback rider, and even as a new sophomore I was allowed to be exempt from a season or required sports so as to continue to ride my horse at school. While it took initiative on my part, I had a supportive adviser and other faculty members who helped make my own independent project happen. While some students who are less inclined towards athletics in general found the mandatory participation cumbersome, I found that between managing positions and JV and thirds teams, there is some way to make athletics fun at Middlesex.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Middlesex's emphasis on the arts definitely grew during my time there and continues to do so, which is always good to see in any high school. I spent a lot of time in the shop doing technical theater, and learned so much about a subject that I never knew I was interested in before coming to Middlesex. The theater department's resources are great and constantly improving. Also, while the music department felt confined when I arrived at Middlesex, it is expanding with the addition of a new girls' A Capella group. My participation in chapel chorus provided a low-commitment and fun way to continuing my own love of singing.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There is a long list of clubs and volunteer opportunities at Middlesex, and if you can't find what you're looking for, it's easy to form your own club. From political groups to clubs that like to eat to groups making progressive change on campus the extracurriculars are easy to join and well-funded at Middlesex. Some friends and I started a club that focused on feminist issues in our Junior year. We quickly received funding and in two years already had a significant presence on campus. While each club has a faculty adviser, it was impressive to see how seamlessly they ran and how productive they were due to student leadership.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorms at Middlesex are a way to form extremely close friendships and the faculty and proctors do a great job making dorm life fun and providing relief from the stress that can be prevalent at Middlesex. While check-in and study hours rules can seem strict and cumbersome sometimes, they tend to foster good study and living habits. Rooming assignments tend to make everyone happy and fulfill their requests, but students also have the ability to work with the school to work out a better living arrangement if the current one is not working.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Middlesex does not have any required formal or "sit-down" dinners which makes dining more flexible and casual. While the salad bar, pasta, and sandwiches are reliable, the hot meal tends to be a toss up. Sometimes it is delicious and sometimes it should be avoided; however the school is still working towards satisfying everyone with its meal choices. Recently the growing student body has made the dining hall more crowded, and more students have turned to alternative options such as ordering food from off campus, cooking in dorm kitchens, or going off campus for meals with a day student.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Concord is a great little town with everything a boarding school student could need: pizza, ice cream, chinese, dunks, starbucks, cvs, a grocery store, and more. The school provides a bus that shuttles back and forth to town every day in the afternoon which makes going into Concord easy and convenient. Middlesex is also twenty minutes from Boston and provides transportation there on some weekends which is a great way to get off campus from time to time.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Social life at Middlesex is great because everyone knows everyone else. Living in a close environment makes it easy to get to know new people as long as one puts in the effort.
|8:00 AM||Class starts- 40 min blocks with 1-3 free blocks|
|9:30 AM||All school assembly|
|5:30 PM||Dinner- clubs meet|
|7:30 PM||Study hours and theater rehearsals|
|9:30 PM||Free time- upperclassmen can leave dorms|
|10:30 PM||Freshmen lights out and everyone else is in dorms|
|9:30 AM||All school assembly|
|2:00 PM||Athletic competitions|
|6:30 PM||Movie in the theater or vans to Harvard Square|
|9:00 PM||Dance in the student center|
|11:00 PM||Everyone checked in for the night|
Alumni Reviews Review School
- Review Description
- Northeastern The community that is centered around the circle is welcoming, and the nice fall and spring days leave the students socializing on the circle during free blocks throughout the day and in their free time. . .
- UMass Lowell The entire experience was not only unique, it was life changing! It opened my eyes and mind up to world I wasn't familiar with. I was able to meet, connect and bond with students from. . .
- Davidson College My favorite Middlesex tradition is the end of the year dorm dinner. It is a time students come together to be grateful for others in their dorm and show their gratitude for each other. My. . .
Learn about an initially reluctant parent's perspective on boarding school.
Visiting schools on your short list is very important. During your visit observe and ask questions.
Thinking about sending your tween to boarding school? The personal attention and comprehensive programs which junior boarding schools offer are worth a serious review.