Reflections and Advice:
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
The time I spent at Pickering College, provided me with life long experiences that to this day I still look back upon. The unique thing about Pickering College was that we had an astounding Residence. Now both dormitories Firth House (Girls residence) and New House (Boys Residence) have students from all across the world. The diversity among boarders made residence life a lot more interesting then it would be if we where living in a residence with just Canadians. Within the residence facility you would have attentive AF'S or (Associate Faculty Members). If you lived in residence you would be assigned to a certain group or what we would like to call a "Family" within residence. These Families would act as groups where newer students and older alike could meet up with each other weekly and discuss things with their AF's. As well as having AF's we also had a staff of Proctors and two Head Proctors, I myself was a Proctor for two out of the four years I attended Pickering College, and It was a grand experience. Every weekend the proctors in the residence would usually go out and do some group activities with any boarders who wished to accompany us. As well countless times during the year boarders only activities would have been formed to take us around Ontario so that we could experience Canada life outside of a residence.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
In grade 11 I was awarded with the Boarder of the Year Cup, which basically told me that I got voted by my fellow boarders as being well boarder of the year. That award though usually would have been meant for someone who was about to graduate. So I was proud that I had won it so early in my boarding life. There are many lessons you can and will learn, so why not experience those things by becoming a boarder at Pickering College?
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Make sure that you get enough sleep every night, because although living in a residence away from your parents might seem like a opportunity to have an all night party in your room, your better of going to sleep and getting enough rest for tomorrow and another day of school. Also don't over pack, like don't be bringing 5 suitcases with you and hoping to fit everything in your room, because that wont be happening.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Overall I would say that I had some of the greatest expediences of a lifetime is what I would call it. You meet a lot of characters at Pickering College, and I to was a character myself.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
If you do ever go to Pickering college, try and request a student from a different country to be your roommate, because you will have a blast if you meet new people from different parts of the world. Also make sure you check out Main Street and go get yourself some Ice-Cream while you are their, When I came to Ontario I thought I had tried some of the best Ice-cream, but I was mistaken they have some of the best Ice-cream shops in Newmarket, just ask around in residence.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The Academics at Pickering College are great because they give you enough work to do in each class you are in that it actually prepares you for real College and University professors. I personally like the English departments we had at Pickering college most of the professors had Masters or above degrees. We learned how to read and understand Shakespearean plays and proper ways to prepare a perfect term papers. I think I read around twenty books in my senior year of Advanced level English. Now we also had Spanish and French which was offered, although I am not to familiar with what the courses fully teach. We had at Pickering College Biology and Physics, and both courses had really great professors teaching the classes, as the Biology teacher had traveled around the world for around fifteen years just learning about biology, while still managing to have a masters. I do know that Pickering College for two years running I believe was awarded an award for most students winning prizes in the Province wide Science Competitions which it holds yearly. Competition among students is quite fierce, now we aren't attacking each other in the classroom or outside for that matter, but it was always a game to see who could get the highest score on a test or who had the best GPA.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Although as I have said before I was not all that into competitive sports, but We did have some great women and men competitive teams. Such as Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Hockey, track and field, cross country, horse back riding, Tennis, as well as figure skating, although that sport was mostly for girls although boys could join if they really wanted to. I liked though, that unlike other boarding schools, it was not mandatory to be a part of a competitive sport if you did not want to be in one.
Art, Music, and Theatre:
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The arts programs unfortunately are not the best that they could be, but I made do with their facilities. The drama club always puts on amazing original plays, or they will recreate plays from previous ideas, as well any props used in such plays are either donated or have been made thanks largely to the Arts clubs around the school. I can't say much for the music department since I am not really into classical music pieces, although I do know that the Band or music department is over one hundred members strong, and has about eight different teachers with expertise in different musical devices. I was a part of the creative writing club for a year or so, and I would create poems or short stories in the hour or so of after school activities we would get each weekday.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
At our school we had a program which was in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, where during a two week long brake such as Christmas or thanks giving Pickering College would send around 12 students with two faculty to go help the Habitat for Humanity overseas, or third world countries. This provided students experiences that you can't get in class. Such as leadership and team building exercises, while building houses and structures for the people in the towns in need that Pickering college would go to. I never went on one of the schools sanctioned trips since I was not legally able to get a Visa for the countries, but I had heard from some of my friends that went on the expedition that it was a real experience that they hadn't really ever had before in their lives.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
In the dorms You would have at least another person for the first two years of your boarding life living with you. It was a great experience meeting new people from different countries and being able to converse with them during the day in your own room. A lot of culture sharing to be had indeed. Every night around 8pm I believe when study time was over we would be able to go back into the dinning hall and have a night time snack, so some fruit or maybe some cookies to tide us over until the next day. Each room itself was the same as any other boarders room, there was no room that was any bigger than another. So no need to fight over rooms. Any boarder who wanted to get into the dorm needed to have a scan key specifically for the boarders, so not just anybody could walk into the residence, if you don't have a scanning key you can't get in the building. Safety first!
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
You could sit basically anywhere you really wanted for the most part, and the tables in the dinning room where still big enough to seat many different people so you could always move around if you wanted to be seated with some other friends. The food over the years has drastically improved from what it used to be, although not all of the food is really all of that tasty it is healthy for people to eat. Also I need to say this Pickering College is a Nut Free Zone, so no one will have an allergic reaction with any nuts or such. The cafeteria staff tries to accommodate peoples food choices such as food from different countries. So each week you go have something to eat at the dinning hall the food is usually different. They also provide boarder with schedules with the times of when food is served during the week and weekend. So no one will be going hungry.
Social and Town Life:
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The town Newmarket, is quite small but as well it is a nice place to live. There isn't any pollution which was really good for my lungs, and also there are many many trees around the campus which makes for a nice shady afternoon nap. If you were ever bored you could always just take a five minute walk down to the "Main Street" or the center of the town and go grab a bite to eat, or just go walking around. Also some people have asked me where would they get money, like from their parents over seas, well there are three banks in Main Street so don't fear you can pick up money that your parent's send you in no time at all since the banks are so close to the school it self. The town is a very safe environment since just three blocks away from the school is a Royal Ontario guard post, or in other words a big police station and fire department area, for safety's sake of course.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Every night after study me and a bunch of my friends would always get together and try and go and do something new and fun. Going out into the town surrounding the residence, or going to the park to play some soccer, or going to one of the gyms and playing some other kinds of sports. I knew almost everybody in the residence, maybe not by name but their faces and so it wasn't hard for me to persuade other people to join me on some of my adventures off campus.
Bell rings wake up get ready for school/ breakfast
Breakfast starts for boarders in the dinning hall
Morning meeting starts
Lunch time in the dinning hall
Classes are all over, now it is time for after school activities
Dismissal/ or in other words free time untill dinner
Dinner bell rings time for dinner in the dinning room for boarders
Study time starts mandatory study for around 1 hour and 45 minutes
Study is over and you have 2 hours of free time untill you need to be back in residents
Every grade needs to be in residence and getting ready for bed time.
Breakfast (not mandatory on weekends) free time
Lunch / free time
still free time/ dinner time
time to be back on campus but you don't need to go to sleep just yet
you need to be in your bed getting ready to sleep
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