Phillips Academy Andover - Review #2
About the Author:
|College Enrolled||Yale University|
|Home Town, State (Country)||Lawrence, MA|
|Years Attended Boarding School||1|
|Activities During Boarding School||Coxswain girl's crew team president of classical club vice president of democrats club head of copy of pot pourri (yearbook) peer tutor in Chem, Math, Bio, and Latin tour guide volunteer at Bancroft school volunteer at Boys' and Girls' club volunteer for Adopt a Platoon Member of Johns Island spring break service trip|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Andover is pretty big for a boarding school so one thing that Andover has makes it special are clusters. There are five of them and they divide the school into smaller communities. They are residential just like colleges at Yale or houses at Harvard. They help foster bonding between students though munches which are study breaks with food held on Wednesday nights and other cluster run activities. They make Andover feel like a smaller school.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I don't think that there is any one thing that stands out to me. It's more of a sense of confidence that I can handle pretty much anything that any teacher can throw at me after surviving Andover. I don't know who I was before Andover, this experience has changed me forever and totally in pretty much every way; I grew up there.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I probably would have made more of an effort socially. Balance is key and keeps you happy and sane.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I loved the teachers; they really cared about the students and created a great environment to learn.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
The chapel is a good place to visit even if you aren't religious. It's usually very quiet early in the morning and it is a good place to collect your thoughts. Something about its scale always helped me put things in perspective.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Academics at Andover are intense or at least they should be. Yes of course you can take the easiest classes possible and this will be difficult but not hard. This is not why you go to Andover though. Students at Andover want to learn as much as they can and the teachers are there to push them as much as they can. If you go to Andover you will be in class with some of the brightest students in the world which makes the learning environment extremely rich, however you will also be in direct competition with those same students so it will not be easy. I loved that the teachers really got to know their students and cared about them all. I also loved that the teachers treated us like their equals; what we had to say mattered too.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Athletics are required at Andover. There are a lot of levels to choose from. Obviously there are varsity teams but their are other options as well. Yoga counts as a sport and so do intramural activities. So you don't have to be a superstar on the football team to go to Andover. For most of my seasons at Andover I was on the crew team. I loved the camaraderie that developed on the team, and that it didn't matter if you had never seen a boat before you got to Andover, like me, you were still welcome.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I wasn't very involved with the arts while I was at Andover. Students are required to take four classes in the arts, which I did. All of them were very well taught and interesting. The quality of productions at Andover is very good. The arts are important to the campus; there is student art displayed everywhere and some of the most popular clubs are the acapella groups the yorkies and azure. Although I wasn't super involved with the arts there was always something going on that I could go to on the weekends which was exciting.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
The extracurricular possibilities at Andover are pretty much endless. There are a ton of clubs to choose from and if you don't like any you can start your own. The clubs that are the oldest and "most prestigious" are the Phillipian, which is the oldest high school newspaper in the country, and the philomathean society which is the debate team. One major problem at Andover is people who are over committed. Most Andover students are trying to get into the best colleges and this leads them to pick up more and more activities and so this makes life difficult to balance.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I was a day student do I don't have much experience in this department. However having seen the dorms at Andover versus most colleges. Andover has much better facilities. Also dorm parents who are teachers that live in the dorms are super helpful and nice for students who are adjusting to living away from home.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The food at Andover is amazing, way better than college. There is only one dining hall but they do an amazing job. The hours are 7-9 breakfast, 11-2 lunch, and 5-7 dinner. There are four areas to sit in commons, there are no assigned seats though. I really loved that Andover makes an effort to give its students healthy options.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The town of andover is pretty small. The town center is walking distance from campus which is really nice but there isn't too much there just a few stores and restaurants. You can get to Boston on the train without too much trouble it will probably take 45 min but most people don't go into the city much. I really liked the quiet of campus. It is very green and beautiful.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
For me social life didn't really exist. Andover had dances and activities on the weekends. However as a day student I usually did not want to make the trek to campus on the weekends since I was so busy with everything else. Andover students are so busy that juggling extracurriculars, academics, and a social life is very challenging.
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