Westtown School - Review #18
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2009-2013|
|Sports and Activities:||I started to play competitive sports at Westtown playing on the volleyball, basketball, and softball teams. I dedicated myself to Softball and Westtown Robotics by leading the teams as a captain. Off the field, I loved being a proctor in Balderston (dorm) and participating in several concerts (i.e. Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, Dance, Senior Play).|
|College Enrolled:||Macalester College|
|Home Town, State:||CheonAn|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Westtown was always flexible and willing to listen to what the students really wanted. I remember Westtown had two rotating academic weeks (A week and B week) that gave me the chance to balance out my classes with all the clubs, sports, and other extra-curricular activities I was active in. On weekends, I would collaborate with teachers or students and plan events for the community, from a farm festival on campus to a trip into Philadelphia.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
If I had stayed in Korea instead of going to Westtown School, I would have never set foot on this path I am on today. The Westtown community and everything they taught me revolutionized the way I think. From helping me have a multicultural and international mindset to expanding my knowledge and set of skills, Westtown taught me how to be a true global citizen.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
My biggest fear before I started boarding in 9th grade was that no one would understand me. Having lived in America my whole life and having spent middle school years in Korea, I was afraid as a teenager girl that I would have no one I would be able to bond with. By the end of 9th grade at Westtown, I had friends on dorm who I could connect with over even the smallest things that made me happy. They listened to my stories and I started to open up and gain confidence.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I loved the community at Westtown because it was and still is incredibly supportive. It welcomed my curiosity and incubated all the ideas and talents I had to offer.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
I recommend getting to know a lot of the teachers. It's different from knowing that they are extremely approachable and actually approaching them yourself early on. We're all paired up with a school advisor for the four years at Westtown, but the connection with that teacher goes on for a life time.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
At Westtown, I took great advantage of the diversity of classes the school offered. "Religion & Social Change" and "From Hiroshima to 9/11" are both advanced-level classes I took that made me identify my true values. Through individual research papers to group presentations and debates, I gained a lot of knowledge of conflicts around the world and the right set of skill on how to vocalize action to approach them. Classes ranged from 8-16 students per class at Westtown, which made discussions more engaging and teachers more approachable.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
If it weren't for the required participation in my first two years at Westtown, I would not have been able to lead the Softball team my Junior and Senior years. For 9th and 10th graders, they have to be in a competitive sports team for 2 of the 3 seasons in the year. For 11th and 12th graders, they have to be in competitive sports team for 1 of the 3 seasons in the year. Thanks to the Athletic Program I had so much fun with my teammates on and off the field, and was happy to be allowed to be in Softball, Robotics and Senior Play during the same season.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
There are a diversity of music groups and classes you could be in at Westtown, ranging from Concert Choir to Jazz Band. The school also offered us the opportunity to learn new instruments or hone our skills in one we were already familiar with by connecting us with professional teachers from and outside of Westtown. Regarding the Visual Arts Program, one of my favorite memories of my junior year was when I took Film Photography and learned how to use the chemicals to develop my own photos in the studio.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Westtown teachers encouraged students to stay active for our passions. With one teacher, I was able to create a club that did not exist previously; both of us were recording music as hobbies and decided that we should create a Hip-Hop Club. So we did! Thanks to the given times on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for clubs, I was able to be in the Hip-Hop club as well as in the clubs I had been previously active in.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Westtown dorm life helped me adapt healthy habits, such as tidying the room in the mornings, reserving a couple of hours in the evening to focus on academics, or learning to cook and bake with friends. Also, the chance to room with friends from very different backgrounds made me a more open person with a wider worldview.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Westtown has serves meals in the large Dining Hall in both buffet style and family style, in which dishes were brought out to individual tables. When the weather was nice, we also had barbeques on one of the lawns or fields on top of campus. My favorite was Wednesday nights because we would have Community Dinner (family style) and got to see students or teachers perform a song, poem, or any talent.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Near Westtown there's a marketplace where my friends and I walked to on weekends to grab something from Dairy Queens or Wawa. The school also provided trips on the weekends to go into West Chester or Philadelphia. My favorite memory was when I went jogging around the school's lake with my best friend.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Westtown had an average of 100 students per grade in Upper School, which gave me a chance to know a lot of people. On weekdays we would hang out in the Belfry (student center) or the "Cave" (student lounge), and on weekends walk down to the Westtown Lake. The school also provided us with spirit buses when we wanted to cheer friends on at away games.
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