Wilbraham & Monson Academy - Review #1
About the Author:
|College Enrolled||Bentley University|
|Home Town, State||East Longmeadow, MA|
|Years Attended Boarding School||5|
|Activities During Boarding School||I participated in student government as the head class rep for freshman and sophomore year.Junior year I was the prefect on rich three which is predominately a senior/junior dorm.I participated in Harvard Model United Nations sophomore year and junior year representing countries New Zealand and Rwanda, serving as the assistant to the Head Delegate. (New Zealand in the Historical General Assembly, Rwanda in Security Council) Senior Year I will be Head Delegate.Academic Regional World Quest Champion my junior year.Gold Key Council freshman-senior year. (Basically the people who give tours to all prospective students)Relay for Life chair of the entertainment and ceremony committee.Student Activities Intern senior year.Admissions Office Intern junior year.Debate Team freshman year.Finance society freshman year.Orientation Leader for both Domestic and International StudentsBoys varsity lacrosse, rugby, soccer, and wrestling head manager.|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
WMA, more than any other prep school that I have visited, is a community. Everyone knows one another. With over fifty percent of all faculty and staff living on campus, the students really get to know their teachers both from an academic stand point as well as a social stand point which makes class chemistry and unity excel. As one big family, we have breakfast, lunch and dinner together every day. I am going to miss this the most as an alum.One of the most unique factors WMA has to offer is this idea of a "Global School." Throughout my time at WMA, I have had classes with kids from over 50 countries. This year alone, we had 32 countries represented in our school's classrooms. As one can imagine, with a third of the schools demographic being international, class discussion is unbelievably interesting and unique. All of the students and faculty have the opportunity to experience other cultures through curriculum-based travel, much of which is connected to the home countries of our international students. Some of my closest friends have had the opportunity to go to places such as The Amazon, India, London, France, Italy, Cambodia, Haiti, as well as a multitude of other countries that they say are life changing through such trips.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
At WMA, not only have I grown as a person, but also I have made tremendous memories and friends that will last a life time. I came to WMA extremely shy, and will leave having given a speech in front of 2000 people. Never in a million years would I have thought that I could do that.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
TBH I have absolutely no regrets about my time at wma. My advise to everyone coming in is take advantage of every opportunity given to you while attending WMA. WMA gives everyone so many opportunities to succeed so do not pass them up! Utilize every resource and opportunity given to you because you never know who you will meet, or what lesson you will learn while doing it.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The family environment and sense of community that the school possesses. I also loved the Center for Entrepreneurial and Global Studies
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
You have to order the chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk from our campus center, as well as the famous milk shakes! I recommend rich three! That was the dorm I was a prefect on last year! It is by far the best floor. When visiting go to the village store across from the admissions house! Its WMA's version of a Starbucks.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Academics at WMA are challenging. Depending on course rigor, the amount of homework you have each night can fluctuate between 1 hour and 3 hours. However, there is an ample amount of time during each day to get it done. Classes are extremely engaging, filled with discussion and class based projects that make the day fly by. With a average class size in-between 12-15 students and a student-teacher ratio of 6:1, its hard to not remain engaged.My favorite part of the curriculum at WMA is the Center For Entrepreneurial and Global Studies. Basically what it is is a program designed to give students a comprehensive introduction to the world of global citizenship, entrepreneurship, and finance. The CEGS faculty uses a variety of teaching methods, including case studies and round-table discussion. Frequent visitors and guest lecturers from the business and financial world enhance the curriculum. Its fascinating.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The outstanding athletic facilities at WMA offer the student-athletes a competitive edge. Many of the fields have been upgraded in the past three years. The WMA Athletic Center houses two basketball/volleyball courts, Cowdrey Memorial Pool, the Jane McNamara Kelly Fitness Center, a dance/wrestling room, and locker rooms. WMA just put in a gorgeous, state of the art, turf facility which is host to WMA's football, field hockey, boys' lacrosse and girls' lacrosse. Also, the boys' soccer and girls' soccer programs use the turf when their grass fields aren't playable due to poor conditions, meaning few if any home contests are ever postponed.Everyone always turns up for the games which makes the environment even more fun. There are over 25 different sports to choose from as well ranging from crew-rugby.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
One aspect of WMA that I did not get that much involved in is the Visual Arts. However I had several friends in which all they did was participate in these activities. Whenever I went to support them, the theater was completely packed with students. There was not a show this year that did not entertain me and that was not sold out.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
WMA has so many tremendous opportunities to offer. You can volunteer with WMA's Action team which is a community service based group or you can run for your classes student government. Most of WMA's students participate in leadership opportunities. The opportunities are made available to the student, however it is up to the student to choose what they want to do; nothing is forced.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
WMA becomes a "home away from home" for boarding students. Every floor has a dorm parent who is "parent or guardian away from home." Dorm parents are full-time teachers and coaches at WMA, so the multiple roles they play in students' lives allow them to get to know their boarders on a personal level.Dorm life is fun at WMA. There is always something going on within the campus. There are also shuttles and a taxi service that can bring you off campus to malls, movie theaters, and any other place you want to go. Each floor has a lobby which is home to fifa tourneys as well. Rooms are typically large; larger than most colleges that I have visited. Roommates are chosen through a thorough questionnaire given to you by the dean of residential life. There is always something to eat as well on each dorm floor. Our location puts us in close proximity to dozens of restaurants that deliver as well. (Dominos, Chinese food, Wings, Pizza Places).
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The dining hall's hours are 700am to 830 am for breakfast, 11am to 1pm for lunch, 530pm to 7pm for dinner! The food is typically good with a large variety of options to choose from. There is always a salad bar, pasta station, cereal, along with several other options to choose from on a daily basis. Food is included in tuition. Everyone sits at family style, round tables that are easy for conversation. Each table holds 8 kids.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The Academy is in the center of the town of Wilbraham, located in south-central Massachusetts, seven miles east of Springfield. It occupies 300 acres of what was formerly rich farmland and wooded hillsides. The town itself, incorporated in 1763, is essentially suburban, and many residents commute to nearby Springfield and to Hartford, Connecticut. I love the fact that it is close to a bus station and airport which makes traveling to and from campus extremely easy!
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
There is always, and I mean always, something to do on campus! The WMA weekend activities committee, along with student government, work endlessly to make life fun for the students at WMA! With such a large boarding population, this is necessary. School spirit is exceptionally high at WMA. Everyone supports one another's sports teams and the atmosphere is great.
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