Choate Rosemary Hall - Review #15
About the Author:
|College Enrolled||Duke University|
|Home Town, State||Los Angeles, CA|
|Years Attended Boarding School||3|
|Activities During Boarding School||Arts Concentration in Theater, acted in and directed school plays and musicals, Gold Key (student tour guide), Prefect, Big Brother/Big Sister, field hockey|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Students are encouraged to follow their passions, whether they are in the arts, an academic field, or sports. Choate offer some numerous specialized paths of study and the faculty and administrators take a vested interest in each students interests and needs.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
The best things that happened to me at Choate were the work ethic I developed and the confidence to reach out to my teachers. When I got to college, I had no trouble managing my workload and attending my professors office hours for help. These benefits had a compounding effect in college - by reaching out to my professors I opened doors to participate in research projects and advanced studies.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I don't know that I would have done anything differently. For kids going to boarding school, I would say that you should be prepared to work hard and take the initiative to find the things you want to be a part of. Choate was firm, but fair. There were plenty of opportunities to be a part of whatever you wanted to do, but nothing was handed to you on a silver platter.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I liked the school spirit and the life lessons I learned at Choate. There's nothing like the camaraderie felt on (and at the celebrations leading up to) Deerfield Day. As an alumni, I've found the Choate network to be helpful and, when students and alumni reach out to me, I'm always willing to offer my services.I can confidently say that I'm a better person for making the decision to attend Choate. It's a special feeling as most kids do not feel this strongly about their high school.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Go to a lot of SAC dances, get to know the facility members - they'll be a part of your life for much longer than your Choate career, and have a good time.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics are definitely challenging, but the expectations placed on students are reasonable and the faculty are willing to help in any way to ensure each student is successful. What makes Choate really unique are the interdisciplinary courses offered. Students can focus on multiple subjects or place a greater focus on a specific field of study. This approach promotes cross-field insights that make learning more enjoyable and rewarding.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Sports are what you make of them at Choate. I was on the thirds field hockey team for two years where I learned valuable lessons about teamwork and made new friends that I might not have met otherwise. The other semesters I opted to participate in intermural sports and regular PE classes. It wasn't a huge part of my Choate experience, that being said the facilities are incredible and the coaches (especially at the varsity level) are top-notch.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The arts programs and facilities at Choate are unparalleled. The Paul Mellon Arts Center (PMAC for short) houses a Broadway-level theater, the teachers are college-level (if not better), and - best of all - all students are encouraged to take arts classes, so it's not an exclusive club of arts students.For me, the arts concentration program allowed me to take classes that focused on all aspects of theater arts and helped me discover my passion for directing. I had the opportunity to direct multiple plays on campus, work with technical experts in set and costume design, and act in front of 1000+ audiences. When I applied to college, it was clear that the experiences I had at Choate were far and away superior to what students had at other high schools.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Students are highly encouraged to participate in the extracurriculars that matter most to them. There are a range of social, advocacy, arts, and community service clubs available and students can create any new clubs to meet their interests. I found clubs to be a great social experience where I could meet students with similar interests.The one downside is that students are highly competitive and sometimes over commit to multiple clubs because they feel it will look good for college. I found on a couple occasions that clubs were led by a few people and had a large number of minimally involved in students.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life at Choate could really vary from dorm to dorm. Some dorms had stricter faculty supervisors or prefects who would enforce "lights out" times and noise levels and others were more relaxed. My dorms drastically affected my social life and overall happiness at Choate.That being said, all of the dorms are really nice (from a facilities perspective) and there are weekly dorm meetings that help bring everyone together.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The food at Choate was pretty good. There was a wide range of options, so it never felt mundane, and there were only a few assigned seated meals. There was always a salad bar and cold cuts if you weren't interested in the daily meal. I also remember the dining staff being particularly accommodating for students with food allergies.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Wallingford is certainly not a booming metropolis, but it had everything we needed. There were some decent restaurants walking distance to Choate and the mall and movie theater were a short cab ride away. It was always fun to get off campus and walk into town.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
It's not normal for 800+ 14-18 year olds to be together 24/7, which makes any boarding school socially challenging. Choate makes this a bit better by placing all freshman in a dorm together to help build a sense of camaraderie. As an incoming sophomore, I was in a dorm with a mix of incoming sophomores and returning sophomores and juniors, which made it easier to make friends and find people with similar interests.There are also student- and school-run events on campus every weekend. The SAC (Student Activities Center) dances and Half Moon Cafe in Wallingford were especially popular places to hang out on a Friday or Saturday night.
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Learning about a school from its website and social media pages is useful as you decide which school to choose. So is hearing what the school's alumni say about their alma mater.
The typical three-month-long summer break gives juniors and seniors a great opportunity to explore a variety of situations and options.
Your graduates can do everything on their smartphones with one click. An alumni relations app will allow them to click a gift to their alma mater. More here.