Millbrook School - Review #3
About the Author:
|College Enrolled||Washington University in St Louis|
|Home Town, State||Millburn, NJ|
|Years Attended Boarding School||3|
|Activities During Boarding School||Soccer, JV Basketball Captain, Tennis, Model UN Club President, Debate Club President, Copy Editor of the school newspaper, Student Zoo Curator, trumpet, Dorm Leader|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Millbrook's biggest differentiating factor from all other boarding schools is the Trevor Zoo. The Trevor Zoo is located on Millbrook's campus and is the only AZA accredited zoo on a high school campus in the country. I worked at the zoo in varying degrees in all three years I attended Millbrook. Some of my jobs were taking care of the ferrets and chinchilla, caring for the poison dart frogs, and overseeing the student caretakers of the nine fish tanks in the zoo.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
The best thing that happened to me was being elected commencement speaker by my class. I gave the speech on behalf of the students at our graduation, so that was pretty special for me. I think it's safe to say I came out of my shell at Millbrook, which then allowed me to be able to take a gap year before starting college to travel around the world by myself.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would have just talked to tons of people right away. You can't wait for people to make friends with you. You've got to get over the initial hump of the culture shock of being in a new, strange place by just meeting people and making friends. The quicker you get that over with (although you're never really done making friends), the easier it will be.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I liked the people. I have made relationships with students and faculty that I hope to keep for the rest of my life. Admissions does a pretty good job of bringing in a cool, diverse student body, and my grade was a really good group of guys and gals overall.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Bring a bike. It's my biggest regret. Students are horrible about taking their own initiative to explore campus. Maybe like one kid each year will bring a bike, and the rest will bring scooters. But with a bike, you'll be able to go into town each Sunday (probably a half hour ride), get groceries, explore campus. It would've made my experience a lot richer, and I would've been able to get off campus when it started to feel claustrophobic.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics at Millbrook are very intimate. The teachers know all of their students individually and exactly how they're doing in class. The class sizes are small. My Spanish class senior year had only four students, and one of them wasn't even getting a credit for it...she just wanted to audit the class. My favorite part was the teachers, and I think most students would say that. Millbrook has a great faculty. Possible issues are not a lot of AP classes (if that's a problem for you), and a lot classes are concept-based so you might not get as much content that a high-ranked public high school going off of state curricula would give you.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I liked the most about athletics that I was able to play a sport every season. They don't make cuts from the lowest team, so even if you're not good, you have a spot on a team if you want to play a sport. You're supposed to do some after-school activity every season, but it doesn't have to be sports. It can be the fall play, winter musical, or an independent study for example.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The arts are so special at Millbrook because we have an incredible Arts Center. Full camera studio with Photoshop and a darkroom for film. Huge ceramic studio. Painting classroom with individual studios for advanced students. Private music lessons (I did this for trumpet). Music classes. Huge band room decked out with tons of equipment. Not a full band, just an instrumental ensemble...this is a class with 10-20 students depending on the year, they pretty much get to choose the music they play though.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
The extracurricular activities at our school are almost completely student-run, which is what I liked most about it. The debate club, when I ran it, didn't even have a faculty supervisor...we would just get together, hang out, and debate stuff. I think extracurricular activities at boarding schools in general work really well because it's just convenient for everyone. You can have a meeting at 8 pm in the library, and everyone will show up because it's a five minute walk from the dorm. At my public high school, I hated going to debate because my mom would have to drive me to and from the high school every Wednesday at like 9 pm.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life for me was awesome. By senior year, I was living with all my friends, and we would stay up late joking around and playing video games. Late nights with my friends were actually my favorite times at Millbrook. Our dorm parents (faculty members who lived in the dorm) were very chill and would hang out with us too. Sometimes they would make us food or go out and grab pizza for us. All around great times.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The dining arrangements were the worst part about Millbrook. The food wasn't great when I was there, and I never really got into the formal dinners. The nice thing is that there are no cliques really, so you can sit at any table you want, and it will never be weird. There's a new dining hall now though, so I can't speak for how everything has changed.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Town is not in walking distance of the school. I suggest becoming friends with a day student who can drive you into town (about a 10 minute drive) every week or so, just to get a break from campus.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The best part about the social life is that everyone knows each other and on a close enough level to be able to have a conversation easily. There are 80 students per grade, which is a number small enough so that it's hard for cliques to form because it's not really necessary. You hang out with whoever is at the student center or whoever is in your dorm or whoever's on the quad when you're there. You don't really have the luxury of being able to choose who you're with at all times because of the small number of people. It's a gift and a curse. Overall a net positive. My closest friends are my friends from Millbrook.
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