Lake Forest Academy - Review #1
About the Author:
|College Enrolled||University of California, Irvine|
|Home Town, State (Country)||Lake Villa, IL, IL|
|Years Attended Boarding School||4|
|Activities During Boarding School||I was on the cheerleading squad for 4 years, and was Cheer Captain my senior year. I also ran track for 3 years, and took self defense 1 semester for PE. I participated in plays each semester, and 3 Winter Musicals, one of which I was the dance captain for. I was in Choir for 4 years, a member of the Salsa Dancing Club. Additionally, I was the House Cup Captain for 1 of LFA's four houses.|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
One of the most unique things about Lake Forest Academy are the state of the art facilities. Many buildings have been added and renovated since my time attending, and the campus truly is remarkable now. In addition to the fact that students attend English lessons in a 150 year old mansion, the library and study spaces in this part of the school are simply gorgeous. Additionally, the school has recently updates many of the science and math classrooms to incorporate the latest technology. The school really is always focused on improving, and each time I've gone back to visit I've noticed some really awesome changes. Additionally, Lake Forest Academy has a commitment to diversity & pluralism. When I was a student, there were many events focused on multiculturalism and allowed students to travel in order to better understand other cultures and the world. While I was studying, I was able to visit New York four times with choir, Ghana, India, and Patagonia, among other travel options. These opportunities show a commitment to creating excellent global citizens.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Its hard for me to pick just one or two things that were the best that happened to me at LFA. I just have to say that honestly, looking back, LFA was one of the best decisions I've ever made. 5 years after graduating, I am still best friends with 3 of my closest friends from school, I still keep in touch with some of the amazing faculty and staff, and attend as many alumni events as possible. I have phenomenal memories of my time at LFA, and after hearing in college how many people were dissatisfied with their high school experience, I realize even more how lucky I was to attend such an amazing school. I really loved high school and felt incredibly prepared for college. While many people entered into their freshman year at college completely unaware of how to success, I found my first year to be easy, as LFA had already prepared me well for college. I definitely had a step up because of my LFA education, and was already phenomenal at time management and getting involved. LFA was not only an amazing experience while I was there, but really helped me succeed in college, and as an Alum I am incredibly proud to have gone there. I would be proud to send my future children here.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I probably would have tried to identify my passion a little earlier. I didn't have many opportunities at my K-8 school I went to before, so when I arrived I was pretty amazed by how many options there were! If I had sat down and thought about my high school goals a little more before going to LFA, I probably could have focused on honing in on things that were important to my future in college and beyond. While I don't regret participating in a variety of activities, I wish I had known which ones I would seriously pursue later on. You don't have to know what you want to do right away, but don't spend time doing things you don't love or aren't passionate about!
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Overall I liked the atmosphere. I genuinely looked forward to going to school every day. Even though I was a commuter and had to wake up super early to catch the train, I never wished I wasn't going to school that day. I would even show up on optional snow days. LFA is a really comforting environment with friendly teachers who care. I have so many positive experiences that I remember from academics, sports, extracurriculars, and more. I wouldn't change anything about my high school experience, and it really was such an exciting and fun point in my life. I also really loved our rotating 7 day cycle schedule. Late starts, double periods, free periods, early dismissals, theres all rotated on a 7 day cycle making each day feel new and exciting. Nothing was ever boring or routine
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Make the most out of your time at LFA. Become friends with the teachers and keep in touch, invest your time and energy in things you are passionate about, and get involved! Your LFA experience is what you make of it, the more involved you are and the more you put into your time at LFA the more positive memories and experiences you will leave it with.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
One of my favorite things about the academics at LFA were the teachers. They are simply the best. To this day, I still keep in touch with many of them, and to be honest many of them were better than my college professors. There is a real "family" feeling at LFA. I loved going to breakfast and running into a teacher and their family before class. I always felt as if I truly mattered and that teachers were willing and able to help me whenever I was struggling or needed assistance. Another great think about LFA is that you will always have an opportunity to follow your passion, even if you don't see the class listed on the curriculum. One time, I was the only person in my year who wanted to take a specific AP class. I was able to take the class as an independent study with the help of a teacher, and ended up getting a 5 on the Ap Exam. Teachers at LFA want you to be successful in whatever it is you are interested in, and they will make it happen.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
One of the things I loved about LFA athletics is that everyone was required to do a sport or a combination of sport and PE options. This means that every student had the opportunity to connect with, become teammates with, and become friends with people they may not have gotten to know as well otherwise. For those who didn't love sports, there were other options like the winter musical, or self defense. Additionally, many of the teachers are also coaches, so it is great getting to know them outside of the classroom. I have never particularly loved sports, but I really enjoyed my time on the cheerleading and track teams during my time at LFA. Many students, myself included, chose to continue participating in sports long after we fulfilled our sport/PE requirements. We also have excellent facilities. I wish I could still work out at our gym, and the Athletic Center was recently redone.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I took 4 years of drama classes and participated in countless plays. Because the school keeps class sizes to a minimum, there were always tons of opportunities to get roles. If you wanted to do an independent project, faculty would do their best to help you make sure it happened. I know many people who organized their own performances. If you are willing to dream up a project, someone is willing to help you. I wish I had taken more visual arts classes during my time at LFA, but I was so busy with choir and theater that it didn't fit into my schedule. I did, however, take art history as an independent study (I was the only person in the class!) and got a 5 on the AP Exam. I loved it so much I even majored in it in College.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
The best thing about LFA was the variety of extracurricular opportunities available. And, if for some strange reason the club or volunteer organization wasn't already offered or running, it was easy to start your own. Students at LFA genuinely love being involved, and I know that my involvements in high school helped me out later on in college and made my college application stand out.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I was not a boarding student, but that didn't stop me from hanging out at school all the time. Since I commuted, I would often stay later to participate in activities or hang out with friends who lived on campus. The dorms were welcoming, and the faculty who lived in and manage the dorms made it a great environment. I loved that even as a day student, I felt welcome hanging out on campus. I might had well have lived on campus, since that is where I (very willingly) spent a lot of my time, because I absolutely loved it.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
I loved the dining options at LFA. They were honestly better than what I had at college. They do a good job of providing good food, and the meals never got repetitive. Additionally, there were always many healthy options available, but it never felt restrictive. You could really choose your own diet. I also liked the cafeteria set up. It was small and intimate, with teachers and their families dining in the same area as students. I even ate there a few times when I visited as an alumni, and the food was just as good as I'd remembered.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Lake Forest is a quiet town in one of Illinois more wealthy communities. 50% of the students are also day students, so many students are from the area. This makes it easy to meet up with friends or hang out in town with other students. I spent a lot of time on campus or back in my own town (as I was a commuter) so i didn't find myself hanging out much in Lake Forest, unless I was visiting a friend.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I spent a lot of time on campus, even though I was a day student. Because of this I developed friendships with both day and boarding students, and I felt like I always had something to do or someone to hang out with. I really loved LFA because while people certainly had their own groups of friends, it wasn't like there was a "popular" group. Everyone got along and got to know each other. Even if someone wasn't your best friend, odds are you've had a class or done a sport together. I knew everyone's name on campus, and always felt that it was a very friendly place.
|6:30 AM||Wake up, get ready, catch train|
|7:30 AM||Arrive at train station, wait for bus with friends|
|8:00 AM||Arrive on campus, try to catch breakfast|
|8:15 AM||Begin classes for the day, unless it was late start|
|12:00 AM||Usually around now I'd have a free period and eat lunch with friends|
|1:00 PM||Continue classes for the day|
|3:00 PM||Finish classes, change for practice with friends|
|3:30 PM||Attend cheer, track, or musical practice depending on the season|
|5:00 PM||work out on campus with friends|
|6:00 PM||eat dinner on campus, catch train, head home and do homework|
|10:00 AM||wake up, eat breakfast, get ready to leave house|
|12:00 AM||Meet up with friend, drive to campus|
|1:00 PM||Attend sporting event, participate in sporting event, or participate in on campus activity|
|5:00 PM||eat dinner on campus|
|6:00 PM||Either hang out with friend, or go home and hang out with family|
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