Lawrenceville School - Review #1

Lawrenceville School
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled Bowdoin College
Home Town, State (Country) Montclair, NJ
Years Attended Boarding School 1
Activities During Boarding School I was a captain on the girls ice hockey team my senior year, on the girls soccer team, and completed over 100 hours of community service with programs such as Tuesday Skate (teaching low-income children how to skate) and volunteering at Kids R First Preschool in Trenton, NJ.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
One of the most notable aspects of Lawrenceville is the house system. It is often compared to Harry Potter. After freshman year all students are sorted into the houses they will live in their sophomore and juniors years. Houses consist of about 40 students each, and are very close knit and have their own distinctive traditions. There are many inter-house competitions such as the House Cup, House Olympics, and awards are given to the houses with the highest GPA and that house with most students participating in athletics. The house system at Lawrenceville really makes students feel like they have a "home away from home" when they are on campus.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I think that my time at Lawrenceville played a huge role in my formation into the person I am today. At Lawrenceville I learned how to work hard both in the classroom and on the field, through my close relationships with my classmates, teammates, coaches, and teachers. My sophomore year I received the Mollie Marcoux award, given to that member of the girls ice hockey team that best exemplifies Mollie Marcoux's attitude, skill, grace under pressure and love of the game. Additionally, at the end of my four years I was presented with the Mackellar Violich '08 prize give to the female Lawrenceville School athlete who attains the highest standards of athletic performance, leadership, and academic achievement, an accomplishment I am very proud of to this day.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would advise anyone going into Lawrenceville to fully experience everything it has to offer. Join clubs, play on teams, really get to know your teachers, advisors, and coaches. Lawrenceville has so much to offer, and your time there absolutely flies by, so you have to soak everything in while you still have the chance.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I loved everything about Lawrenceville, it was truly the place where I grew into myself. I met some of my best friends, had some of my highest triumphs, but also had struggles and learned many, many lessons. Along the way I always felt supported by my classmates, teammates, coaches, and teachers. Overall, what I loved most about Lawrenceville was that it was home, and everyone at the school was my family for my three years there.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
My final words of wisdom are to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Try new things, and meet new people. The people you meet at Lawrenceville are unlike anyone you've ever met before, so immerse yourself in the experience.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Academics at Lawrenceville were very rigorous. However, teachers were always accessible and willing to help. Everyday there is a consult period, and students are encouraged to go to their teachers to ask questions about course material. I found that teachers were very understanding when things got hectic, and were always willing to grant a 1 or 2 day extension when I was spread too thin. Lawrenceville uses the Harkness method of teaching, in which students sit around a round table, much like a dinner table. Thus, participation is EXTREMELY important, and it is not easy to get away with not doing readings or being unprepared for class. For most teachers, class participation constitutes a large part of the grade.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
At Lawrenceville students must participate in either intramural or interscholastic sports every semester. Intramural sports vary by season, in the fall for boys there is house football and for girls there is ultimate frisbee, in the winter there is basketball, and in the spring there is soccer and handball. There are many options for interscholastic sports, with freshman through varsity teams. Many students are able to pick up new sports once they arrive at Lawrenceville. Overall, the athletics at Lawrenceville were one of my favorite aspects of the school. I found the coaches and the athletic department to extremely supportive and welcoming, from the strength trainers, to the athletic directors.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I did not participate in the arts, however, there are very impressive theatre and dance performances twice a year. The school population is very supportive of the arts and most students attend the shows. 2 terms of visual arts, music, or theatre are required for all students. However, I have noticed that is often difficult (although doable, if you delay taking a history class) to fit additional art classes past the required courses into your schedule.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There are hundreds of different clubs available to join, and it is extremely easy to start a new club with the help of a faculty advisor. There is a required 40 hours of community service in order to graduate. The community service office sets up programs and provides transportation to off-campus volunteer opportunities. All you have to do is sign up and show up! As it is so easy and fun, many students well exceed their required hours. There are also abroad volunteer trips you can sign up for, and School Camp, where you can apply to be a summer camp counselor for under-served children in the summer.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
As previously mentioned, the houses at Lawrenceville become like a family. Most girls live in singles their freshman year, doubles their sophomore year, singles junior year, and have a choice of singles, doubles, or triples their senior year. Most boys have singles their freshman year, singles/doubles their sophomore year, doubles their junior year, and a choice their senior year. Rooms were spacious compared to other boarding schools I have visited.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
There are 3 separate dining halls for lower school (freshmen), Irwin (sophomores and juniors), and Abbott (seniors). Everyone eats in Irwin on the weekends. In Irwin there are pods for each house to eat, but aside from advisee lunch and house lunch you are not required to sit in any particular pod. Quality of food was my least favorite part about Lawrenceville, but there are bars (wok joy, yogurt, salad) where you can make your own food, which is a popular choice.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The school's surrounding area is very "small town", with a couple restaurants, a bagel shop, and a Starbucks. However Princeton is a short drive down the road, and students often visit on weekends. In the other direction is Trenton, where a lot of the community service programs take place.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
There were sometimes dances or other activities on Saturday nights. The houses also often had invite-a-friend events or "screws" where people in a house would invite other students (or a whole house) over for an event. Students also frequented sporting events, such as the hockey games, which sometimes acted as social events as well.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:30 AMBreakfast
8:00 AMClasses Start
9:45 AMConsultation
3:00 PMClasses End
3:30 PMSports Practices
5:30 PMDinner
8:00 PMCheck-In
8:30 PMStudy Hall Starts
11:00 PMStudy Hall Ends
11:15 PMLights Out
Weekend
8:30 AMClasses Start
11:30 AMClasses End
12:00 AMLunch
2:00 PMSports Games
5:30 PMDinner
6:30 PMEarly Check-In
8:00 PMDance/Other Activity/Free Time
11:00 PMCheck-In

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Bowdoin College
    One of the most notable aspects of Lawrenceville is the house system. It is often compared to Harry Potter. After freshman year all students are sorted into the houses they will live in their sophomore. . .
  • Lawrenceville School Alumni #2
    Class of 2009
    5 Stars   12/3/2016
    William and Mary
    The Harkness method of teaching keeps classes small and interactive. Everyone, including instructors, is seated in an equal position around the table. Harkness classes helped me find my voice and prepared me for work conferences. . .
  • Lawrenceville School Alumni #3
    Class of 2008
    5 Stars   4/30/2009
    Califoria Institute of Technology
    House system: all students are put into a house their sophomore year, and your affiliation runs really, really deep. On the whole, students love their house, their housemates, and get really into house spirit. It. . .
  • Lawrenceville School Alumni #4
    Class of 2006
    5 Stars   12/12/2016
    Amherst College
    The location of The Lawrenceville alone is enough to differentiate it from most other competitive boarding schools tucked away in New England. Nestled in a quiet town just 5 miles from Princeton, you get. . .
  • Show more reviews (-1 reviews)
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