Suffield Academy - Review #2

Suffield Academy
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled Tufts University
Home Town, State (Country) Fairfield, CT
Years Attended Boarding School 3
Activities During Boarding School I was a proctor, a torch society member and the president of the Class of 2015. I also participated in a bunch of sports, most notably varsity baseball and squash, and was the leader of the outdoor athletic club. I was a part of dozens of other small clubs and did numerous small tasks for them. My biggest accomplishment by far however was the creation of Suffield Academy's Amazing Race, which turned out to be a big success.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Suffield is an extremely tight-knit community. I knew every single person by name and could hold a decent conversation with almost everyone. The teachers are like second parents who will listen to all of your problems no matter how insignificant. Suffield also offered ample opportunities to take leadership roles throughout the school. By senior year I think everyone in my class was in charge of some school related community.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I've definitely met friends at Suffield that I will stay with me forever, and have started a tradition in the Amazing Race. I left the school as a completely different person than I arrived and was 100% ready to take on the world after my experiences with what to me is the best boarding school in the world.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
My advice is to take it easy when you first get there. The school's got so much going on that it's easy to be overwhelmed early on. But if you keep doing what you enjoy doing, you'll find your way and optimize your experience. If I were to do it again I would love to go back to my sophomore year and just take a breath and enjoy the school, instead of freaking out about unimportant things going on in my life.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The people. I knew everybody in the school by name and a little bit about them. I didn't like two people. So basically I enjoyed the company of 99.5% of the people on campus.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Eat as many bagels as possible. Mess around with Zwirko as much as you possibly can. Climb a roof and watch the sunset at least once. Play some can jam. Study hard, play harder. Don't take it for granted, you're gonna miss it when you're gone.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Students experience the academics at Suffield very differently. There are some people (myself included) who are able to coast through school without ever truly challenging themselves. Which in hindsight was a wasted opportunity. Many of my good friends were able to find and excel in subject matters that both pushed them and pulled them in. Suffield offers a wide variety of classes that are usually led by wonderful teachers. There are ten great teachers at Suffield to every mediocre one, and the mediocre one always seems terrible because of how great all the others are. However, you'll even end up loving these mediocre teachers because you get to interact with them outside of class so much. This also makes it very easy to get extra help from your teachers, because they're really much more than that. As cheesy as it sounds, your teachers are kind of like your family and that makes learning from them all the more fun.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The athletic program at Suffield is exceptional. Every year, no matter how untalented a team may look, we compete at the highest level in New England, often times beating schools twice our size. Our coaches were absolutely phenomenal, we joked that a few of them were so good that they really should have been coaching at the D-I University level. They also are by no means pushovers. I have never been pushed as hard as I was during my varsity squash days and Coach Brissette of the baseball team was a tactical genius. In general the school is filled with athletes. Every student has to participate in three sports a year which means that every one has some athletic base, which I think is a very important thing. There's also like 6 different sports to choose from per term, so everyone will find their thing. Of course, there are also many kids who continue their athletic careers into college. Out of my class of 100 I believe 20 of them went on to have collegiate careers. I know it's not necessarily part of the athletic program but some of fondest memories of Suffield are going out at night and playing ping pong, can jam, ultimate frisbee, spikeball or anything else we could find to play.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I was not really a part of the artistic crowd at Suffield but I did go to a lot of the art shows, musicals, and plays put on by the school. There is quite honestly a lot of artistic talent in the school. The art center is usually adorned with the works of various student, some of them absolutely breathtaking. It was always fun to see what kids could come up with, especially when the create something you'd never expect them to. One of my good friend who was as jock as jock could be, was an absolute master with a paintbrush and made just beautiful pieces that I would never have guessed came from him. The musicals and plays are some of the best performances put on by New England Small Prep schools, they win a handful of awards each year. There's open mic nights, show cases and thousands of other opportunities for artists to express themselves at Suffield.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There's really something for everyone at Suffield. Even if on the surface it seems like none of the clubs fit your interests, I still recommend just giving it a go. I joined the quiz team kind of as a joke, but it turned out to be unbelievably fun. And if you still don't like any of the clubs, or want something more, no one will stop you from creating it. So, in my senior spring, I had the wild idea to create an Amazing Race for the school. Basically it would involve everything the real Amazing Race does, just on a smaller scale. I sent our academic dean a proposal outlining what the first leg of the race might be like and how I think it would be really fun for the community and all that gibberish. He just responded with a "I'm in." With that confirmation I worked tirelessly pretty much every day of my senior spring to make this as fun for the participants as possible. I publicized it, made t-shirts and all that jazz, and then over the final month of school held my race with some help from the academic dean and a few other advisors. People loved it, and every year since an Amazing Race has been put on by some senior, essentially memorializing my creation. Basically Suffield is just an amazing place to go out and try to create something or join something without fear of failure. ]

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
My first year away from home I was randomly roomed with 300 pound, sloppy kid. Loved him to death, but he was extremely disgusting. Other than that though my rooming experiences have been pretty nice. My rooms at Suffield have been much nicer than my rooms in college thus far, and the people in charge of housing are very reachable if there are any problems. Your dorm mates eventually become your brothers or sister because of all the time you spend together-- every night from 8:00 pm on. There is a rooming survey you can fill out to match you with kids like you, or if you already have a friend who you want to room with you can sign up together.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Dining at Suffield has actually changed drastically since I was there. They recently rebuilt the dining hall and made it even better than it used to be. Food is good, kitchen staff is nice. One of the cool things about Suffield is that lunches are family style meaning that your assigned a table with a bunch of other random kids and teachers and have to sit there all week. At first I was slightly annoyed by this because, of course, I wanted to sit with my friends. But looking back at it, it was pretty nice getting to know people more intimately than I normally would. After the recent renovations they supposedly have a bunch of good stuff always available (pizza bar, soda machines, etc.), which is something that I would've loved as a student.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Suffield is a beautiful little New England Town, with a few nice little markets around campus. The surrounding towns also are a little more commercialized which is great if your aching for Chipotle or Red Robin. Downtown Suffield is basically Suffield Academy (Town Hall is right next door) so there are numerous town events that occur right outside the campus which is really neat as well. There are also a bunch of hiking trails around the town which is great if you need a little time away from the world. My favorite experiences outside of town were definitely heading to a trail with some friends and spending all day exploring out there. The only problem with Suffield is the winters are long and cold, but there is still nothing more beautiful than a wintery Suffield sunset.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Suffield's a big family and there will always be someone in the Union who you'll be comfortable talking to. First and foremost people are there to get an education, but socializing with friends is a close second. Every day there's something new to do, whether it be events hosted by the town itself or the academy. You'll just never be bored.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Suffield Academy Alumni #1
    Class of 2016
    5 Stars   10/18/2017
    Northeastern University
    It's centralized location to a (sudo) urban city- Hartford while at the same time maintaining the quintessential large open landscape that boarding schools are known for. . .
  • Suffield Academy Alumni #2
    Class of 2015
    5 Stars   6/1/2017
    Tufts University
    Suffield is an extremely tight-knit community. I knew every single person by name and could hold a decent conversation with almost everyone. The teachers are like second parents who will listen to all of your. . .
  • Suffield Academy Alumni #3
    Class of 2015
    5 Stars   12/3/2016
    University of South Carolina
    Mandatory leadership class Freshman and Sophomore years Mandatory work-job for each student as well as mandatory leadership position for seniors. . .
  • Suffield Academy Alumni #4
    Class of 2014
    5 Stars   12/29/2016
    University of Miami
    I applaud Suffield on several things but perhaps the most important is the way they have modernized. I have attended other schools that stick to the traditional boarding school model and do not stray an. . .
  • Suffield Academy Alumni #5
    Class of 2011
    5 Stars   7/19/2011
    Columbia University
    Suffield Academy has the a very close teacher- student relationship. The accessibility of getting extra help or having a adult to talk to is very easy at Suffield. The faculty is very understanding and open. . .
  • Show more reviews (3 reviews)
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