Tabor Academy - Review #8

Read more details about Tabor Academy on their 2020-21 profile page.
Tabor Academy

About the Author:

Years Attended Boarding School: 1996-2000
Sports and Activities:Crew Field Hockey Theater Peer Counseling Tour Guide Big Brother / Big Sister
College Enrolled:Trinity College
Home Town, State: Forestdale, MA

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Tabor's setting as the School by the Sea is not only an important part of its history, but also of its current image and experience. The unique opportunities provided by the water setting really set it apart. Sailing instruction, an excellent marine science program, rowing, and many other programs add to the diversity of the curricular and extracurricular experience. The school's tight relationship with the Naval Academy provides other great opportunities. The water setting also adds a serene aspect to campus life. I think being on the water makes campus life a little slower, makes you stop to appreciate where you are. And waking up in the morning and looking out to see the sun rising over the harbor is an experience that's hard to compare to anything else.The small class sizes were possibly one of the greatest aspects of my educational experience at Tabor. My largest class ever had 12 other students, and my smallest class had only two students. This allowed for lots of open discussion, a welcome break from the lecture-style class sessions I had become accustomed to in public school. Additionally, the individual attention you were able to receive from teachers was extremely helpful to the learning experience, particularly in languages, math, and science.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I think I learned a lot about being independent, and managing your own time and academic responsibilities. I learned to speak my mind freely to other students, and also to have a respectful intellectual conversation with a faculty member.I also learned to relate and communicate with people from a variety of different backgrounds, and I think being exposed to a variety of cultures and beliefs greatly prepared me for the real world.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
The first year was really hard, I didn't fit in at all with the other girls because they were so preppy. There were times I wish I had come better prepared to fit in with such a style of people, but ultimately I'm glad I was able to retain my own identity. I guess the thing I would have done differently would be not to be intimidated by people who had more money and dressed better than I did. In retrospect, I think a lot of my isolation was self-inflicted, it was more that I was afraid to talk to the other girls than that they wouldn't talk to me. So my advice would be not to be intimidated, but to try to be friendly and outgoing to everyone. Also I wish I had spent some more time at the school before I started there to get a better feel of what the other students were like so it wouldn't have been such a shock.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The education, and not just in the classroom. There were so many learning opportunities all the time, like school-sponsored international trips, or lecturers, and things like that. I also learned so much more about myself as a person than I ever would have in public school. Being around people so different from myself really made me think about my own identity in a way I never had before, and I think that led to a lot of self-discovery. The independence made me a much more outgoing and strong person.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Lillard 3rd Floor is by far the best dorm, the rooms are really big and the girls get really close. Absolutely, positively, learn to sail while you are there. Trust me, you will regret it if you don't.


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I thought one of the greatest things about the academic environment was that it was very supportive and noncompetitive. Coming from a public high school where the smartest kids were outcast as "nerds" or "suckups," it was wonderful to enter into an environment where academic achievement was looked upon favorably both by the faculty and by other students. Students were very supportive of one another academically, we were always studying together in the dorms. And, if anything, it was the kids who didn't do well in school who were outcast.The other aspect of the academic life I enjoyed was the depth of the classes I took. When I compare the classwork I did in high school to my public school (and, I am sad to say, even some of my college) courses, I am very impressed with the depth of study. We covered a lot of information in every class, but the focus of learning was never simply to memorize information and parrot it back on tests. Group discussions and more creative assignments lead to a greater breadth of understanding and a more well-rounded learning experience.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I liked the broad variety of programs available, and the multiple levels of competition. It was comforting as a freshman not to necessarily have to try to compete with seniors. Also, it was great to be exposed to new athletics such as rowing, sailing, and squash.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I liked the freedom I had to pursue my own interests in theater. If there was a play that a student wanted to do, we could put it together for an All-School meeting, or do it as an independent project. I loved the faculty members I worked with in theater, they coached in such a constructive way, and they always made it fun. It was never stressful. I learned a lot about the development of a character, and was even able to develop my skills as a director my senior year. I also loved the diversity of the productions in the theater program. It kept things interesting. I also thought there was very strong student support for theater- there were always a lot of other students out at performances.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Most of my extracurricular experience was in community service. I actually felt the school could have supported these programs more. It was very difficult trying to schedule things in around mandated sports practices and study halls. Because there was such a big emphasis on athletics, I felt community service often took the back burner in the school's priorities.However, the weekend life on campus was very full. There was always something to do, and I particularly enjoyed all of the trips on the weekends to different cities, shopping places, etc.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I liked the dorm families. It gave the dorm a much more homey feel if your dormparent had kids, and sometimes you could hang out in their apartment. They were sort of your family away from your family. I really loved not having locks on the doors, it created a strong feeling of openness and trust that ultimately made us feel safer in a lot of ways I think. Also, I thought most of the rooms were really nice, I had better housing in high school than I did for most of college!


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
I thought there was a good diversity of food at the dining hall, and I have to say, looking back, the quality was really good. Weekend meals were especially nice, you were allowed to have guests for brunch, and my family would come down to eat with me a lot. I liked not having an organized meal plan or having to go through a register ever, it felt a little more like your own kitchen.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The town was very quiet and safe. You felt like you could go for a run or a walk almost anywhere and not worry about it. Also, most of the people in the town liked Tabor kids, and there were some nice stores to get a snack or a present. Also we weren't far from shopping malls, restaurants, and other things.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
There was always something to do on the weekend, or somewhere to go. Since the dorms were so open, a lot of the socializing just happened hanging around in the dorms, too.

Daily Schedule:

6:30 AMGet up, clean room for inspection, get into dress code, go to breakfast at 7:00
7:30 AMExtra help
8:00 AMClasses began (40 minute blocks, I think)
10:30 AMEvery day there was a meeting block- either chapel, all-school meeting, advisor meetings, or a college counseling session. We got together as a full student body 3 times a week.
12:00 AMLunch
3:00 PMAthletic practice or theater rehearsal
5:30 PMDinner
7:30 PMStudy hall for 2 hours
9:30 PMGo to the Beebe Grill, call home, hang out with friends in the dorms
10:00 PMCheck-in, dorm meetings
10:15 AMLights out
9:00 AMLeave for athletic game. Could be back as early as 1:00 or as late as 8:00 pm. (Freshman and sophomores have Saturday morning study hall)
10:00 AMIf I didn't have a game, I usually went on one of the bus trips to the mall or to Boston or something
10:00 AMWeekend brunches were long affairs. We would sit and talk together for hours.
2:00 PMDo homework, hang out with friends in dorm
5:00 PMDinner
8:00 PMGo to a dance, movie, or other entertainment on campus
10:00 PMCheck-in (for seniors this was 11:00)
11:00 PMLights-out
Read more details about Tabor Academy on their 2020-21 profile page.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Tabor Academy Alumni #1
    Class of 2017
    5 Stars  
    Middlebury College
    Tabor Academy's waterfront setting is what makes it so unique. With a strong marine science program and multiple research opportunities, its relation to the water and "school by the sea" motto makes it one of. . .
  • Tabor Academy Alumni #2
    Class of 2017
    5 Stars  
    Northeastern University
    Tabor's campus is on the ocean- the School by the Sea! This means two things. One, we get to enjoy a beautiful view- seeing the ocean through the windows, walking across beautiful green grass between. . .
  • Tabor Academy Alumni #3
    Class of 2016
    5 Stars  
    Boston College
    I had an amazing four years boarding at Tabor. What really separates Tabor from any other school is it's location. Being located right on Sippican Harbor allows the students to have so many. . .
  • Show more reviews (5 reviews)
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