Westtown School - Review #17
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2010-2014|
|Sports and Activities:||I participated all four years in volleyball and basketball during the fall and winter seasons, respectively. Additionally, I was a proctor (student leader) of the freshman dorm, Balderston, during my Junior Year. Last, I was an officer of Fashion Club my sophomore year, and the co-head of the same club my junior year.|
|College Enrolled:||University of North Florida|
|Home Town, State:||Bogota|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
One of the main aspects that makes Westtown unique is the way academics work by semesters. That gives students the opportunity to sign up for more classes than a normal yearly scheduling would allow. For me, my focus was always science, but during my last two years at Westtown I was able to sign up for four different history classes that I, otherwise, wouldn't have had the time to take. Additionally, Westtown's teaching style is based on discussion and research which was a huge change from the way school works in Colombia. This change of style helps develop critical thinking and offers students a big advantage in college settings, specially if that college is small.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I think the part that I value most about Westtown are the friends that I made over the years. They got to know me, and me them, in a deeper level than any of the other friends I've since made. Also, boarding helped me become more independent, and helped me realize that I didn't have to be like everybody else to be accepted.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
My advice to you is to be yourself. As long as you are kind and think of others, Westtown will accept you just the way you are. Don't be afraid to explore different things, and don't be afraid to be excellent, or to be the opposite of that. Be open minded and work hard, but also have fun.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I like how it was small, but not tiny. I like the diverse and accepting community it represents, and I appreciate all the opportunities it gave me.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Scones are to die for.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
One of the main aspects that makes Westtown unique is the way academics work by semesters. That gives students the opportunity to sign up for more classes than a normal yearly scheduling would allow. For me, my focus was always science, but during my last two years at Westtown I was able to sign up for four different history classes that I, otherwise, wouldn't have had the time to take. Additionally, Westtown's teaching style is based on discussion and research which was a huge change from the way school works in Colombia. This change of style helps develop critical thinking and offers students a big advantage in college settings, specially if that college is small.Classes are usually well-structured and complex, and the workload is substantial but it is nonetheless manageable. In science specially, most of the topics covered in both advanced chem and advanced bio, allowed me to jump ahead into the upper level bio and chem courses in collage since the topics were the same. Westtown doesn't rank its students according to their GPA, which avoids creating a competitive environment between students. You end up striving to better yourself, for you, not to be better than someone else.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I liked the athletic aspect of Westtown because it encouraged me to keep active and to participate in a team. However, I do wish that the requirement of having two competitive sports per year would only include freshmen, because my favorite "sport" was strength and conditioning. Nonetheless, I do appreciate the time I spent with the volleyball and basketball team because it taught me how to work alongside other people, not necessarily my friends. If you are excellent at any sport Westtown offers, I guarantee this aspect of it will be your favorite. I was able to qualify for varsity on both sports, but I have never been a competitive person, thus, I liked practice more than the actual games we played.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I'm not an artistic person so I only took two art classes my freshman year. They were very relaxing and diverse. I didn't experience any discomfort when working with other people considering I was never any good at art. The facilities are spacious and there are always materials available.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
I was involved in both fashion club and ISO (International Student Organization). My favorite was ISO because you get to meet most of the internationals and you get to participate in the International Food Festival where students from various countries prepare a number of dishes to share with the community. Fashion Club was fun because we did many creative philantrophic activities.There are plenty of opportunities to join a club since there is a Tuesday afternoon called Club Shop where students can go around and get to know the different clubs there are.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life was very nice as well, specially when you get to choose your roommate. Boarders tend to form close relationships with other boarders, and I believe it results in stronger friendship since you basically are living with your friends all the time. There are rules, and chores to do, but overall I definitely recommend boarding; it was my favorite aspect of Westtown. The only thing I recommend is to buy snacks, specially for Friday, Saturday and Sunday because dinner is usually early and since there is no study-hall or late night snack, people tend to get hungrier.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Honestly, the food was good. Breakfast was my favorite and it had everything from cereal to eggs and hash browns. Lunch and dinner were usually the same, food wise, but Westtown really tries to make the menus unrepetitive. There are always vegetarian options as well. Dinner is served in two ways: buffet or family style. I liked buffet alot more because it was more casual and dinner started 30 min earlier.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
I did not know the town very well, the only place in West Chester that I frequented was Kiwi, a frozen yogurt place. However, Westtown always had various weekend activities for students to choose from, such as shopping at Exton Mall or King of Prussia Mall, Grocery shopping etc. I like that the surrounding area to the school was relatively quiet.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I like that in such a small community, everyone gets to know everyone. Maybe you don't become best friends with all the students, but everyone is very friendly. Sometimes it can get a bit dull to see the same people all the time, but it is worth it considering you get to know so many types of people and get to form relationships with all of them.
|8:00 AM||Two one-hour classes|
|10:00 AM||Collection and Recess|
|10:30 AM||Three one hour classes|
|1:45 AM||Two forty five minute classes|
|5:30 PM||Dinner (brunch style)|
|9:30 AM||45 min Free time + Dorm check + Lights Out|
|10:30 AM||Meeting for Worship|
|12:00 AM||Brunch (workjobs some weekends)|
|1:00 PM||Free Time (study, watch movies, read)|
|5:30 PM||Sunday Dinner (Family style; workjobs sometimes)|
|7:30 PM||Study-Hall (study in dorm, library etc)|
|9:30 PM||End of Study Hall (Free time)|
|10:15 PM||Dorm check (Check-in at the dorms; time varies for underclassmen)|
|11:00 PM||Lights Out (Time varies for underclassmen)|
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