Phillips Academy Andover - Review #5

Read more details about Phillips Academy Andover on their 2019-20 profile page.
Phillips Academy Andover
5

About the Author:

College EnrolledBrown University
Home Town, State Katy, TX
Years Attended Boarding School2
Activities During Boarding SchoolI was president of math club, member of the squash team, member of the band, and member of intramural frisbee.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Andover is special because the students make it special. Everybody there is ambitious, hungry to learn, and eager to broaden their horizons in all areas, even outside of academics. Furthermore, the level of intellectual maturity expected of the students is unparalleled among all the premier boarding schools in the US. Beyond the typical set of AP classes one could find at regular schools, Andover's offerings include fluid dynamics, quantum mechanics, and Under the Fur, a unique literature class one could only find at an institution of Andover's caliber.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
The best thing I did at Andover was bringing the math team to victory at the New England Association of Math Leagues during my senior year. I remember thinking that the years of hard work I put into this activity had finally culminated in success beyond my wildest dreams, and thanking my upperclassmen friends for encouraging me to pursue mathematical greatness. I definitely feel like I grew a lot as a leader over those two years, and developing those soft skills enabled me to become a better communicator and group synergiser at university.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would have made more of an effort to find out about my professors' backgrounds outside of teaching at Andover. I found out years after graduation that the myriad accomplishments of my professors were more impressive and extensive than I had believed even when I was at Andover, and I wish I had capitalized more on those connections and the advice I could have gotten from them. I would encourage students entering Andover to talk to their professors and get to know them better.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Overall, I liked the fact that I could build relationships with so many intelligent people. The entire time I was there, I was greatly humbled and impressed by the achievements and accomplishments of my peers and mentors. I have full faith that I was growing up alongside some of the greatest minds in the country.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
My final parting advice to incoming students is this: Do not be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help is the best way to learn, and you are at school to learn. You may not be used to making mistakes - Andover will certainly cause you to make mistakes, and that is a good thing, because you are surrounded by the people best equipped to help you. And lastly, enjoy yourself! It will go by faster than you realize.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I felt stimulated, challenged, and encouraged to pursue my interests outside of my classes. My professors always encouraged me to think critically about both the material that we covered in class and the way what we learned applied to the outside world. Furthermore, the students always encouraged me to push myself and achieve greater academic heights than I ever had before I attended Andover.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I was part of the squash team, which is highly competitive (only 16 students were permitted to join). However, various inclusive options are available - I participated in intramural frisbee, which is open to all students. In both students, the atmosphere was collegial and friendly. I most enjoyed that everyone was always willing to lend a helping hand - we were never a house divided against ourselves.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I was part of the band, and I can honestly say that the band program was one of the best parts of my day. Andover is known for their challenging academics, but perhaps less known for their incredibly strong music program as well, and having received first-hand experience, I can wholeheartedly vouch for the excellence of our band conductor and his passion for teaching students. Everything from the selection of music to the concerts to the athletic events we attended were well-organized, thoughtfully arranged, and curated with care.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
The extracurriculars at Andover were diverse and popular - you would be hard-pressed to find students who weren't involved in two or even three extracurricular activities, whether it be sports, clubs, or research with professors. I was particularly involved in math club, where each year we sent students to the biggest math competitions in New England and frequently claimed top spots on leaderboards. Apart from academics-oriented clubs, we have numerous clubs geared towards other interests, including sports, community service, and cultural diversity.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
We were divided into blocks, and within those blocks we became really close friends because of the time we spent together. The rooms were great, well-heated, clean, and well-maintained. One of my fondest memories was being able to jump from my balcony onto a snow drift to go to class.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The food was pretty good (I would even say better than my college's). The cafeterias were spacious and well-lit, and could seat the entire school at once. There's a little something for everyone's taste (much like the various academic offerings). There was no assigned seating.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Andover is set in a relatively rural area, but there is an expansive and scenic backyard. I used to go skiing in the grounds surrounding the school, and as a Texan, it was amazing to see the giant snow banks surrounding the buildings.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
You can find all kinds of people at Andover - there are opportunities to meet people similar to you, and polar opposite, and everyone in between. I liked the blocking system where you were blocked with a smaller group of people - it brought everyone in each block closer together.
Read more details about Phillips Academy Andover on their 2019-20 profile page.

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