Concord Academy - Review #3
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2014-2018|
|Sports and Activities:||I was co-head of two affinity spaces Alianza Latina and Mxn of Color Alliance, and I also wrote in the school's newspaper The Centipede; I was a staff writer my junior year and then a section editor the following year.|
|College Enrolled:||Wesleyan University|
|Home Town, State:||Concord, MA|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
There's a commitment around my school from students and faculty to social justice that fosters a very welcoming environment. There's so many resources and groups with the goal of making the community better for all students like diversity council, a group of co-heads from affinity space with the mission to build coalition and organize to make real impacts to the community.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Being so close with my peers, I had the chance to really connect with the people around me. Vulnerability was probably the greatest thing I learned at Concord Academy. I achieved so much during my time there like learning how to ride a bike and organizing a student protest. Throughout my four years, they prepared me to enter Wesleyan University, and I'm really grateful to have had the opportunity to attend.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I wish I put more effort in my STEM classes only because the teachers really wanted me to do well in class, but I lost motivation each time. I would have definitely set up more meetings with my teachers in order to move further in class.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I left with a strong sense of what a community feels like. I spent so much time seeing familiar faces that at some points it felt overwhelming, but when I arrived to college I realized how much a small community allowed me to succeed and grow academically and personally.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Don't choose your friends as your roommate. It just makes things complicated throughout the year.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
At Concord Academy, I learned so much about writing and incorporating my passions into the classrooms. In my Creative Nonfiction class, I had the chance to write a paper on the experience of students of color at CA. I gained so many useful skills in that class like doing an interview and writing a newspaper article that I was able to practice as a staff writer in the schools newspaper. What I wished happened institutionally was hiring more faculty of color.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Everyone could play sports. There was no culture of exclusion in the athletic field or even in the gym. I can work out comfortably and not feel judged when I'm in there. When I was in the track team as a thrower my freshmen year, I was nervous because it was the first sport team that I've ever been involved in, but the captains and other seniors in my team made me feel so great because they constantly supported me.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
There was no competitive culture in my experience with visual and performance art at CA. Everybody made things easier for each other my focusing on their own progress and not comparing. The teachers especially guided each of us with that notion of focusing on the individual's progress. As the school kept getting better facilities, however, there was a lost of emphasis on the arts. It felt like less and less people paid attention to student work as I got older.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There was an emphasis on student organizations at my school especially affinity groups. I was focus on cultivating a community for Latin students and because of it I was so grateful for my experience at CA. Groups on campus made students very busy at CA because everyone is so passionate at the things they do, so it was never weird for students to show that passion.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
In the residential life at Concord Academy, we call our dorms "houses" which honestly made the transition from my middle school to CA as a boarding student better. There was also a head of house in each house which was always senior responsible for the entire house. Every year, I bonded with my head of house because they genuinely cared about their position. I felt like the late nights where I'll talk to my head of house for hours are my best memories of boarding life at CA. Having the school right in the center of Concord, made me feel so connected with society unlike most other boarding schools that typically have an isolated campus. After study hall, the best thing was going to the nearest gas station with a huge group of boarders to get snacks.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
As a vegan, they definitely provided me with what I needed to eat. It was also very easy to get something added to our dining hall for my accommodations. They loved getting feedback from students. There was even an entire committee focused on making the dining hall better. Most students hated dinner, but everything else like lunch and breakfast was enjoyed. Everybody especially looked forward to weekend mornings when they provided us with brunch.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Our school was in the center of Concord which gave students many choices in terms of food or just space to study. Concord is a very caffeinated community, so students had a variety of coffee shops in town to get away from campus and do homework or just talk with friends. There was also a park nearby where students would run or play basketball when the whether was nice. I really felt like I was apart of the Concord community when I attended CA, and there was just so many things to explore. Most students also appreciated the history that Concord carried by going out for walks and checking out the many historical sites.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I always had the choice to either really engage with other students in all of our social spaces or just quietly spend time with myself in my room. Overall, the school really encouraged everybody to spend time as a community. For boarders, they were not allowed into the house until the school day was over which bother all the boarding students especially me, but I was able to spend more time with my friends because of it.
Alumni Reviews Review School
- Review Description
- Columbia University One of my favorite things about CA is the way people learn to work to be kind and open to people who aren't like them. There are people who think and work and act in. . .
- Pomona College The courses that I was able to take bordered on college-level courses. Since the course load consisted almost entirely of electives -- not just English, or Honors English, or AP English -- I was able. . .
- Wesleyan University There's a commitment around my school from students and faculty to social justice that fosters a very welcoming environment. There's so many resources and groups with the goal of making the community better for all. . .
What prompts somebody to start a boarding school? The motives range from idealism to munificence right on through to capitalism. The common thread seems to be ample capital and a vision of what education can do.
Social media is an essential part of a boarding school's marketing strategy
Parents considering schools should read New York Times columnist Frank Bruni's book about college admissions entitled Where You Go Is Not Who You Will Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania. Much of what he says applies in the private K-12 world.