Choate Rosemary Hall - Review #11
About the Author:
|College Enrolled||Oberlin College|
|Home Town, State||Arlington, MA|
|Years Attended Boarding School||3|
|Activities During Boarding School||I participated in publications like a literary magazine as well as the student newspaper, where I made graphics and art and contributed some writing. I was a member of some music groups, including the orchestra and concert band, and briefly the hand bell choir. I also did stage crew, costumes, and set design for various theater productions.|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
The school has many specialized programs for students that already have interests in certain areas-- a specialized arts program, a program for environmental studies, politics/law, and a capstone program for seniors interested in independent projects. The school's new science and technology building is well stocked with lots of gadgets. Overall there is a large variety of courses and electives across many departments.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
It was a challenging experience that pushed me to work hard and reflect on who I was as a person and who I wanted to be. Regular high schools tend to focus on academic achievement, but the boarding school experience tends to encompass all aspects of character and social development. I felt as if the experience challenged many different aspects of my person and forced me to consider growth in many areas at once.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would have done more research on the culture, as it was completely new territory for me. Adjusting at first was difficult. I also would have tried new things to take advantage of all the opportunities the school had to offer, and to be more confident in myself and my ability to succeed in those opportunities.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I appreciated the faculty and staff mentors I bonded with during my time there that offered me guidance, advice, and good memories. I am thankful for the efforts they put towards helping me grow. Overall, it is a singular experience that is almost unrecognizable from the typical high school experience.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
I would spend more time in the surrounding town and making relationships with community members and learning about the relationship between the school and the town.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I appreciated that there was a wide variety of classes available for students-- much more than a single person could take-- and classes for every interest. The teachers were highly involved in student's lives and made themselves available for extra help sessions, as well as interpersonal bonding. There were also a wide variety of specialized academic programs for students to explore certain areas of interest in greater depth, such as the politics/law scholars, the immersive environmental studies program, the arts concentration program, as well as study abroad. The study abroad program, which partners with different secondary institutions in countries like France and China, is special because it allows one to go abroad for an academic term and pursue more in-depth language learning.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
There were a lot of different sports offered at the school. A sport or after school activity was required each trimester, but apart from the traditional team and competition sports, there were activities like "farming" and skiing.. it was nice to get out and enjoy some of Connecticut's natural offerings through after school activities like hiking and kayaking. Athletics also played a large part to kindle a sense of school spirit and camaraderie even among those who were not on the teams. The school always came together for various sporting events, especially for those with big rival teams.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The quality of musical and artistic productions were very high and allowed for in-depth study. The mentors were very invested in student's well beings. The school has a lot of resources to support students in this area, in terms of art supplies, digital computers and drawing tablets, facilities, instrument rentals. There was a major theater production once a semester, with smaller ones taking place alongside, and some student directed scenes as well. The opt-in visual arts study program is based highly on independent work and I only wished that there was a bit more guidance for that program.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There was a large variety of offerings in terms of extracurricular activities, to appeal to all kinds of interests. There were also opportunities for students to volunteer in the surrounding town. Plenty of resources were available to support students that may have had an interest but there wasn't necessarily a club for it-- students were encouraged to start their own clubs.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life was a time to bond with your peers and as an underclassman, your older prefects. Dorm parents are basically always present during evening hours, supervising study time, and are available for academic questions and/or emotional support. The dorms are all very nice. There are either newly-built hotel like facilities, old Georgian brick buildings, or as an upperclassman, smaller cottages that have been converted into dorms that feel like single-family homes. None of the dorms have kitchens and most buildings will not have laundry access.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The meals were buffet style and unlimited/included with the fixed room and board cost. The school is very proud of their circular wooden tables that supposedly facilitate a sense of community. There is mandatory "sit-down" lunch once a week, at least when I was there. There is also a place on campus to get food between meal hours.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
There was a small downtown with a main street, with some cafes and popular dining spots. Groceries are hard to find, though. A train (Amtrak) station was within walking distance to the school, which could take you to New Haven. The surrounding town was also served by bus(not that many people used it though), which would take you a couple miles away to where there were some other things like Goodwill and a strip mall.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Students come together through the unique shared experience of attending their school. It's not a very large school and everyone knows everyone, especially by the end. Dorms were the best places to make memories with your classmates, and I will never forget my roommates and dorm-mates at the school.
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