St. Andrew's Academy - Review #1

Read more details about St. Andrew's Academy on their 2020-21 profile page.
St. Andrew's Academy
5

About the Author:

Years Attended Boarding School: 2012-2017
Sports and Activities:There were many extracurricular activities I got to enjoy during my time as a student. I played soccer and fenced throughout my high school career; I acted in a short Jeeves and Wooster film. I was also senior prefect my final year, and helped students with academics, led conversations, and helped keep order around the school.
College Enrolled:Eastern University
Home Town, State: Manhattan Beach, CA

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
The small, close-knit community of students, teachers, and staff members bring a new level to education. I felt extremely comfortable with engaging my teachers in conversation, asking questions, and reaching out for help. Though the academics were difficult, I had a strong foundation of people I could rely on to help me.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Boarding at St. Andrew's Academy grew me to be a disciplined, independent thinker, giving me the knowledge and tools to understand those I disagree with, as well as the assets that make me a hard worker. The academics at this school are serious and challenged my preconceptions. My teachers encouraged metacognition, shaping me to be self-conscious, not only about what I do, but why I do the things I do.Overall, my time at St. Andrew's shaped how I think, and formed me into an adult. I was taught independence and discipline at a time I thought I needed to be something else. These 4 1/2 years were crucial in growing me into a well-rounded human being.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
A couple of tips for anyone going to a boarding school: 1. It is going to be difficult getting into the swing of things. Being away from home for extended periods of time was really rough for me, and the dramatic change of pace took some getting use to. It is going to take time to learn the schedules and the different culture that any school has.2. Stay on top of things. While this is good advice for whatever one may do, it is even more important to stay strong and keep up with your work in a new environment. Falling behind on homework, chores, etc., builds greater work in the long haul, and it is not easy to get back on track.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The community that St. Andrew's centers itself around built me up in ways I have a hard time expressing. With rigorous academics, having a core group of friends that are struggling through similar work builds a camaraderie that is rarely replicated elsewhere.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Final words of wisdom: while community and academics are significant in this education, is it important to remember that alone-time is not bad. Indeed, taking some time for yourself is really important in any scenario, and it is good to keep that in mind. Of course, only focusing on me-time is unhealthy, but in its proper place, it can keep you going.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics at St. Andrew's Academy are rigorous and difficult. There is a lot of work that has to be done, and discipline is essential to thrive in classes. Though there is much expected of you, the teachers are happy to help you understand concepts you may be struggling with, as well as engaging you in discussions. There is a focus on the liberal arts and how they ought to be applied with everyday life. It is refreshing to have an education that expects you to think and encourages real conversation.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
St. Andrew's Academy has a fencing team that participates in local tournaments. While the fencing is mandatory under normal circumstances, it was the part of the day I looked forward to. There is real competition between the fencers here, without being overly aggressive. I found myself naturally wanting to get better without the stress associated with losing. Overall, it was a great way to end an intensively mental day.Besides the Fencing Team, St. Andrew's has also participated in spring soccer, which the local public school hosts. It's pretty relaxed, and a great way to meet more people in the community.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
During my time at St. Andrew's, I participated in a play (the Secret Garden), as well as a short Jeeves and Wooster film. I loved working with my fellow students to create a single work of art.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Extra-curricular activities vary from person to person. As a community, however, lake time and hiking are very important group activities.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
The Dorms at St. Andrew's Academy are very community oriented. Chores are split between students, and everyone is expected to do their part, whether it's helping get dinner on the table, doing dishes, or welcoming guests. As everyone lives in the same house, we all quickly get to know each other, building trust and disciple between housemates.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
In the boarding house, there is a pretty strict schedule for food, rotating daily. Lunch is also very organized, with specific meals brought certain days. Dinner, at the house, is where cooking really shines. With an excellent main cook, everyone plays their part in bringing the meal to life. There is a wide variety of food available, fasting from meat on Wednesdays and normally fish-oriented on Fridays. We have had everything from French onion soup to Moroccan Chicken to Shepherd pot pies. It tends to be a beautiful time of fellowship and community.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Chester, CA, is a beautiful town with a lake minutes away from the boarding house. There is a full range of season, from high 80's in the Summer, to snow and 20 degree weather during the winter (yes, even in California!) Mountains surround the town, and Lassen (the local, dormant, volcano) can be seen throughout the year. This is one of my favorite areas in the United States, and it is definitely worth experiencing.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Social life within the school is very tight knit. As St. Andrew's Academy is a micro-school, you see the same people day in and day out. The people who I lived and studied with have forever changed me, and I don't see our friendships ever dying out. Overall, everyone encourages everyone else as we all go through similar hardships (particularly final exams!)
Read more details about St. Andrew's Academy on their 2020-21 profile page.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Eastern University
    The small, close-knit community of students, teachers, and staff members bring a new level to education. I felt extremely comfortable with engaging my teachers in conversation, asking questions, and reaching out for help. Though the. . .
  • Hillsdale College
    Classes at St. Andrew's Academy are extremely integrated and intimate. While the level of work required was extremely high, the most valuable part of my education was the relationships I forged with my teachers. . .
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