The Stony Brook School - Review #1

The Stony Brook School
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled Cornell University
Home Town, State (Country) Princeton, NJ
Years Attended Boarding School 4
Activities During Boarding School I was a member of the Prefect Board, a group of seniors who each have their own specific responsibilities and also work together in leading the whole school. I was on dorm council, helping to oversee the girls and events in my dorm. Two leadership positions that took up less time were that of student tutor and being a member of the admissions council. Although I was involved with various athletic teams, because I am very involved with horseback riding I did most of my athletics off campus.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Although the faculty at many schools live on campus and are closely involved in students' lives, at Stony Brook students live in such close contact with the faculty that you become like family. It was not uncommon to eat with them at buffet breakfast, talk to them during free periods, babysit their kids, or be invited over for dinner. They are always available for extra help and most teachers either work in the dorms or do duty on the library during the weekends. Most of what they taught me was in conversations outside of class.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I loved being in an environment where people could dialogue openly about their faith. Because Stony Brook is a Christian school, we learned about Christianity as well as other religions and it opened up some really neat discussions among students. As a result, I grew a lot in my own faith and was challenged to be articulate what and why I believe what I do. I also learned a lot about other peoples' faiths and cultures through the process. Stony Brook was hard--there's a lot to do, and you are constantly called upon to support one others and lead in different areas. But having a lot on my plate was a great learning experience. I learned to look to other peoples' needs before my own and manage my time really wisely. I credit much of my easy transition to college to the skills I gained at Stony Brook.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Don't bring too much stuff, because a cluttered room is annoying (unless you really like that). Most schools have room checks, so you have to be able to keep your room neat. And if your dorm has carpets, bring a mini vacuum. Seriously. And don't forget some goofy stuff, 'just for fun' around the dorm.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I loved the people. It's a diverse community--I had friends from all over the world--and everyone is amazing. The close-knit community is the thing I miss most at college.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
If you're new to your dorm and nervous, remember that everyone there (especially the dorm council!) wants to be your friend. In my ninth grade year, I was always afraid that people were stereotyping me and didn't like me. By my senior year, I was friends with every girl in the dorm and almost everyone in my class.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I really loved how you got to know the teachers so well that you could talk to them all the time. Often I would go over to their houses to borrow books and would end up staying for a long time to talk about a subject that branched off from something we were studying in class. But the classes themselves were a lot of fun! All the students were pretty good friends and so we were comfortable having good discussions and making (mostly) relevant jokes in class. My senior year, I took a lot of ILPs (independent learning projects) in addition to a regular class load during the school day. We had plenty of APs to take, but if you wanted to explore a subject that wasn't on the regular course list, like philosophy or creative writing, this was a great way to do it and get lots of individual attention. One of my favorite classes was poetry, in which one other boy and I went to our teachers house each week to read poems and workshop each others' writing. It was so much fun!

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Every student is required to do two sports (out of three seasons) a year, which I initially found annoying because I really wanted to focus on my horseback riding, which Stony Brook doesn't offer. By the time I graduated, though, I was really thankful that I'd had to do swimming, basketball, and some team managing in addition to my riding. By being part of sports in the afternoons I got a fuller sense of what it was like to be part of the community full-time. Stony Brook is a small school and often has to compete against much bigger public schools, but our programs in certain sports (especially basketball!) are very competitive and I found the facilities and coaching to be great.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Stony Brook's theater program is phenomenal. I never had the time to do it, but many of my friends were in it and loved it. The director is amazing and students get to work on all aspects of the play--tech room, composing music, choreographing dances, etc. The visual arts program is also very sound, and art students can use the art room all the time to work on projects. As far as music goes, there are chamber groups to join, private teachers that come to the school, and a really good and fun choir!

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There are lots of leadership opportunities at Stony Brook, especially for boarding students. Positions range from being captains of kitchen or dining crews to tutoring, class council, dorm council, and heads of committees and after school crews.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
The dorms are awesome. I was in the younger girls' dorm all four years because after 10th grade I stayed on as dorm council. Dorms are really close knit communities with lots of events like Starbucks runs, Secret Santa, games like Sardines, and informal Boggle time in the lounge. We had lots of things like big sister/little sister program to make everyone feel included and get to know each other. The dorm was always a place where you could count on anyone to give you food, a hug, or a sympathetic ear.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
I loved breakfast, which was always informal buffet. Some of my friends and I would always come in before school to make waffles and chat. Dinners can also be a lot of fun because students are assigned for three-week periods to sit at a certain table with a faculty member or family. It sounds annoying, but it's a great way to get to know everyone and have some stability in the day.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The area is beautiful. We liked to walk into town, which was very quaint and pretty, and wade into the Long Island Sound. The school has lots of buses on the weekend to take you to the mall, movies, and Target and there is usually a Stop 'n Shop run during the week as well.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Boarding school can be 'a bubble.' Boarding students aren't usually off partying all weekend long by any means. But people usually seem to have a lot of fun on campus going to open dorms and open houses and chillin' with their friends. I liked how I lived with my friends so there was always someone to pop over to Dunkin' Donuts with, and because we were close with the faculty we could always escape to their houses if we needed a home environment. If you want to get off campus, befriend some day students! They're awesome too. The school takes lots of trips into NYC and places like that, so it's not hard to have a good time at all.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:45 AMClass (You can roll out of bed right before hand, or get up for breakfast).
8:45 AMClass (sometimes you will have a study hall or free period, and if you have the latter you can go back to the dorm).
9:30 AM(or so) Chapel, then more classes...
11:45 AMLunch--eat, hang out with friends, check mail, go back to dorm.
3:00 PMGet out of school, hang out a bit, get ready for sports.
3:30 PMSports practice, then shower and chill for a bit before dinner.
6:15 PMDinner
7:00 PMHang out with people; walk to 711, etc.
7:45 AMStudy hours until 10 pm.
11:30 PM...or later, bed (as a senior). Bedtime varies by grade (10:30 for 9th).
Weekend
9:00 AMGet up, do some homework or go out to breakfast with a friend.
11:00 AMGo to casual brunch, stay awhile and talk to people.
12:00 AMChill--watch a movie, go to the mall, run around the field, go to someone's room, etc.
4:00 PMStudy for a bit, either in the library or in the room.
6:00 PMEither go to casual dinner in the dining hall, order Chinese/pizza with friends, or walk to the pizza or Mexican restaurants.
8:00 PMOpen house or open dorm, or else chilling with people outside, or watching a movie.
12:00 PMCheck in at the dorm (for underclassmen this is at 11)
11:00 PM(assuming you went back to the dorm earlier) hang out with people in the dorm, watching a movie, playing games in the lounge, etc.
1:00 AMSleeping?

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Cornell University
    Although the faculty at many schools live on campus and are closely involved in students' lives, at Stony Brook students live in such close contact with the faculty that you become like family. It was. . .
  • George Washington University
    Stony Brook really does prepare one for college. Living in a dorm for 4 years has helped me to adjust to the college life. I also feel that I am able to manage my time. . .
  • University of Hartford
    The Stony Brook School was built not only on academic excellence, but also on a strong Christian foundation. I really feel this helped to build the person I am today. As a senior we. . .
  • Wheaton College
    The one thing that impacted me most at Stony Brook was the personal relationships the students had with the faculty. I loved eating meals with my teachers and getting to know their families. Their homes. . .
  • Boston College
    The Stony Brook School is a Christian school that truly has a tight knit community. Everyone partakes in a sort of work job, whether it include setting up the dining room, cleaning up after meals. . .
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