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How to Pick Your Secondary School: Young Alums Speak Out

Posted by Lee Greener on Wed, Mar 11, 2015 @ 09:44 AM

Secondary School Handbook Pic resized 600March 10th marks a very exciting day for prospective students hoping to go to boarding school. Decisions have been made and offers are extended. We asked our young alums what their advice would be when picking a school to help the Hillside Class of 2015:

"My one piece of advice for students would be to choose the school where they feel the most at home. When I toured, I knew the second I got back into my car that it was the place for me. Everyone was friendly and the campus was great. It felt right.” - Dennis Cesana ’13 at Kimball Union Academy

“The best advice I can give to pick the right school is to go where people want you and go where you know people will support you. I feel like my decision to go to Brooks was the best I have made in my life. I love it at Brooks and the people are awesome.” - Isaiah Godwin ’14 at Brooks School

“Never rule any one school out until you are sure, because upon revisiting some schools you may change your mind.” - Alex Fay ’13 at The Williston Northampton School

"My advice when picking your secondary school is simply to go with where you feel the most comfortable, both socially and academically. You're going to spend a lot of time there so it should be a place where you want to be and will help you reach your goals. Visit all the schools and really get that feel before choosing somewhere because you never know until you visit, which school fits you best.” - Austrian Robinson ’12 at Trinity Pawling School

"Think about your academic and social preferences, and note that the size of a school will play a big part in how well you operate within it” - Alex Rodde ‘12 at Dublin School

"Try to identify the schools that are potentially the best fit for you, academically, sports-wise, size and structure. Visit the potential schools, preferably when students are there and ask lots of questions. Also try to get a feel for each one in terms of how welcoming and comfortable they feel. When I visited Hebron, I felt welcomed.” Dylan Breau ‘14 at Hebron Academy

"Attempt to picture yourself at that specific school, if you can not see yourself at that particular school it might not be the best option for you.” - Colin McCaughey ’13 at St. Paul’s School

"When picking a school make sure you really want to go, and if you are looking to play a sport at the varsity level, make sure to know what to expect.” - John Hunt ’14 at Westminster School

“The most important aspect is to find a place where you fit in temperamentally. It's easy to research academic and extracurricular opportunities through web search, but finding an environment that will be especially conducive to happy, healthy learning on your part takes an extra effort and so is more rewarding in the end (make use of revisit days!).” – Matthew Chang ’12 at Middlesex School

"My one piece of advice would be to just follow your heart. There is going to be the school that your parents like the most and most likely you are going to find a different school to be your favorite. But you need to realize that the place you choose is your home for the next three or four years. My gut feeling was St. Mark's and I couldn't be happier with the decision I made.” Josh Loveridge ’13 at St. Mark’s School

“Use the broken leg test. Ask yourself, if you get hurt and will be unable to play your sport will you still be happy with your choice?” - Nick Schofield ’14 at The Williston Northampton School

“If you can, revisit your top two choices.” - Jesse Lee ’13 at Berkshire School

“What really helped me was having an idea of what I was looking for in a school. Ask yourself questions like: "Will I be happy here?" and "Can I learn here?” The answers really helped me figure out what I wanted and what I needed in a school.” Rory Csaplar ’13 at Eagle Hill School

"Choose the school that you see yourself being comfortable in. I think the size of the school is really important, tt determines how well the school fits us and how well we will fit within it. It does not matter, in my opinion, where one ends up at, how you take advantage of what the school offers is what is important.” - Huanshuo “John” Rao ’14 at Westminster School

Tags: Boarding School, Alumni, Admission Process, Tips & Strategies, Junior Boarding School