Over the next week, more than 100 accepted students and their families will visit Proctor’s campus for one of our two Admissions Revisit Days. Proctor will most likely not be their only stop as each student weighs options and makes an important decision about investing in his or her high school experience. As our accepted students prepare for Revisit Days at Proctor and other schools, we encourage each to follow the following tips:
Find a school that feels like “HOME”
At the heart of effective learning for adolescents is trusting relationships. This is the case wherever you are in the world, not just at New England boarding schools. This is why students need to find a place to which they feel personally connected; a place that allows them to simultaneously feel comfortable while being pushed outside their comfort zones. It could be through a relationship you developed with a tour guide during your first campus visit, or maybe a connection you have made with a coach or faculty member. For some, a school simply possesses a sense of place that undeniably beckons you. Our advice is to find a school that has the comfort of feeling like home, because that is exactly what the school will be for you. It is on this foundation of trust that personal growth will occur.
Identify what makes the school truly different
The reality is every boarding school around the country provides tremendous opportunities to its students. Each school is loaded with quality educators; we’d be foolish to think our faculty and staff are really that much more talented than one of our peer schools. The same goes for a school’s physical plant as every independent school in New England has beautiful facilities, small class sizes and seems to be situated in a beautiful landscape. These are important factors in weighing different school options, but a facility should not make or break your decision. Our advice is to identify attributes of a school that truly set it apart from your other options. Do you have the opportunity to study abroad? Is the academic support system wholly integrated into the educational model? What type of individuals graduate from the school? Does the school afford you the opportunity to explore both breadth and depth of your interests? Does the school provide you an opportunity to grow into something you can’t yet imagine?
Is the school honest with itself and comfortable in its own skin?
Prepare yourself to have the red-carpet laid out as you enter each school’s Revisit Day. Each school wants to make sure your experience on Revisit Day is as positive. It’s common sense, right? What you need to look for is a consistency of experience between your Revisit Day and every other interaction with the school. Our guess is you want to attend a school that is as comfortable in its own skin as it hopes you will be at the school. This means you should make sure to connect with students and faculty in passing throughout the day and to ask the tough questions about what being a student or teacher at the school is really like. When you find a school whose students and teachers are genuinely as happy as the marketing materials sent to you throughout the admissions process make them out to be, you should know that school may be doing something right! Plus, that student tour guide could be you next year, you want to make sure you as excited about the school one year, four years, and 50 years from now as you are at this moment.
We can’t wait to welcome our accepted students to campus on Friday April 1 and Tuesday April 5 to ask those tough questions and figure out if Proctor is the right fit for them!