When asked to write a piece on how Proctor prepared me for college, I couldn’t help but chuckle because I couldn’t think of just one way Proctor helped me. I look back at my three years at Proctor and realize that everything I experienced made me grow into a person who would be successful at a university. It might sound corny, but being a day student actually prepared me to live far away from home in college. I was able to see my boarding student friends live alone, some of them for the first time. Because I watched them grow as people through dorm life, I wanted to engage myself in residence life in college. I saw Proctor dorm parents building a community within the dorms and creating a family where people felt safe to speak their minds. Seeing that made me realize that I wanted something similar out of my college experience. Of course, there are no dorm parents in college, but being an RA is pretty close!
Submitting a college application is a transaction. The process of preparing for the click of the submit button is a journey. The journey starts now. Over the past three decades of helping students identify and apply to colleges, we have found that students who understand their abilities, passions, and interests, are able to find the “right fit”, and consequently have the most successful application process. They have completed extensive research, become self-aware, asked the tough questions, put their best foot forward in the application process and, as a result, they have found a range of schools that they can embrace.
The months of April and May can be incredibly stressful times for many of our students as the college application process looms before juniors and seniors are in the final stages of making their college decisions. The mission of Proctor's College Counseling department is to foster students’ academic, intellectual and personal growth while empowering them to take ownership of the college process and their futures. We find the students who find the greatest success in the college admission process are those who understand their abilities, passions and interests, and are therefore able to find the “right fit.” Historically, Proctor students have had the motivation and the self-awareness to make such matches. They trust their hearts and inner-self, allowing insight, not college rankings, to guide their post Proctor careers.
This week’s March 30th editorial by Frank Bruni, College Admissions Shocker! is a humorous poke at the ridiculously competitive landscape of some of the top colleges in the country. The author of the editorial, and the best selling book Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, takes on the foolishness of college admissions rate in a delightfully provocative way. And it has got me thinking on the eve of our own Revisit Day about our own school, our own process, and what the difference is between the landscapes of independent secondary schools and colleges.
Proctor Academy is quite a special place for me and my family. Proctor was first introduced to us through a close family friend, Sawyer Meegan ‘14. Sawyer encouraged me to join him during the summer before my junior year for pick-up soccer on Carr Field. Alan McIntyre immediately welcomed me and introduced me to the rest of the group, which included Proctor alumni, current students, faculty, and friends of the school. The warmth of the community was obvious; it was like returning home to family.
It arrives in the fall, like a chill wind driving down from the north. It arrives in assembly with announcements from Mike and Michele, whips through on the ACT and SAT test days. It arrives with representatives from different colleges walking across campus: Dickinson, Warren Wilson, Colby, Gettysburg, Hampshire, Elon, a steady weekly presence of visitors on the campus. It rustles through the library, through the dorms, through advisory, through phone calls home. For many seniors it can feel like a tightening vice of isobars, for many parents it the same. Nothing, seemingly, offers protection.
And just like that graduation is over. Summer is near. Faculty are conducting end of year meetings. Advisors are mailing letters to students recapping the academic year and reviewing grades and teacher comments. Reunion weekend is a few days away - a time for faculty to reconnect with past students and rekindle the relationships that defined those students high school years. This time of year reminds us why we work in education, and specifically, why we have chosen to work at Proctor.
Families arrived on campus this morning to attend classes, assembly, and athletic practices before engaging in parent/teacher conferences. As our last post discussed, the purpose of this weekend is to check-in on growth, progress, and learning.