Friday, June 27, 2008

Clothing :)

So I've recently started-and nearly finished- my quest for boarding school clothing. Overeager? Maybe. But my family was here and they're all obsessed with shopping, so it's what I did. These are boarding school essentials. Some are kind of unisex. Most are for girls. Sorry, guys, I'm clueless on male fashion.

Hope you like them :)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

It's Crunch Time

This weekend I get to...
1. Study for my AP World History exam
2. Do an AP World History Project
3. Do AP World History test corrections
4. Do my French placement exam for School M.
5. Do the rest of my homework
6. Go to rowing practice (but I'm finding a way out of that)
7. Hopefully go see a movie
8. Repair a relationship that is breaking down.

As you see, I have absolutely no free time in my schedule. So what am I doing? Procrastinating (Don't do it kiddos, I'm a hypocrite).

This somehow has turned into a me-post-once-a-month blog. I'll try to change that for May and summer. I just have three more weeks until blissful, blissful freedom! Then I start counting down the days until Orientation!

Let's see what's been going on in the boarding school world, shall we?

A few weeks ago, I got this beautiful packet about next year. It had a course book, a math and language placement test, a Tuition Refund Plan, and letters from various VIPs. Now, I want to go to a top college (try Brown on for size) so I have to have a suicidal schedule. I e-mailed both my college counselor (I lucked out and got the head, who used to be way high up in a certain Ivy's admission office) and the Dean of Academics last night. The Dean is proctoring the SATs, so she has yet to reply, but according to my college counselor I'm in for all APs (except French, I'm not advanced enough to take AP) next year. That was my schedule at my current school too. Good thing there's an add-drop period of two weeks! I also got a School M bumper sticker in the mail.

The French placement test was a breeze. Mostly French 1 and French 2 stuff, and I'm in french 3 so....

I didn't have to take the math placement test, because I'm above Trig :)
My friend who goes to School M has been telling me all about the people I "need to know" and I've been checking out their Facebook site to see which aspects of myself fit in with the rest of M. Guess I'll be bringing my "The Office: Season One" DVD.

So I guess that's it. Time to write about religious incidents between 1750 and 1914!


Saturday, April 12, 2008

And the winner is...

First off, I am so sorry to have not posted for a month! Actually, over a month. The last month has been a whirlwind of class, crew, spring break and of course...boarding school revisits! Here's the low-down on what happened to me.
School A: Waitlisted. I was, in all honesty, not too disappointed. It's a great school, but so big. I go to a huge school now, but alas, I wanted something smaller.
School L: Waitlisted. I was pretty upset, but I got over it pretty quickly.
School D: Waitlisted. I won't lie. I cried. Hard. However, D's story is not quite over...
School M: ACCEPTED! My mom texted me in the middle of Chemistry. I started squealing-thankfully not loud enough for my teacher to hear. I think my lab partner thought I was having a heart attack :) It was also the first school I heard from. I had been wrong about posting online- both School M and School L did it! (If you're an international student, almost any school will e-mail you).

Now, I was thrilled to get into school M. Really, I was. I was also a little disappointed though. I may be older than most students applying, and there may be less available spots for my grade, but only one acceptance? Really?? However, I was fortunate to get NO rejections!

Still, I wanted action. I called School A and got my name off of the waitlist. I just really didn't care. However, I called schools L and D and asked WHY I was waitlisted. I figured I would at least know what to work on for college applications and whatnot. School L just said that I made the final cut but, alas, I did not play the cello or dance. This was a perfectly acceptable answer. It made me feel much better about myself. So, I didn't have the EXACT talent they were looking for. No big deal!
My phone call with School D was exciting. They decided that I could have a revisit, even though I was waitlisted! My interviewer wanted to talk to me again.
Now, I did some research during the next three weeks (I suggest by the way) and suddenly realized that School M was a much better school than I'd realized. It is not "prestigious", but to me it was starting to sound better than some "prestigious" schools. It was guess. However, I still had my heart set on School D.
So, off I flew, first to school M and then to school D. I couldn't make D's actual revisit day, but they let me come on Wednesday, so first was M's day.

M was great. At a revisit day, they match you up with a host. You'll go to lunch, chapel, and class with them. The classes were really interesting. I, the girl who despises math, found myself engaged in AP Calculus BC! I'm only slotted to take AP Calc AB next year, but now I wish I was more mathematically inclined so I could have the fantastic teacher. My host was really sweet too. We had a pizza party in her dorm room with her friends. Then we went to the main room of the admissions building. They had food and Rachel (remember her? my good friend from M?) introduced me to all of her friends. Then people got up on stage to sing or play instruments. It was impromptu and really cool. I actually wanted to get up there too. Then I realized how WEIRD that was. I'm usually pretty reserved. I think that might have been the moment. There I was, surrounded by people who really acted like they wanted me to come to their school, including Rachel's friends, and I was in my element. I stayed around all afternoon, and took Rachel and her good friend out to dinner. Then, I went to a concert they were putting on. It was finally time for me to leave at 9:30(actually, most revisiters left at around 1 or 2, but Rachel asked me to stay). I said my goodbyes to my new and old friends, one guy told me to keep in touch because he'd be there during orientation to rescue me from the freshmen (no offense to the freshmen, it is nice to see people my own age though!). That was really sweet of him. We've already talked a couple of times since then.

Then it was time for my revisit at D. My host there was really sweet as well. I went to one class- pre-calculus. This school is considered small, but I felt overwhelmed and lost. It's an amazing school, don't get me wrong, but I found myself thinking of school M the entire time. I called that afternoon to confirm my spot at school M.

So, I'm off to school M next year! What do you guys think I should take to decorate my room? Rachel had about 10 pictures of me (along with other friends) on her walls and some posters. I'm thinking thats a good idea.

Some random things you don't think of considering about a school, but you really need to, because it's the little things that count
1. Room size. Being cramped is not good.
2. How you would stereotype the kids there. Yeah, it's okay to stand out but if you're Boho Beauty in a sea of Prep will feel awkward (unless you know you won't, then whatever)
3. Check out the extracurrics. If you are on newspaper, for instance, and they don't have a newspaper, you will not be happy.
4. Make sure you can do everything you want. One reason I did not apply to a school is because I couldn't act and play sports. So not cool.
5. Pay attention to your gut/heart. My head told me to go to school D. I am so glad I'm going to M instead. D is more prestigious. M is more me.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Welcome, and good luck!

So, if you're looking at this site, I'm guessing you're somewhat interested in a prep or boarding school (or both!). Well, I'm Brooke and I applied to four boarding/prep schools in New England and the mid-Atlantic this year, so I'm here to help you. Now, I haven't gotten in yet, but I assure you I'll let you know when I find out. Actually, I'm sort of going insane right now. It's March 6th and decisions are mailed just four days from now! I applied to four schools; School M, School D, School L, and school A; and of those four, one (L) posts theirs online. I live pretty far away from these schools, in Atlanta, so I won't find out about the rest until Wednesday or Thursday. I won't give you any major tips until I find out if I get in because I'd hate to give bad advice. I can give you a heads up on what to expect though, tell you how to pick your schools (when I visited the four I applied to I fell in love with each of them. I chose really well!), and tell you what the wait is like.

When picking schools, I used a few resources. This site,, is really great. It ranks schools according to certain criteria, like SAT scores, extracurriculars, and percentages of ethnicities. That's one thing at these schools: ethnic diversity is HUGE (but more on that later). That site really helped me though. I went on it to find schools in New England and the mid-Atlantic that I liked, since I've always loved those areas, and then I called my friends Janine and Rachel. Janine goes to L and Rachel goes to M. I met them at camp, and it was partially because of them that I decided to apply to schools. Not because I wanted to go to school with them, but because I always heard them talking about it via Facebook, on the phone, and over AIM, and it sounded like something I would be looking for. I was never planning on applying to either of their schools, to be honest, but as I ran through the lists on, they both listed their schools as "acceptable" for me to apply to. I went through that list and looked at the websites for each of the schools, then requested viewbooks for the one's I liked. I ended up with about ten viewbooks. Here is a major warning: I know a pretty campus isn't that important, but you don't want a depressing campus either. Some of the viewbooks did not have pictures of their campus, which I found strange. I drove past one when I was in New England, however, and I discovered why. If a viewbook does not have pictures of the campus, that's probably because it's depressing! I know I would wither at a depressing school, but maybe you wouldn't. Still, be warned. Anyways, after I received my viewbooks I read through them all to see what they concentrated on and what classes and extracurriculars they offered. Make sure you choose schools that are interested in your areas of interest. All of my schools have good English departments, and good crew and cross country teams, along with great student publications because those are my interests. Eventually, I narrowed it down to four schools. I was kind of surprised to have both school M and L, but I did turn down about three schools I have friends out. This whole choosing ordeal took me a couple of months, so I would allow PLENTY of time for this.

The application process was a bit tiring and long, to be honest. I decided to go to boarding school in September (no, years ago, but my mother finally allowed it in September) and still, on March 8th, it's not over. The whole process won't be over until April 10th, when I give my Final Word and Check and on where I'm going. Part of it was fun though. I really enjoyed my campus tours. They were insightful and beautiful. It was snowing in L(Dec. 6), A(Jan. 4), and M (Nov. 23). I don't get that very often in Georgia, and it helped me realize how many sweaters I'll need! At D (Oct. 6) it was raining, but the campus was still gorgeous of course. My tour guide at D was interesting, to say the least. I'm not sure she really represented the D spirit. She didn't seem to have a lot of friends or be involved, which kind of freaked me out but also made me realize not to judge a school based on a tour guide, especially if he's a legacy. At M I made a crucial mistake. I had Rachel be my tour guide. She was, of course, amazing and fun but I really wish I hadn't had my best friend take me around. A best friend will treat you completely different from someone you've never met before, and most people at M WILL be people I've never met before. I'd like to see how they treat me. Although I haven't decided yet if it's my favorite school (its up there with one other), L was by far my favorite tour. My tour guide was sweet and bubbly. I could really see us being great friends. Moreover, this was the only school where a random stranger I had no connection with who was not my tour guide struck up a conversation with me. I still remember out conversation really well, because I thought he was cool, and I remember his name. He not only comforted me about L, he comforted me about rowing, which I was starting two days later, as well, because he's a coxswain! So I thought that was really awesome, of course, plus I met a lot of Janine's friends. L is in a good area, and close to a college town so I loved that. A was also nice. My tour guide was from Spain which was awesome! The actual applications weren't as fun as the tours, although some of the essays made me probe into my inner self. The were revealing. I suggest spending a LOT of time in your essays, because schools look at those a lot!

Interview Question #1:
What books do you like to read?
Be sure to reference specific books you really liked, particularly good, deep, "intellectual" books. For instance, I really love The Fountainhead, which won me instant Brownie points. When you say why you like a book, get into the literary aspect. Don't just say "It was good." Say WHY it was good. I liked how easily Ayn Rand fit objectivism into her character's lives and speeches, so I said so.

Essay Question:
What talents and interests would you pursue at [insert school name here]?
Be honest, but also make sure that if you love drama and your school has an excellent theatre program (or whatever the case may be) you play that up.

Random Tips:
1. Whoever you meet, look them in the eye. More than just your admissions officer makes the decision of who gets accepted, and you never know who is sitting in (at some places, teachers and coaches help). At Deerfield, I saw an adorable young boy dressed very dapper in a suit and tie. Unfortunately for him, he practically dived onto the floor avoiding his interviewer's eye. You could tell she was not impressed. I, however, met all of my interviewer's eyes, and they seemed to like me. I was told by one there were "no red flags" and all the others said I was "an excellent candidate" and that it was "Just like going out to tea with a friend". Which brings me to another point...
2. Be relaxed! I was polite, of course but I have enough of my southern charms about me to not be a complete icicle. I think that was rare, because so many students go into their interviews nervous and being overly formal. These people want to see that you can be social, so try to be! I ended up chatting with one about traveling, another about books, and told a third that, assuming I was accepted, she had a babysitter in me! As I said, they seemed impressed. I feel confident that if these schools only judged interviews, and not grades (I did have two B's...and oh how I hate that 89% and that 87%) I would have been accepted into all four.
3. Find out about the social life. I know that doesn't seem life-changingly important, but really, it is! If you're bored every Saturday night, you may do your schoolwork instead of something fun, but you won't be enthusiastic about the school! Boarding school is about hard work, yes, but it's also about having fun and discovering yourself. Moreover, think of all the contacts you could make! Some school have politicians and even stars or athletes come and visit. They don't just strive to create academic geniuses; they want their students to become successful in many aspects of life.

That's all for now!