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Left Choate

olivia567olivia567 1933 replies51 threads Senior Member
edited September 2010 in Prep School Admissions
Hey, guys, I've kind of waited for a while to post this, but I think it's kind of necessary. I decided to leave Choate basically because being in a boarding school environment wasn't right for me (and I have nothing against Choate; I just didn't feel ready to stay at BS for high school), and I'm home now. I decided this with my parents and counselors/advisor at school, and this is definitely the best decision for me in general. I know how much I wanted it, and I'd really like to thank everyone here for all their support this past year.

My point is that boarding school may be perfect for you, and it will be, but it's also not totally without its faults. Everyone is going to have some problems wherever they go, and one thing in your life (whether high school, or a relationship, or college, or anything else) is not going to make everything better, and that was a hard lesson for me to learn.

But I'm not saying that Choate isn't a bad school, because it isn't, and I do still care about a lot of the people there that I met, and I do miss aspects of it. But it just wasn't right for me at the time to be there, or just in general to be away. I'm not trying to deter anyone from applying! So, ask questions if you want, and good luck with everything!
edited September 2010
72 replies
Post edited by olivia567 on
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Replies to: Left Choate

  • NeLLyRaENeLLyRaE 679 replies26 threads Member
    ohmygosh! i was reading all your old posts about when you got off the waitlist and were all excited and everything...wow....i'm shocked....why? did you not like it? were people mean? were the classes bad? was it not what you expected? are you still glad you left choate? what happened?
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  • olivia567olivia567 1933 replies51 threads Senior Member
    Like any place, there's a mix of people, but I liked most of the people there and formed good friendships with a couple of teachers. It's just that the advantages of being home outweighed the advantages of being there, and it got to the point at which I knew that I wanted to spend my high school years at home.

    And yes, I'm very happy with this decision, and it was discussed for a while before anything was decided.
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  • NeLLyRaENeLLyRaE 679 replies26 threads Member
    are your parents dissapointed?
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  • olivia567olivia567 1933 replies51 threads Senior Member
    No, of course not - they wanted to do what was right and what was best, and they agreed that this was the best decision. And your parents' pride in you doesn't depend on whether you go to a good high school or not.
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  • Burb ParentBurb Parent 2010 replies90 threads Senior Member
    I was wondering what happened to you Olivia. There is always college which will happen before you know it. Enjoy your home in the meantime.
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  • NeLLyRaENeLLyRaE 679 replies26 threads Member
    well, if your happy, i'm happy! i wish you the best of luck!

    how did the school councelors react when you rbought it up?
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  • smile dogsmile dog 273 replies0 threads Junior Member
    That must have been a very difficult decision! What a lot of maturity you've demonstrated in being able to evaluate your situation with enough clarity and confidence to say "this is good but not what I need or want right now." Few of us would be able to do the same. You should be proud of yourself.
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  • crickett2324crickett2324 780 replies27 threads- Member
    'atta girl, Olivia!!

    I'm glad you had the courage to do whats best for YOU even if it was unconventional. I'm positive you made the right choice.
    Snaps for olivia567!!
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  • Cindy FreshmanCindy Freshman 5 replies2 threads- New Member
    Bear Hug!!!

    Livy, I really am so sorry that Choate didn't work out for you. I have enjoyed all your previous posts and great enthusiasm for boarding school. But perhaps your expectations were just way too high, no? I am in my first year at boarding school and I thought I was the only one who was having trouble fitting in and making friends. Could you please explain what you mean by the advantages of going to school at home? Did you just miss your parents, is that what you mean?
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  • lbftwlbftw 153 replies2 threads- Junior Member
    that's too bad you didn't like it, but it sounds like you made the right decision. it may be too personal, but i think you might really help some of the people applying right now if you gave some specifics about what you didn't like or what you had trouble adjusting to.
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  • JB1JB1 54 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Good for you for making a mature and I am sure a very difficult decision. I have had many discussions with my daughter about going away to school next year. I have often told her if it doesn't work for her she can always come back. If boarding school isn't right for her, I hope she can be as honest with herself as you have been with yourself. I am sure your parents are very proud of you.
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  • icy9ff8icy9ff8 1587 replies18 threads- Senior Member
    Olivia: I am a parent of a college student who recently graduated from a very prestigious New England boarding school. Before he was accepted to boarding school , he had to meet with a brilliant and very influential alumnus who interviewed my son for maturity level, and my wife and I as well. Boarding school is much easier for those living within a three (3) hour drive or so. Not so easy for those living thirteen (13) to sixty (60) hours drive from the school. I also am familiar with certain aspects of certain boarding schools that can be difficult for an innocent young lady not acquainted with the ultra wealthy NYC area culture. I too left boarding school, after only 2 weeks, a few decades ago. It was a military school that recruited me for wrestling, then gave me two different IQ tests, said they were the two highest scores that the school had ever had. I was a very tough and highly intelligent alpha male only a few hours drive from home and I left. I can't imagine how difficult it was for you as an innocent young lady 20 hours drive from home with the type, not being negative, of students from the wealthy NYC area. By type, I mean worldly and experienced beyond their years, close to home, and acquainted with friends and faculty before setting foot on campus. Very tough atmosphere. My son entered boarding school in ninth grade as a highly intelligent wrestler and defensive tackle with a strikingly masculine appearance and he cried. And he had traveled to different continents and been through major political campaigns, public speaking before crowds of several thousand people, lots of acting experience and public performances for music. And it was hard for him even though he was quite popular and elected dorm representative,etc. Folks don't realize how hard it is, especially so far from home. College is much easier, including Ivy league schools. My son is at an national univ. and is doing quite well because it is the most sleep he has had in four years.
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  • lbftwlbftw 153 replies2 threads- Junior Member
    those are good points icy9. it can be really intimidating, especially at that age. best thing to remember is this; they're just kids. for all their sophistication, seeming worldliness, and superiority to you they're just kids. they haven't accomplished anything yet. nada. and the fact is, most of them won't ever do much either. they won't be accepted to the colleges they think they'll be accepted to, won't get the jobs they think they'll get and won't make the money they think they'll be making. this much i have firsthand knowledge of.

    the reason adults are (somewhat) impressed by the guy with $100,000 car, expensive wardrobe and jetset lifestyle is that all those things indicate success; this guy did really well for himself, through some combination of intelligence, drive, skill and luck. everything these kids have was given to them. it means nothing. take away their parents and they're working at mcdonalds like everyone else.

    just something to think about.
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  • padfoot_roxpadfoot_rox 401 replies9 threads Member
    Olivia, it sounds like you did the right thing for yourself. A lot of us wouldn't have the courage to say that boarding school wasn't the right thing for us, after we'd gone there. Kudos to you!

    But exactly why did you decide that Choate wasn't the right place for you? I'm curious because I'm applying there.
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  • icy9ff8icy9ff8 1587 replies18 threads- Senior Member
    Different boarding schools have different cultures. There are certain boarding schools that are better suited for "non-worldly" type kids, especially if you are not very wealthy and not close to home. Choate is not one of those schools. St. Andrew's, on the other hand , is. And this does not mean anything bad about Choate, it is just better suited for a wealthy, worldly NYC area kid, then it is for others.
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  • icy9ff8icy9ff8 1587 replies18 threads- Senior Member
    Typicalizations are very difficult without knowing both the child and the school very well. I am quite familiar with the South, and I am familiar with boarding schools, but I do not know you so take my opinion with a bit of caution. I love Andover and St. Paul's School. Andover will be much easier to handle. Larger, more diverse in a beautiful suburb of Boston. Andover has a very distinct air of sophistication. At St. Paul's, which is 100% boarding, you will be at school with many very wealthy, even billionaires, who are brilliant, hard working and down to earth. St. Paul's School is a special place. Visit and you will see. The slight religious atmosphere helps--especially to Southerners. (Apparently the post to which I was responding disappeared, so I will stop here).
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  • padfoot_roxpadfoot_rox 401 replies9 threads Member
    Sorry, I deleted it, but I'll put it back up.

    Would any of the schools below be suitable for a Southern girl who is rather shy, bookish, and whose parents make just enough that they would be able to pay her tuition at the schools below without FA?

    -Exeter
    -Andover
    -Choate
    -Hotchkiss
    -SPS
    -Loomis
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  • icy9ff8icy9ff8 1587 replies18 threads- Senior Member
    I am not comfortable sharing too much as I don't know all the facts and circumstances and I don't know you or your family. You must visit the schools. I am comfortable with Andover, Deerfield Academy, St. Paul's School & St. Andrew's. If you are far from home, try to attend a school with very few day students. Again, I am quite comfortable with the above schools that I have listed in this post. I also love Exeter, but some Exeter parents assume that if you write that you know a child having difficulty adjusting to Exeter, that it is a girl. Noone ever says why--maybe because it is wrongly classified as a math & science school. These are male dominated disciplines, I guess. I really would not venture much beyond Andover, St. Paul's, Deerfield, St. Andrew's, & possibly Exeter. But even the schools which I have listed have different cultures. For example, Deerfield students are very clean cut and athletic. Andover is intellectual, etc. Anyway, you get my point, each school is special in its own right.
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  • lbftwlbftw 153 replies2 threads- Junior Member
    i think i've seen people here who attend every school you've mentioned, or most of them. you should ask them.
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  • lalalove94lalalove94 245 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Olivia- that must have been a really hard decision!
    Wow.
    Good job!
    Hahah I'm sure I could not have done it if I were you...


    :D
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