I'm new to CollegeConfidential as a registered user, but I have been reading threads over the past few months. I will be attending Phillips Academy at Andover this year as a freshman, which I see as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! I simply have a few questions to any student currently attending or who formally attended the school (I'd prefer a firsthand source, as opposed to data found online :) ). Please excuse my curiosity about trivial matters, however.
Could you possibly describe the school's environment? Is it easy to make friends and/or get along with the faculty? How should I make a first impression to my future peers?
What are the pros and cons of a campus such as Andover's? Is it difficult to transition between classes? Please keep in mind the fact that I have never visited the school, though I do have a "revisit" scheduled for April 4th and 5th!
I have always done considerably well in most subjects, and I do enjoy the range of topics offered to high school students. I've always been classified as a "math-and-science person," though I am very much interested in history, and I enjoy reading. I do not particularly favor writing essays, though I do enjoy doing them if they are not done "last minute," or in a rushed manner. I also enjoy playing the clarinet, singing (although I may not be very appealing as a chorus member!), playing sports, etc. I simply love extracurriculars. With all of this information in mind, should I follow a certain "path" at Andover? I do NOT want to limit myself to a path and end up regretting it, though. :/ I know my schedule is not as free as a freshman, but I am still very curious about this subject. I apologize if this question of sorts does not make much sense; I'm not 100% sure how to explain my situation.
Which language should I take? I was thinking of Latin, especially because I had a sample of it in fifth grade, and I've studied Italian in school for seventh and eighth grade (so far). I know the school does not offer Italian, so should I take Latin? What about Spanish or French? Greek? My parents are also both Egyptian, so I speak improper (not formal) Arabic quite fluently at home.
How many days of school does Andover consist of per year? For example, my public middle school requires students to attend school for 180 days. What is the deal with Andover, in this case? I know this seems unimportant, but I AM curious!
How often can I go home? I happen to live in New Jersey, so I can't visit my family and friends too often. :/
What extracurriculars should I take as a freshman? I mentioned a few of my interests earlier.
Is the competition overwhelming? How about the workload? How much work is assigned to freshmen?
Finally, we have reached my final stage of interrogation: what is the food like? I've heard that students do enjoy the town of Andover; can you elaborate a bit more? Also, are there facilities such as fitness gyms? How accessible are they?
Thank you so, so much!
I look forward to interacting more on this board, and I hope the next four years of my life are positive. :)