Boarding school truths

<p>Hello I have researched a lot about boarding schools, but I am still not sure if they are right for me, so let me explain. I have lots of questions about boarding schools. Is it hard to distinguish yourself in them? I mean, because there are so many students condensed to the same resources, is it hard to be individual? What about volunteering? There are specific volunteer projects I want to start that require places like hospitals and nursing homes. How would I be able to accommodate my interests in a setting outside of the city where I don't have the freedom to just go down to the hospital, research with professors, etc. I would love some insight about these sort of things. Does anyone that goes to a boarding school on here feel trapped in anyway? Or are you allowed to leave campus frequently to create a life away from school? Thank you!</p>

<p>Is it hard to distinguish yourself in them? NOT AT ALL! My school is tiny in comparison to my last school (my old school was over 2000, this one is under 330), and everyone is so different.
What about volunteering? SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES. At my school there's a lot of individual and group opportunities. There are the volunteer clubs and groups you can get involved in. One in particular, Hope 7, goes every Wednesday to the local after school center to play and tutor the children. Personally, I just began an unpaid internship at a developing museum and am going to be helping out there weekly. </p>

<p>Does anyone that goes to a boarding school on here feel trapped in anyway? Or are you allowed to leave campus frequently to create a life away from school? I don't get out much, honestly, but I don't feel trapped in anyway! On the weekends (as long as I sign out) I'm pretty much allowed to go anyway (assuming I can find transportation), and there's a ton of weekend activities to get off campus with.</p>

<p>Thank you! Is it easy to start things for yourself? If you have very specific interests is it hard to act on them in the community? For example I am very interested in Alzheimer's disease and want to be able to interact by volunteering at Alzheimer's homes and laboratories? Do you feel like this would be possible at a boarding school, to be able to do things that maybe other students aren't interested therefore it has not been adopted as part of the curriculum or something offered to participate in.</p>

<p>@helloel,</p>

<p>The volunteer activities you mention (visiting hospitals & nursing homes) involve the need for tranportation. Do you have access to the necessary transportation in your present school/home situation?</p>

<p>Yes I do. I didn't get the impression that constant transportation at boarding schools was always available.</p>

<p>My boarding school has a contract with a local shuttle service, and basically that can get you anywhere. Of course it isn't free...but I'm pretty sure we get a discount. And yes it's very easy to start things on your own (if you're willing to do the work). For example, I'm interested in film and I joined a history internship at the museum yet talked with my supervisor about doing something film related and it turned out that was just what he needed! At my school we also have science internships, some of which are at hospitals. You would have to communicate with faculty, but I'm sure it's possible</p>

<p>St. Paul's School has a very active volunteer program but there is also the flexibility to initiate your own projects. At SPS, there is a nursing home and hospital just a few minutes walk from campus where students currently volunteer.</p>

<p>Oh, that's good. Thank you! Have any of you gone through the admissions process at a HADES school or any other well known New England boarding school? I am having some application/recommendation problems.</p>

<p>I can help you! What are you having trouble with?</p>

<p>I don't want to ask my teachers and head of school multiple times for recommendations, so do you know if there is a standard recommendation and school report form? I registered on Gateway to Prep Schools and it won't let me see the recommendation forms provided until I fill out a few other things. Do you if on that site they provide general school report and recommendation forms? I don't want the specific ones with the school's seal on them. Also, I though most HADES schools accepted the TABS school report and recommendation form but I compared one of the school's "common school report" and TABS school report and they did not look the same.</p>

<p>You won't have to ask them multiple times for recomendations because most schols have a common boarding school rec app that you can turn in for all of them. So don't worry about that...there definitely is a common app. For example, if you were applying to all of the HADES schools you could have all of your teachers fill out a Deerfield rec form and send it to the HAES schools and it's fine because they ask the same things.</p>

<p>Okay thanks! But is there a way I can get the rec with out a Deerfield stamp? TABS should provide them, right?</p>

<p>I'm planning on using the TABS recommendation for all my recs...</p>

<p>Okay are you applying to top/major boarding schools?</p>

<p>yeah...andover choate milton hotchkiss exeter...I'm pretty sure those are top/major.</p>

<p>Okay yeah that's what I meant. Do you know if I could have my advisor fill out my school report instead of my head of school? He knows me a lot better. And do you know if by counselor they mean college counselor or guidance counselor? My college counselor doesn't even know who I am, but my guidance counselor knows me pretty well.</p>