Middlesex Q&A / Discussion

Hey Guys,

If anyone has any questions, even really silly ones, feel free to ask. I graduated from MX last May :blush:

As always for these types of threads, anyone is free to contribute and answer questions!

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Is there any chance of getting off the Middlesex waitlist? And if so, how???

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check the WL thread

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what @lilyesh said. There is a chance, but rarely is that something you can predict or do anything about :slight_smile: .

My son did not make it off the Middlesex waitlist last year. Good luck to you!

@Atria Does Middlesex have writing workshop for kids starting 9th grade and they tell the students to forget everything they know, and teach them from scratch? I remember hearing something like this in one of the events. Am I correct? What are the best things about Middlesex? Would it be more suitable for STEM or humanities type of kids? Thanks!

Ah writing workshop! Truly one of the most valuable skills MX taught me. Absolutely transformative. In 9th grade it’s not very intensive, I think you learn fundamental grammar conventions, crafting good sentences, and paragraphs. The workshop really starts up in 10th grade. I came in as a 10th grader, so the transition from normal writing to MX was more extreme. But if you come in as a 9th grader and have that nice foundation you have a much easier time. But in essence yes, what most public schools teach as paragraph building is promptly abandoned (my writing world view took a big hit the first couple weeks of WW) and you build anew. I still remember how different the flow of a “normal” essay I used to write in public school was when compared to a MX essay (day and night). By the end of 10th grade the writing style is so engrained, its second nature. Also, after you really get the writing style down by 10th, in junior year you are given a bit more leeway and can develop and explore further.

Best thing about MX is pretty hard, and considering its been a year into pandemic and I’m missing all my MX peeps, the people have got to be the thing that I miss most. I really clicked with my roommate my first year and had an amazing group of friends. Since the school is small enough, even if you aren’t friends with anyone, you still know everyone in your class; there are no strangers ;). The faculty are absolutely amazing, and since it’s a small school they really get to know you. The advising program is amazing and you genuinely build great connections.

I can’t believe I’m using the word small school so many times because it never was a big thing I used to think of when I was actually attending MX (but now I’m at a huuuge university and I guess I’m homesick), but because its a small school, everyone wears so many hats. The theater kid is also the music kid and is also the science kid. The humanities guy is the star football player and so forth. I do think because our writing program (and our history department too) is so strong we are called more of a humanities school, but I personally think our STEM program is pretty strong too. I’m majoring in STEM now, and I can’t begin to count the amount of times in lecture that I’ve had flashbacks to MX classes when the same thing was being taught. I will say I think at the end of the day most “good” private schools have good STEM programs, there really isn’t much space to deviate when you are teaching STEM subjects, you can only have so much creativity when you are teaching differentials. Whereas, humanities programs can vary greatly, so at the end of the day it matters if your kid is looking for something specific. I will say, writing workshop is helping me so much on my research papers right now in college (and was a godsend for college apps); humanities has a funny way of supplementing and intersecting with STEM.

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What is dorm life like?

So in general, I feel like what’s worth mentioning is dorm parents and roommates. Each dorm has about 3-4 dorm parents (who are amazing, often make snacks, and are generally cool), and of course there are some dorms that I think are better then others. There isn’t really a bad dorm on campus, but there are some really nice ones and I think it really just comes down to who the dorm parents are (and how much they cook :wink: ). Rooms for most dorms are comparable imo, and are pretty good. I know that most MX dorm rooms were bigger than my college’s dorm rooms so there is that. For roommates the general rule of thumb is that expect to room with a roommate once in your 4 years, but I know of people who never roomed with anyone in all their 4 years. I can’t think of anyone who had a roommate beyond a year who didn’t want one. For new sophomores, its a basically a given that you will have a roommate your first year, for freshman it can go either way.

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Thank you so much for your answer! I am seriously considering Middlesex for next year and it sounds like a super cool place!

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on a scale from 1-10 what is the academic rigor like at mx

Would you like to be more specific? In my opinion MX, like most other prep schools, is extremely rigorous. Schools differ in where they spend the most time, which programs are strong, and if there are specific courses or programs that appeal to you. For MX for example, our writing program is one of the things a lot of people focus on. You can see my answer to chem spider if you want more details.

Does Middlesex have dance program? I couldn’t find it on its website.

yas we do

Could you provide more details? Is dance a afternoon activity? Club? Ensemble? Company? Any dance performances? What type of dance?

@yynnbb It is a winter sport, so it will count as your sport for the season. There is a big performance towards the end of the season that you spend the entire season working towards. The style/type of dance often depends on the type of dancers in that season, but there is a fair mix. The students have a lot of say in themes and type of dance for that season so there is that. There are large “group” sort of dance pieces and individual/smaller ones too. There are often student directed smaller groups as well. Its generally a very fun sport to do and while I was never a part of it, a lot of my friends have tried it and the end of season performance was always amazing.

Hi, what made you choose MX over other schools? I have heard generally good reviews but it appears that MX isn’t talked about as much as it should on this forum - perhaps due to school size and hence fewer students/alums/parents here?

Smaller schools on our radar are MX, Groton, St. George’s and SAS. Any feedback/comparison would be highly appreciated.

After acceptances I was choosing between a day school and Middlesex, so direct comparisons between boarding schools was a not a big factor for me. But, MX has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The community and the writing program have been the things I’ve come to value the most (even now as a STEM major taking no English courses) and if you have any specific factors you are considering when you compare schools I will be happy to give you the MX perspective. My opinion on other schools is a bit colored by rivalries (especially considering St. Georges is our main rival), but in general I feel like the big things you can focus on when comparing schools are specific school offerings and programs and what is important to your kid. The rest sort of average out.

(And yes MX is a smaller school so presence on CC is not very big. )

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Hi, thank you for the prompt response, and I agree with your advice 100%. How would you describe the vibe? While it is hard (almost impossible) to compare between schools because very few people have attended 2 schools, the general comment among parent/alumni of smaller schools is that Groton is elitist and a pressure cooker, MX and SAS are also strong in academics but more collaborative, while SGS and Blair have a more chill atmosphere. I’ve only known a few grads from Groton and one from SAS, none from other schools. Any input would be highly welcome!

Haha I’m sure some Groton kid might disagree, though a good family friend of mine does go to Groton and the elitist comment might be a little true…Regardless I personally loved Middlesex especially the community. I had friends who went to pressure cooker type schools (none on the east coast so my input on those schools wouldn’t be helpful for your comparisons) and I remember just being very thankful senior fall when applying to colleges that MX was not like that and I was not having to comfort classmates through academics-induced breakdowns (or having one myself). People are very “chill” and while you might not be best friends with everyone in your class, you end up knowing everyone and everyone is cool with you. I will also say in high school I was very much the introvert and so knowing everyone in my class was a surprising, unpredicted turn of events that speaks to the inclusive culture at MX. My best friend is an extrovert and she knew everyone, MX culture makes it very easy to make friends ;). People are academically motivated, never to an over-competitive edge and both students and faculty support you when you fail and celebrate when you succeed. It was an ideal that I sometimes miss in my huuuuge university. People also wear a lot of hats, so the normal stereotype lines of high school get blurred which I personally liked (for example, the football captain was the lead in the school play, and the stereotypical hockey dude spent evenings as a part of the acapella group).

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