Each term, George School Ambassadors will write blogs detailing the George School experience through their eyes. We hope you enjoy meeting Zau ’21 and following her George School journey.
My name is Zau Haskins and I am a sophomore boarder! As an eighth grader on my tour at George School, I was drawn to how friendly and warm the environment was. One of the main reasons I said yes to GS and became a tour guide was because my tour guide was very joyful, and her energy was contagious, she created a safe space for conversation for an observant and quiet person like I was and continued a connection with me while entering the school as a freshman. Coming from Atlanta, Georgia, adjusting to a new school in a completely different region without my parents was a challenge of my maturity as a young adult. While in middle school, I was very reliant on my parents. They would always check in on me to make sure I was on top of my work. When the thought of going to a boarding school was introduced as an option for me, I immediately considered it because I wanted to become more dependent on myself so that when I go to college I am prepared to knock out any obstacles that come my way. George School made this transition very easy for me because there was always an opportunity to be involved with the community through different clubs, collections, sports, and much more! Overall, George School is a very comfortable, welcoming environment to be in and easy to get accustomed to even living hours away from your home.
Each term, George School Ambassadors will write blogs detailing the George School experience through their eyes. We hope you enjoy meeting Sarah ’21 and following her George School journey.
My name is Sarah Mayer and I’m a sophomore day student. Over the last two years, I have grown to love this community both academically and socially. A few of my passions are musical theater, science (specifically medicine), and hanging out with my friends. The friendships I have made are sure to last a lifetime. Another aspect of George school that I like is the diversity. I have met students from around the world including France, China, and India. Initially, I was introduced to the Friends or Quaker Community when I attended Buckingham Friends School. Each week for the last ten years I have been attending Quaker Meeting for Worship. Meeting For Worship is held once or twice a week when the whole community will sit in a shared silence to reflect on one’s thoughts, and if they feel moved to speak they can share these thoughts. Another reason I have really enjoyed attending a Quaker school is the thoughtful community where the teachers ensure an academically friendly community. I said yes to GS because of the friendly academic community where everyone can prosper in their own way whether it be academically, athletically, artistically, or whatever path you choose.
by Zach Sharma ’18
When I came to George School, my biggest fear was that I would lose my friends from middle school. I had a very close group and I thought I might lose connection with them. However, it was easier than I thought to keep in touch with friends from my old school. I think I spend more time with them now than I did during middle school. If you’re like me, and want to keep some of your best friends, try some of these ideas:
- Make a group chat
By far, the biggest reason my friends and I stay connected is over the phone. While a group chat isn’t more preferable than seeing one another in person, it’s an easy way to talk to all of your friends at once. Besides, it makes planning much easier. I get to see my friends so often because one message in the group chat can start a whole day of hanging out with them.
- Invite them to campus
My friends have come to GS many times, and it’s been for a number of reasons. Though one of the reasons for my friends coming to campus is to act in my films, there are other ways to keep them involved in your George School life. My friends always come to see the play, for example. Sometimes, a few of them show up just to hang out with my friends from George School.
- Introduce them to your George School friends
One of my favorite reasons for keeping in touch with friends from my old school was to see how well they got along with the people I met at GS. Though it’s a lot of people, it’s more fun to spend time with all your closest friends rather than half of them. The best part is that you never have to worry about inside jokes again. When all your GS friends know those from your middle school, they share the same jokes and pastimes.
By Ben McCormick ’18
What makes you feel at home? How would you bring this sense of home to George School? Of course, it’s easy enough to pack necessities, such as linens and hygiene products, but how is it possible to make your dorm feel like home? Pack as little as possible – only the necessities. If you find as though you’ve forgotten something, take it as an opportunity to explore the community surrounding George School, like Summit Square or Newtown. Don’t stress yourself out by trying to pack every little thing you could possibly need. Enjoy the process. In complete honesty, I did the same and overpacked, and I didn’t need the vast amounts of decorations that I initially thought I needed. Throughout your time at George School you will accumulate so many memories and so many decorations to reflect them, soon enough making George School your home away from home. Think of your room as a time capsule, and by the time you’re a senior, you’ll be able to look around your room when you wake up and see what has become of your time at George School. Pictures of your friends line your desk, the George School varsity “G” hangs on your wall, and so many other memories will be evident that you can’t even imagine yet. So, pack the necessities as the foundation for your George School experience and prepare to create a new sense of home away from home. Best of luck!
By AriAnna Thomas ’19
When I started boarding school, I was afraid of what it would be like to live with other teenagers my age. I knew that I needed to pack my basic necessities but I also had 3 things that I think that any new student should have. These items can guarantee you a fun time and help you make new friends at boarding school.
The first item to pack for boarding school would be a pack of cards. In my freshman year, I was introduced to so many games with just a simple pack of cards. I learned how to play spoons, war, and many more games. Cards are not only helpful for games but they are great for magic tricks. If you know one or two magic tricks involving cards, there will be multiple opportunities to be able to show off your skills to your new friends. You can also take those cards to magic club where you can show off your own tricks and also learn more.
The second item that I suggest packing would be a speaker. Speakers are helpful for when you want to have a jam session whether it is in the dorm lobby or in your room. Speakers will help you find those who have similar music taste. Portable speakers are valuable to a boarding student because you can decide where on George School’s campus you would like to listen to your music. A few spots that I recommend would be Red Square, South Lawn, the “C”, and in Marshall, these are the top social spots on campus. Owning a speaker is very useful and is a great way to bring groups of people together and bond with your friends.
The final item that is good to pack for boarding school would be a positive attitude. When you first arrive on campus, be sure to be open-minded and curious to embrace the new experiences and people you will encounter. Not everyone on George School campus is the same. I can honestly say that I am friends with people that I would never be friends with if I had walked by them on the street. If you have curiosity, it will allow you to be introduced to many different cultures and styles. A positive attitude will get you far on George School campus and will guarantee you friendship.
by Michaela Drake ’18
Staying connected to family or friends from a previous school is a big worry for many new students coming into George School. While it may seem impossible to stay connected to these friends and family with all of your school work, sports practices, and club meetings at GS, don’t worry, it is possible. Although I don’t see my non-GS friends and family in person as much as I would like to, I have found many ways to keep in touch with them throughout my years at GS.
One way it is easy to keep in touch with my non-GS friends is through social media. In today’s world, technology is always right at our finger tips. It is so easy to send a simple snapchat or Direct Message to let your friends know you’re thinking of them or to send them some happy birthday wishes. Social Media is a great way to stay constantly connected to your friends and family while you’re away at boarding school. While social media is a very convenient way to stay in touch, another less convenient but more fun way to keep in touch with your friends and family is by sending mail to each other. No, not e-mails, but real mail. Each student at GS has their own PMB at the post office in Marshall Center. This makes sending and receiving packages and letters very easy at GS. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love getting real mail from your friends and family?
Keeping up with family and friends you don’t see often isn’t as hard or as daunting of a task as it may seem. With such prevalent technology and the GS post office right on campus, there are many fun and convenient ways to keep in touch with your friends and family while you are at school.
by Greg Levy ’18
Exam Week: two words that strike fear into the hearts of students all over the world. At George School, these words hold a similar domain, but fret not! While exams are very important and should definitely be taken seriously, they’re by no means “the worst”.
Organization is key to a lower stress exam week (let’s be real, stress will be there regardless). To keep yourself from being overwhelmed, you’ll need to use your time wisely, and make specific study goals along the way, i.e. doing half of your math review worksheet on Saturday and the other half on Sunday or reviewing a different Act of Hamlet each night. Spreading out your studying can also help make sure your brain doesn’t get overworked in a specific area; if you study all your math at once, you may become burnt out and not be up to continuing your studies.
It’s also really important to utilize Study Weekend to the fullest, as it’s the weekend leading into exam week and, as such, you’ll have no homework other than to study. Be strategic about how you approach your subjects, and make sure you’re sufficiently prepared for any review sessions your teachers may be holding. And definitely remember that you can study during the week as well! If your science class doesn’t have a review session and the exam is on Wednesday, you don’t need to cram all your studying into Study Weekend itself- that time would likely be better spent on a different topic.
During the week, there are also tons of different avenues you can pursue for relieving stress. There’s of course still time to relax with friends and cleanse yourself of the excess of stress that’s likely built up. My personal favorite part of the week- yes, I do have a favorite part of exam week that isn’t the end of it- is lunchtime when therapy dogs are brought in. Amanda Acutt, our school counselor, helps bring in 4-5 dogs per afternoon that are there for us to pet, rub, and scratch. And this happens during all three exam weeks for most of the individual days, so you get your full share of adorable dogs.
Exam week is a mountain to overcome, but it’s no Everest (maybe a K2 though).
by Maisy Cadwallader ’20
I love the arts. Everything from sculpture to the theater to doodling on paper. Back in my hometown my school offered one art class every year where we would learn the basics. I would learn the same color wheels every year and to be honest it got a bit boring and I was ready to try something new. My main interest was painting and drawing and when I was about 11 years old my Dad renovated the computer room into an art room and I would sit at the art table for hours on end. At the end of the day I would go to bed covered in paint and glue, but still get up the next day and start again.
Coming from a school that didn’t have a wide variety and perspective on arts I was excited to see the list George School had to offer. I looked up and down the list for the painting and drawing box and immediately checked it off as my number one!
In class the first day when my teacher mentioned that the year would be about learning the basics of art and how to apply them, I fell into grump. I didn’t want to learn them again! As the year went by I noticed that we weren’t only being taught them but also how to use them, not just what they were. Painting and drawing quickly became my favorite class and I looked forward to it every day. The projects got more and more complex and interesting and creativity was welcomed. As a result of a great first year in the class I decided I would take it again.
This year has been even better. Since we have the skills needed to create a piece of thoughtful work we are doing more projects that let us decide the story it tells. We just started a new collage project that incorporates pictures and paint. To do this we are to use one figure, one scenery and, one object. With just this as the base for the project I am interested in seeing what I come up with! So far painting and drawing has never ceased to surprise me and teach me new things. I am happy to say I still love the arts!
by Fernando Rojas ’18
I never knew much about the prospect of opportunities while living in the area of Bristol, Pennsylvania. Chances came by rarely, so you barely heard about anyone living in riches or having the opportunity to do something drastic with their life. It was expected that most kids would just go to my local public school, Harry S. Truman, and I was content with that idea. Well, up until 8th grade. When I first received news of my acceptance to George School, I distinctly remember sitting in my room eating a bag of Cheetos. It came as shock but I was neither nervous nor excited of the news. I simply did not know what to think, but besides of the fact that it was the commencement of a new chapter in my life. Eventually, the last day of middle school happened. It was one of the toughest days I ever faced because I was leaving friends I knew since age 5 and we did not know what our relationship would look like.
Now, it has been about 4 years since that day. Thankfully, I have kept in contact with a large majority of my friends back home. Currently, I am now a senior at George School and I have loved every single moment of it. There is nothing I would change for this experience. I have met tons of unique individuals who strive for nothing but success in their lives. Ultimately, I now have a total of three families. One of course being with my brothers, sister, and parents, and the other two being with the friends I love from both schools- Harry S. Truman and George School.
by Samuel King ’19
Every Friday evening, from six to nine, the largest club on campus meets to fight dragons, conquer kingdoms, or fight off a deadly disease. The Tabletop Club (TTC for short) is dedicated to playing board games and role-playing games, ranging from Jenga to Dungeons and Dragons.
At the beginning of every meeting, members announce which game they’re running, or continue a game left off from the last meeting. There’s something for everyone: first-timers can try a less serious game like Munchkin, a parody of more complex role-playing games, or Briefcase Enigma, a game in which five players (four of which have a train ticket) compete to board a train, designed by a previous TTC leader. Games can last anywhere from fifteen minutes to the whole three hours.
For people who are less about story-telling and more about having a laugh, the club has their share of those games too. Exploding Kittens, One Night Ultimate Werewolf (or Vampire!), and others are enjoyed by students. Some games take unconventional forms – Jackbox, a quiz-based party game, is played on a computer, with players entering answers on their phones.
No matter the game, the best part, and I think the reason we are all really there, is to hang out with our friends and make new ones. Some of my best friends were found very early on freshmen year in TTC. If you are looking for fun and new friends, come hang with us next Friday. See you in McFeeley.