By Andrew Arth ’19
Hello Friends, and welcome to week 2 of the blog. The number 1 question I get asked on tours is why did I choose to pursue the International Baccalaureate Diploma. “Do you even plan on going abroad?” they ask. “Is it better than AP?” or “Why do you need a second diploma?” are the two follow-ups which I always am ready for. Well, let’s start with the basics.
Yes, IB is a secondary diploma which is an addition to your George School diploma. No, it is not required by George School, in fact it is wholly optional. No, it is not “better” than AP and AP is not “better” than the IB, they are simply different entities. And to answer the last question of why, I think it is more important to understand the minds of George School students. As a community we are a group that tends to seek out knowledge, to question preconceived notions, and lean into the unknown. We embrace dissenting opinions in search for a greater truth, in search of the light. So, you may be asking at this point, “Well, how does this at all relate to the IB?”
In my opinion, the IB only helps to expedite this process of in-depth thinking. It truly is a worldly education and an opportunity that not many are afforded. It places emphasis on real world skills like writing, field work, research, and reflection. The IB not only pushes the idea of exploration, it necessitates and places students in opportunities to do so. When writing Internal Assessments, you are evaluating and offering solutions to real world, modern day problems. You are not training yourself to be the problem-solvers of tomorrow, you are becoming the problem-solver of today. It is much more than an academic tick mark, a diploma to hang on the wall, and a conversation piece to impress interviewers down the road. It is a way of thinking and learning that is more holistic, encompassing, and reflective than any else, in my opinion. So when the question of “why IB?” is raised, I think to myself “why not?”
by Zau Haskins ’21
One of the most fun ways to end a week and take your mind off stress from school is during a GS weekend. Each weekend on campus is planned with a theme and includes many activities and fun trips to go on. There is never a bland time on campus because there is always something you could do! Some of the weekends on campus include Upper and Lower Dorm Weekends which encompass bar-b-ques, a great selection of movies to see with friends, ice cream socials with the members of your dorm and other dorms to get to know new people, mall trips, and even late-night food trips! My favorite weekend at GS is Harvest Weekend. This usually takes place during the fall time where it is cold outside so some of the activities include hot chocolate in Marshall, haunted Hayrides with friends around campus, s’more roasting, pumpkin carving, and apple butter making just to name a few. My favorite part about this weekend is seeing not only GS students coming out to the different events, but also seeing faculty families and other local families coming together and having a great time. This was very exciting to me witnessing how friendly and welcoming the GS community is to everyone which is the foundation of a Quaker Community!
Sarah with her Advisor and collection group
by Sarah Mayer ’21
When I started freshmen year George School I was a little nervous regarding the amount of time and effort that would be required to meet the rigorous academic requirements. Since then I have grown to appreciate the academics and emotional support that is provided. George School really focuses on our mental health since they realize the amount of work that is given plus the additional stresses of extracurricular activities puts a lot of pressure on us. When you join the community you will be randomly assigned an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member who meets with you along with 3-6 other students 3 times a week. The advisor is someone who you can go to for any reason and is there to ensure you are successful. Another academic support GS provides are consultations, which are when you meet with a teacher for guidance academically. For example, you need to go over some material or any other issue that would need to be consulted there is time allotted at the end of the day to do so. Another option is, each night during study hall there is writing, language, math, and other services to help you with whatever you may be having trouble with. Overall GS provides a very helpful support system.
by Andrew Arth ’19
Hello Friends, to begin I would like to introduce myself. I am Andrew Arth, a senior day student, IB Diploma candidate and two sport varsity athlete. I will be taking you through my first term of my senior year at GS, but first you should get to know me a little better. The story starts with my brother, who graduated in 2014 and showed me what George School was, what it is, and what it could be. I fell in love with it at first sight, infatuated and drawn in by the sprawl of South Lawn, the history of the brick, and the energy of the students. Fast forward, almost eight years and here I am. I am a co-founder and leader of a club, 2 year member of the Discipline Committee, a 3x varsity captain, a writing center mentor, and perhaps most importantly writing this blog to you, the reader, right now. This is my most important task to date because I want to share what George School means to me and what it could possibly mean to you. There will be ups and downs, highs and lows, victories and losses, but most importantly there will be one constant: George School. It is the glue which holds our very community together. Let me share it with you. Signing out for now.
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.