Tag Archives: admission

Focused Studying

by Ryan Tufford ’20

At George School, most new students think that the amount of school work is overwhelming. Coming here last year, I had the same worry. I thought it would be hard to adjust from my middle school workload to a rigorous high school workload. To my surprise it was not that difficult to adjust. It took me a bit of time to balance my school work with things outside of school like sports and even enjoying a social life seemed like a challenge at first. I learned that there are ways here to become better at time management, some that are mandatory at George School, and some that I had to personally work towards.

As a boarder, I have a required study hall period from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and on Sunday nights. This may seem like a hassle for new students, but it is hard to put into words how beneficial those two hours a night can be. It is a time where I am required to focus on work, and I would not be as productive without study hall.

Some nights I am unable to complete all my work in the two hours, so I have to adjust my schedule and this may mean less socializing during or after dinner. Nonetheless, the ways I have changed to obtain a better schedule here have had a great positive influence on me. I know I definitely had to make changes to balance out school work and activities after school, but those changes were not that hard to make.

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#SayYesToGS — A Parent’s Perspective


Ava Navarro ’18 signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to join Duke University’s fencing team. Her parents, grandparents, friends, and coaches joined in the celebration.

by Al Navarro
Parent of Ava Navarro (Class of 2018)

With the deadline for matriculation decisions approaching, I am guessing there may be some parents out there who may be new to the concept of boarding school and find themselves in the middle of considering whether or not to send their children to George School (or another private school) instead of their local public school.

I wanted to share a perspective of a parent who is fairly well-versed in the boarding school world. Our older daughter graduated from a boarding school, and our younger daughter (who is in the George School Class of 2018) attended another boarding school for her first two years of high school. Additionally, my wife was a boarding student at the private high school we both attended years ago. So I have researched, toured, and re-visited many of the “usual suspects” in the Mid-Atlantic and New England areas.

In the context of this experience, we have been VERY happy with George School’s approach to just about everything. I would probably single out their college counseling process as especially good in comparison to our experiences with the other schools. To me, it just struck the right balance in terms of timing and communication. George School has been a great place for our daughter to finish her high school experience.

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Culture Shock, Vietnam and Plastic Bottles: Lessons Learned (thus far) at GS

226-William Street

by Will Street ’18

When I was first driving through what I would later call Newtown, my first thought was, “Wow, this place is super white.” Now, I would ask that you excuse me for that, as I come from a city that is quite literally the blackest municipality in the country with an 82% African-American or Black population. I also ask that you remain conscious that I had always been around people who looked differently than me, but an entire city? Never that.

When I hit George School’s campus, though, I released a long, loud sigh of relief when I saw a group of people of color walking across campus, and a smile went across my face when I saw that the group was not monolithic. There was an Asian student, a black student, a white student, and a Hispanic student all laughing and enjoying each other’s company. What I did not know that day is that, that friend group would mirror mine in the coming years. I would make an Asian friend who lives in the bustling city of Seoul, I would make friends who look like me but their origins span from the Bronx to Somalia and I would make white friends from small, rural towns in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This is proof that George School is not just a melting pot, but it is a massive cauldron of cultures, races, and identities. All that said, there were still growing pains in me reaching this conclusion.

Walking into my room on August 31, 2014 would be the event that would change my perspective on culture and would challenge my patience and my desire to keep an open mind. I stopped in front of the door, and the name read “Truong Son Nguyen Viet” and I felt my face scrunch up and my parents prodded me to open the door. They were seemingly as nervous and unsure as I was. I opened the door and I saw a tall, lanky, large headed (Son, forgive me for that) figure standing and putting away his clothes. He turned around  and there was a brief pause. He broke the silence by saying, “Hi, my name is Son” and held out his hand for me to shake. Admittedly, he was harder to understand, but we’ll address that later.

The first couple of months were bad. We argued about the room being cleaned (I was the dirty one), my volume of showers a day and how loud my friends were when they came inside of the room. A couple of years later, he would later admit that he wanted to make a roommate switch, but luckily he didn’t. After our rough patch, we made a deal that if I taught him to speak English more proficiently, he would teach me Vietnamese curse words. As a freshman, this was a sweet quid pro quo. There were many nights where we would talk and whenever he mispronounced a word, I would kindly tell him the correct pronunciation. In return, he would spend 10 minutes helping me properly pronounce how to tell someone off in his language. We would have extensive conversations, albeit at times uncomfortable, about foreign policy namely the Vietnamese war and how the way we’re taught about it differs. These conversations changed how I viewed the world and encouraged me to be a more understanding, open minded global citizen and he admitted that I changed his perspective on race and how he viewed people of color. We remained roommates up until our senior year, and it was not by choice that we were separated. We were given prefect in different dorms.

Now, at this point you may be wondering what plastic bottles has to do with one of my important lessons. 9th grade, I had been elected to student council as a class representative, and my motives were not pure. In fact, I had this Machiavellian-esque plan to take over the council that ultimately failed, so I would go on to fight every battle that came before us as a council and was debateable. There was one moment that would teach me a lesson that would be important to my development as a GS man. One day, a proposal came before us to discuss the use of plastic water bottles. I thought to myself: “this is my chance!” I tirelessly researched plastic bottle usage and how it would hurt the American worker. I said my points before the meeting, and people looked at me confused and some were chuckling. Later that year, Tom Hoopes would give me the wisdom I needed all along and that was to pick your battles carefully. That made me realize that every hill is not worth dying on and there are more noble and pure causes to have discourse over. This skill is going to help me in my life as a public servant and global citizen and it will always remind me to make sure my motivations are pure and that something is a fight worth fighting.

There it is. I tied together Culture Shock, Vietnam and Plastic Bottles. I reckon Kim McGlyn is to be given credit for that!

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What to Pack for Boarding School

340-Amber Salazar

by Amber Salazar ’19

I have been a boarding school student for 2 years now and it seems like each year I somehow manage to forget to pack something important. I’ve always wished that there was a list of things that I should and shouldn’t pack, but I can never seem to find one that is as handy as I would like it to be, so I am going to make a list of my own. Here are the essentials of packing for boarding school.

  • Pack lots of clothes! While you are packing it may seem like you are bringing way too much, but trust me, you’ll need it. Lately the weather has been unpredictable, so make sure to bring clothes for both warm and cold temperatures.
  • Pack different types of shoes. Sometimes you will need sneakers, if it’s cold out you may want to wear boots, or when it’s hot you might want to wear sandals. It is very convenient to have a variety.
  • Bring decorations! The majority of dorm rooms are very bland, so that you can customize it to your liking. Lots of people hang up lights, posters, pictures; really anything that makes it feel more like home.
  • Remember to bring school supplies. You are going to a boarding SCHOOL, after all. Pencils, pens, notebooks, binders, etc.
  • Toiletries! This is probably the most easily forgotten thing to pack. Since you will be living at school, you will need a toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, deodorant, etc.
  • Bring food. You will be hungry sometimes! If you want a late-night snack or something small to eat in the middle of the day, it is nice to have something to eat in your room.

Overall, the boarding school experience is AMAZING. When you pack the necessary items, the experience just becomes even better.

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Dealing With Roommate Issues

269-Sidney Walters

by Sidney Walters ’19

Boarding school can open your eyes to new ideas, new religions, new cultures etc!  It’s also a great way to get accustomed to living with another person, as you will most likely have to do in college. Roommates can be someone who you can depend on for almost everything. I know that I depend on my roommate for almost everything! But, a roommate is not perfect, which is ok, but it can lead to conflict between the both of you, no matter who the person is. You might be wondering, what do I do in that situation?? Not to worry, I have the answer here for you! But first I will give you a scenario so that you can understand.

Scenario:

Say your roommate is playing music out loud during study hall. (In my room it happens all the time!) Which is totally fine, but tonight you have to take notes in your science book for a really important test tomorrow. You need to have complete quiet in order to do the assignment right. But, you don’t want to come off rude or mean towards your roommate if you ask them to get rid of the music.

What should you do???

You should politely ask them to either turn off their music or use headphones. In my experience, this usually works and we continue with our studies while respecting each other. I am sure if you ask politely and give your roommate alternatives they are sure to respect the space that both of you share.

That is just one example of a roommate issue that can easily be solved without any intervention of an authority figure. But, if by chance you can’t solve the issue yourself, you have prefects and dorm parents to help as well!

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The George School Community

121-Lea Jensen

by Lea Jenson ’19

One of the reasons I decided to attend George School is because of how supportive and accepting the community is. George School is an environment where I am free to express my opinions and passions. I have a passion for sports teams. I participate in three varsity sports year-round. I not only love the team bonding and friendships that are formed but I also enjoy the intensity. At the beginning of each year, the fall sports season starts off early in the year with preseason. This is a time where George School athletes get extra practice in for their fall sports and are able to bond with their teammates two weeks prior to the school year. One of my favorite times at George school is preseason. I get to spend time with my teammates on and off the field. After long days of tiring practices, I was given the opportunity to board over the duration of preseason in the dorms. I boarded with a roommate whom I have grown to be very close with. I am grateful for the chance I was given to get to know many of the people on my team, that I would probably not know very well if I did not play a sport with them.

George School is a unique environment that enables everyone to be friendly and create a caring community!

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10 Reasons Red Square is the Best Hangout Spot on Campus

171-JoceLynn Labossiere

by JoceLynn Labossiere ’19

  1. You can play Foursquare with your friends after school and on the weekends to relieve some of the stress of the day.
  2. You can play fun music and have room to dance to it since it is such a large outdoor space.
  3. The C has a cool echoing sound that comes from it so it’s fun to talk to finds and hear the change in your voices.
  4. It is a great place to have outdoor concerts.
  5. It’s a great place to watch the stars at night since the area is so open and the sky is so clear.
  6. It creates the proper front for George School’s annual water balloon fight as it is such a wide area and allows for a lot of vantage points.
  7. It is the perfect place to eat lunch while basking in the sun.
  8. It is the ultimate stage for seeing those who are dressed up for prom as it has two large porches that are amazing for viewing people’s dresses and suits.
  9. The bushes provide shade for the benches around them so you can watch people play Forsquare and be protected from the heat.
  10. You can always find faculty dogs to pet as their owners often cross this area while walking them.

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A Guide to Being a Happy Roommate and Having a Happy Roommate

by Isabella Lin ’18

Prior to coming to George School, I never experienced having a roommate let alone living away from home. As a result, I had no idea what to expect from a roommate, so I envisioned an entire scenario in the days before moving in… I would open the door to my beautiful dorm room, somehow already decorated, and upon seeing me, my roommate would throw up her hands and we would squeal and scream at each other in excitement, instantly becoming the best of friends.

In other words, I believed that roommates were destined to immediately feel a bond, get along perfectly, and live together in bliss and harmony for the rest of the high school years. Spoiler alert: This is likely impossible in all roommate scenarios. However, I do have proof that it’s entirely possible to live in blissful contentment with your roommate when you put in some effort and give it more time than one day.

When I met my roommate Ale, there wasn’t screaming or hair-braiding – we were two awkward and nervous sophomores, hoping that our roommate didn’t have an odd habit that would drive the other crazy. It isn’t an easy task to be assigned to live with someone you’ve never met, and it isn’t supposed to be. But remember, once you conquer high school boarding, college dorm life will be a breeze.

Tip #1: Acknowledge your roommate’s presence! I know this sounds silly, but a simple “good morning” and “good night” can go a long way to build a strong foundation for a long term roommate relationship. Not only does it feel natural to greet someone when you see them first thing in the morning, but it helps to create a friendly and home-y environment in your room.

Tip #2: Work out a sleeping time and waking time. Chances are, you and your roommate will have different sleeping schedules. Discuss this with your roommate as soon as possible so you both have correct information, and you and your roommate will have a happy year of undisturbed sleep. If you are an early-bird, gather your things the night before and position your alarm so that you don’t keep hitting snooze. If you stay up late, find another light source and invest in headphones or earphones.

Tip #3: Get a small bedside light. This correlates with the tip above. If you or your roommate needs a later night than the other, having a small bedside light is a great solution to problems with keeping the room lights on. A small, movable light doesn’t disturb the sleeping roommate, and gives enough light for the awake roommate.

Tip #4: Get a mini fridge and share it. Just do it. And be kind and share it, or if it’s your roommate’s fridge, nicely ask to share it. Stock it up with everything that makes you smile on a Monday. It’s a guaranteed mood-booster for both of you.

Tip #5: Have deep, existential conversations at night. Maybe not as deep as existential reflections, but open yourself up to listen to your roommate’s thoughts, or speak your own. When two roommates are lying awake at night, sometimes conversation is what feels the most natural. Don’t worry, this feeling is mutual, you won’t be left hanging. Talk about stress, interests, hopes, dreams, homesickness, or anything else that comes to mind in the moment. It’s a great way to bond with your roommate, and trust me, losing an hour or so of sleep talking with your roommate is worth it.

If you’re wondering, while I didn’t get my big, magical, and unreasonable moment of meeting my roommate, at the end of the year, I did gain a cherished friend for life. Good luck and happy boarding!

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Why I Selected George School

by Sophia Guo ’18

I had no idea what a Quaker school would be like when I first came to visit George School. Instead of perceiving Quakerism as a religion, I perceived it as a set of spiritual values that continuously influence this school community. George School left me the impression of being the most open, friendly, and caring among the eighteen schools I visited in the US, and thus I spontaneously attribute the community’s unique aura to the biggest difference it has from other high schools, that is, Quakerism.

I always learn about the environment from people who live in it. Holding firmly to the belief that a school should not be approved until its people are worth trusting and being friends with. I was not committed to George School by its beautiful campus with squirrels running around, its two-floor library filled with natural light and over two thousand paperbacks as well as ten thousand electronic books, or its modernly designed Fitness Athletics Center with a homeothermal swimming pool, wrestling rooms, yoga rooms, and a supervised fitness center.

Instead, I was gradually convinced to select George School as my first choice through my talk with my tour guide and the community I observed in a very short time period. What surprised me was that people called each other by their first name, even a student to a teacher. It was one of the “SPICES” in Quakerism: simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and service. “People feel that they are responsible for the community,” explained my tour guide, “because everyone is equal.”

I was impressed by the rigor of courses that George School students take. George School provides over 20 AP courses, as well as a full IB program for students who want to challenge themselves academically. Challenging oneself and trying to achieve a higher academic level seems very normal. Not to mention that students also pursue scores of leadership roles and passions. When I told my tour guide that she was very excellent, she blushed a little and told me that she thought “excellence should be a habit.”

It was not “love at first sight” between me and George School. It was the relationship between the kinds of lovers that the more they find out about each other the deeper their love is. Community, culture, and academics were all great reasons why I selected George School.

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Music Girl

 

by Michelle Tyson ’18

So I find myself at quite a busy place right now. I have studied music for four years at George School and have become known as THE “Music Girl.” It is not against my will, though, do not get me wrong. I love music. I came into George School loving music and will leave pursuing a musical path.

In my opinion, it would be an absurdity for me to not love music fiercely. You can see it on my transcript: I have taken Instrumental Music and IB Music for every year I could take them. I’m also involved in the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County, a nearby youth orchestra which meets just five minutes off of campus. There, I’m the second chair violist for the symphony orchestra of the advanced division. I am a member with Goldfish ‘n Java, our school’s live music club. I’m pretty entrenched in music. Beyond that, though, believe it or not, I find so many more music-making opportunities.

During my Arizona service trip over the summer, George School’s dance teacher, Barb Kibler, happened to be a faculty sponsor for the trip. It was down time in our busy day, and our group was gathered in one room of our house. I decided to share the music that I produce with the group, playing some songs off of my recent album on my speaker. Long story short, Barb heard, and asked if I would collaborate with the dance program this year. I accepted.

Barb and I will work together to choreograph five dances to five of my songs for Dance Eclectic. It is the first project of its kind that Barb has undertaken, and also a big but fulfilling challenge for me.

I do share my music on my social media, and my George School peers have started to take notice. My friend recently asked me to write a score for her film project, and I’m working on that project as well.

Dave Nolan, the instrumental and voice music teacher, is working with me on a solo piece for the spring instrumental concert. Also, the George School Community Choir, which meets each Sunday, will need a violist to perform Mozart’s Requiem with them.

My point? There is a place for everyone at George School. If you are a music nerd, that’s okay. I am too! And it’s a really, really, fun time. To any potential music-makers reading this who are hesitant about their future, I suggest to them: just go for it. This also goes for anyone with a particular passion—from soccer, to politics.

My music experience at George School has been a direct result of my pushing for my own passions to be fulfilled. And that’s an invaluable opportunity that every student finds here at George School.

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