Potential Students Flood Campus

Photo by Elle Rinaldi/The Choate News

Prospective students and their parents walk towards the Winter Ex to attend the special interests fair.

At the beginning of every Choate student’s career stands the open doors of Archbold. On Tuesday, March 29, the Choate community welcomed 87 families of newly accepted students to campus for the first of three Spring Revisits, an important and busy day of classes and activities.

Although tours introduce Choate life to applicants, revisit days provide prospective students a fuller sense of what attending Choate entails. Sometimes, the experience only reaffirms one’s confidence in their choice, but often times, conflicted students make their big decision on which school to attend based on their revisit experience. While it can be difficult for international students or those who hail from far destinations to attend revisit day due to the extensive travel, many prospective students hail from a multitude of countries and states to participate in the day’s activities.

“The most exciting thing about revisit days is travelling from state to state or fair to fair, interviewing students in a hotel lobby or here on campus, getting through the committee and the highly intensive selection process, and finally getting to a beautiful spring day and seeing the students’ smiling faces and their families who are super thrilled about Choate. It is very comforting to work in a profession that can take a student from the early stages of choosing to attend a new school to a hopefully completed stage. It is a rewarding job, to work with a family from September to April, and then watch them grow in this community for years,” said Dana Brown, a Senior Associate Director at Archbold.

The day kicked off with registration for prospective students and their families followed by a question and answer session by a panel of current students. Registration is held in the Paul Mellon Arts Center every year, and prospective students and their families are greeted with flags from all countries from which Choate students hail lining the pathway to the PMAC, representing Choate’s geographic diversity. Students on the panel are carefully chosen from all parts of Choate in order to present diverse and full picture of Choate life that represents the entire student body.

“Before I went up to the panel, I was a bit nervous, but when I got there, I felt calm. I thought the crowd was going to be much bigger. The parents asked really good questions; no question was too challenging or hard to answer. It was fun, I had a wonderful time,” said Simon Jimenez ’18, who spoke on the panel about student life at Choate on Tuesday.

Although the audience is usually friendly, the panelists have faced tough questions about the realities of high school in the past.

“This year, the crowd was definitely calmer and quieter. Last year, we had challenging questions from the parents about drugs and alcohol. This year, it was more about academics and student life in general,” reflected Coco Kulle ’16, who spoke on the panel this year and last year. She continued, “We had a practice meeting at the admissions office yesterday and they talked to us about how to handle tough questions about drugs or alcohol, for example. Otherwise, we didn’t really prepare for the panel. I think it’s better not to prepare so the answers are honest.”

The usual 8-period 45-minute block class schedule was amended to accommodate visitors. Conference block was removed, leaving a school day that was 40 minutes shorter. The Admissions Office paired each prospective student with a current student who shared similar interests. The admissions office expected hosts, who were informed ahead of time via email about their assigned visitor and asked to pick up information packets, to meet their prospective student between second and third period. Prospective students would then get a chance to experience what a real Choate class is like, something most had only read about. Oftentimes the visitors would actively participate in class discussions or activities, fully immersing themselves in Choate’s academic experience. The general reaction among potential students about their revisit experiences was positive.

“My experience has been great. Choate is very welcoming, and the classes were detailed; I saw a lot of critical thinking and a lot of discussion. There was not a lot of busy work, and everything seemed like it was really meaningful. All the kids seemed really motivated, individual, and special. Each person has his or her own talents. It is a vibrant community,” said Rohin Shivdasani, a prospective student.

While the accepted students were taken to classes and got a taste of rigorous Choate academics, parents attended information sessions covering many facets of Choate life from the sciences to college counseling. Afterwards, parents and visiting students reassembled at the Chapel for a performance by the Choate Symphony Orchestra. “Boars Explore” groups then departed from the Chapel.

After classes, an ice cream social took place in the Worthington Johnson Athletic Center. Members of all student clubs and sports teams gathered to discuss Choate life in unstructured conversations outside of the classroom with parents and prospective students. The social marked the end of the official schedule planned for revisit day, but athletes or musicians were invited to witness extracurricular activities in action by observing sports practices or rehearsals.

Revisit day is largely a cooperative endeavor between the Choate community and accepted students. Members of the Choate community, as hosts, have to be welcoming, but visitors also have to be open to getting to know Choate in order for revisit day to be productive. Revisit day is also a day when the entire Choate community collaborates to create a special experience.

The Admissions Office collaborated with other and worked tirelessly months in advance to create the perfect and feasible day. Without the hours of work that the Admissions expended when organizing the entire day, including information sessions, class visits, the social, and performances, the Choate community would not have been able to take part in the truly remarkable Spring Revisit Day.

“On Revisit Day, there is a lot more people, the dining hall food is substantially better, and campus is more lively and fun with the new students and parents. Classes are more interactive. Even the weather cooperated! I think revisit day was a definite success,” said Samantha Rusnak ’18 with a laugh.

4 Comments

  1. Great article!

  2. I remember these days.

  3. I love the new website.

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