Lawrenceville School review by Wesleyan University student. The school has a very strong core curriculum. Students are required to take a language course, a math course, a science, course, a history course, and an english course-- and most of the time, your schedule will be built around accommodating those requirements. In addition, there are little requirements here and there, like two religion courses and two interdisciplinary courses. What little room there is for electives comes when you've completed the seventh level of your language course (you advance one level each semester, so for most students, this will happen during his or her sophomore year). And once you're done with Algebra 2, you're technically done with your math requirement-- but not taking precalculus, at least, is the pre-collegiate equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot. Sounds strict, and for the most part, it is strict. But almost every course you take at school is amazing. Specifically, just about every english course is incredible-- though some teachers are better suited to certain students' strengths and weaknesses than others. The english department is definitely the strongest at school, and you realize that by the time you hit your senior year, when you're taking electives in each of the teachers' specialities. So far, they've been more compelling than most courses I've taken at college. Not too far behind is the history department, but there just isn't as much room for play in it as there is in the english department. I bet if there were more electives within it, and more freedom to take those electives, the department would shine just as brightly, if not moreso, than the english. The weakest department at school is by far the math department. At the lower levels, at least, it's incredibly sink-or-swim. It's not because the teachers aren't intelligent-- they're all geniuses. They're just not the best at teaching students whole new skill sets. By about AP Calc or AP Stat, things get good. And if you're a math prodigy, they get really excited about working with you. But even in weak classes, you're still going to be given attention from the teacher. Course size is eight to ten. When all's told, though, the education I received at Lawrenceville was tremendous. Take every course you hear is great. Develop close relationships with teachers you adore. Enjoy yourself. I couldn't have asked for a better pre-collegiate education, nor could I have received it.
The campus is incredibly beautiful. That's the first thing you're going to notice. Then, there's dorm life. The house system is the school's major selling point. The house system is as old as time, and if you fit into it, you have an incredible time. It's like a family. But it's also like a family where the parents play favorites. Some housemasters favor certain students over other kinds. It can really be a crap shoot. But your house is with you for life. And that may seem like an odd thing to say, but the friends you make in your house really stay with you forever. The food's okay until you get to be a senior. Then, as a senior, your lunches are fantastic. Winters are pretty awful all around. Find yourself a good tv show. Start a DVD collection. Do something to make up for the fact that you'll hardly ever be outside. And then when spring comes, things become amazing again.
If your main extracurricular interest is sports, you have nothing to worry about. Sports are mandatory, and most practice right after class, from 3:30 to about 5:30 or 6:00, depending on which sport you're playing. And at six o'clock, you have your dinner, and all of your free time before 8:30 rolls around and you have to check in. Now, if you're a theater kid, this gets tricky. Your study hall starts at 8:30, and you have sports till 5:30, and your dinner's from, let's say, 5:30 to 6:00. So that means that while others spend time getting to socialize with one another or just taking necessary downtime from a really stressful day, you're at a grueling rehearsal. And I mean grueling. So, the school is really structured around a student's main extracurricular being sports. You'll have less time to live your life if it's anything but, and a lot of kids end up getting really stressed and burning out. All of this being said, the three big extracurriculars are incredible. The school's sports teams are really respected, the school's theater group does some incredible plays, and the school's music department is world-renowned. There are also little clubs here and there that are incredibly fun.