Days at Milton are full. Classes are exciting, and the discussion that starts around the Harkness table continues out of class. The occasional free period during the class day is a great time to talk with friends, get work done, grab a snack in the Schwarz Student Center or check on a project. After classes, the wide world of Milton’s activities and organizations opens up. Students may have an athletic practice every day until dinner, or they may get involved in theatre tech or a publication or community service. Three times each week students have “sit-down”-short-hand for dinner with their housemates and house faculty. Day students come to dinner, too, when they’re staying on campus for activities. The fast-paced Milton day helps you learn to manage your time, follow through on responsibilities, get work done, and have fun with friends. There are so many opportunities to get involved; you don’t want to miss out.
The days are made up of many moments, and every student can point to a certain “moment” that captures the Milton experience. Here are some Milton moments as students describe them:
Coming from Ghana to Milton was a huge transition—meeting new people and even just getting used to the food! The guys in my dorm made the transition so much easier. We have such solid friendships. They feel like my brothers. During my sophomore year, the seniors in the dorm were the best leaders. They based their leadership on camaraderie. One senior helped me get a handle on managing my schoolwork load, and he did it in such a friendly way. Soccer is my main sport, and I really enjoy the team. The friendships go beyond the field. At Milton, you have countless opportunities to try something new. That’s one of the most valuable things about this School. You meet a range of people in the classroom, on the fields, and in the clubs. I performed in the Dance Concert two years in a row. I even play JV ice hockey. When I came here from Ghana, I had never even seen snow, let alone skated on ice! One of my friends who plays hockey suggested I try it. I skated with him before I tried out. I fell A LOT! But I stuck with it, made the JV team, and played in a few games this year. Stepping out of your comfort zone to try something new is important, and it’s easy to do that at Milton.
Hong Kong, China
When I came to Milton, I didn’t know what subject I was really interested in. The science department convinced me that I wanted to pursue a career in science. It started my freshman year in Physics with Mr. Sando, who had a big effect on me. I used to think science was knowing all these facts and equations and solving textbook problems. He taught me it’s about exploring the unknown, and that you are really only doing science if you are asking questions people don’t know the answers to yet. That’s what I love about the DYO (Design Your Own) projects. At the end of all full-year science courses, you get to explore a topic that interests you, and in doing so you feel like you’re adding something new to the discussion. In my junior year, when taking Advanced Chemistry with Ms. Zimmer, my DYO involved hydrogels. The project gave me lab experience and
knowledge that I then got to use at my summer internship at a biomedical lab at the City University in Hong Kong. My job was to see if I could print cells using a 3-D printer. This past year I took Advanced Physics and two semester courses—Nuclear Physics and Cosmology. I would take more classes if I could, but I’m graduating and going to CalTech next year to major in chemistry.
Dance is important to me, and Milton’s dance program gives students the freedom to explore what they like. Our dance teacher is awesome. She has a structured curriculum, but she is flexible in letting us try what interests us. The Dance Concert is our big event. Students choreograph the dances, and any student can audition to perform. During Dance Concert, you are surrounded by people who love to dance. We might get physically tired from practices, but then there is a moment where it all comes together. That is the most magical part-seeing an idea that started in your mind come to life.
This year I wanted to choreograph a dance to the Sara Bareilles song “Gravity.” Coincidently, my dance partner heard the same song and had the same thought. We originally planned a duet, but during the process of choreographing, we changed it to become an eight-person performance. That is one valuable lesson you learn in dance: Some things have to go, and you have to be okay with that. You have to be open to others’ ideas and suggestions.
When I was a freshman, I founded the Robotics Club with two of my classmates. I had worked with VEX robotics in middle school and wanted to continue that experience at Milton. You work so hard on a robot for a long time, and it inevitably keeps breaking or not working, and then you finally figure everything out and it works! That’s the best part, and what I love most. And everyone on the team is involved. When you have a finished product, there is no robot that just one person built. You might work on it for a few hours, then leave the room in frustration, and another person comes in with a different view, fixes something, and you go from there.
We started out with six members the first year, and this year we had over 20 members. We meet in the Art and Media Center, where we store all of our tools and parts. During a competition in our first year, we placed seventh out of 80 teams. Mr. Bland, the head of school, invited us to his office to congratulate us, and it was so amazing to be recognized that way. The administration here makes itself really accessible to students, and this was my first experience with that. Since then, we stay in touch with Mr. Bland on our progress and results. We are looking forward to more competitions because they are so much fun, and it’s a real team effort.