Originally Posted by rexthedestroyer
Other than not getting in to a great college, how do you think your "mid-tier" prep school effected your life in general?
The main thing you get when going to a prep school vs. an inner-city public school (those were my choices) is the whole culture is different. Stating the obvious here but prep schools are there to actually prep you to get into a decent college. The whole vibe was competitive, both in academics and sports.
On the other hand a lot of public schools are just detention centers, kids are sent to school just so they're not on the street. Only the very motivated, either self-motivated or through good parenting, are going to make it anywhere. I remember going to public school and the kids who coasted through school and got away with the most were the cool kids. Hell, the ones who even made it to college might've been the first in their family.
In prep school, you wanted to be on the varsity squad, you wanted to be class president, you wanted to have the highest SAT score - because that was cool. The majority of my classmates in prep school were well-off Jewish sons and daughters of doctors, lawyers, executives, etc. They knew who they were and they knew what it took to stay where they were in life. Going to college was a standard, getting into a good college was the goal.
This is my experience, I don't know much about suburban public schools but even the "elite" public schools in Boston (Latin, Latin Academy, O'Bryant) are very sink or swim. In fact, when you get into Boston Latin, the first thing they tell you is "Look to your left, look to your right. By the time you graduate, one of you won't be here."