The Lawrenceville School: A Princeton Graduate’s Perspective

logo_9516Last week we presented an in-depth profile on one of the top boarding schools in the nation: the Lawrenceville School. Princeton and Lawrenceville graduate Amogha Tadimety now shares her perspective on this private school that provides “the best of both worlds” to motivated high school students.

Currently working as an associate at Novantas in Manhattan, Tadimety graduated this past year from Princeton University with a degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering and certificates in Engineering Biology and Values and Public Life.

As an undergraduate, Tadimety was a member of the Undergraduate Student Government Community Service Committee, the Princeton Bioethics Forum, Club Tennis, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Originally from Newtown, Pennsylvania, Tadimety chose the Lawrenceville School because, quite simply, of all that a top-tier boarding school offers its students. “I got to interact with incredibly smart and driven peers from all over the world, and made some of the best friends of my life,” Tadimety reflected. “At the same time, I was able to take on a demanding high school curriculum, play sports each term, and compete in state and national extracurricular competitions.”

Academic Dedication and Spirit of Community

The Lawrenceville School is renowned for precisely such a demanding climate, academic and non-academic. “I felt constantly challenged by my incredible peers and teachers,” Tadimety recalled. “I spent most of my days on campus, starting my mornings at 8 a.m. with class and ending at 8 p.m. after my extracurricular [activities].”

Academically, the Lawrenceville School establishes high baseline standards and fosters a sense of collaboration and discussion early on in students’ careers. “The academic climate was rigorous and challenging, but also designed so that students can learn from one another. Humanities, Social Science, and Language classes were all taught at the oval Harkness Table, so the classes were discussions, not lectures,” Tadimety affirmed. Her favorite courses included an interdisciplinary English-Theatre course on Shakespeare, a senior Bioethics course, AP Economics, and her AP Chemistry course. Tadimety also cited the freshman humanities program, which “really gives students a taste for writing and general academic expectations at Lawrenceville.”

Tadimety held nothing but respect for her classmates at Lawrenceville.  “Some of the biggest takeaways from class are things said by peers, not by the teacher,” she said.

Indeed, Tadimety affirmed the extent to which academic life complemented student life, and vice versa. “Teachers and students end up developing strong relationships over the students time here, and I feel lucky to have gotten to know my instructors so well,” she explained. “From dorm life, to sharing meals, to sports practices to the classroom, students and teachers interact in a variety of situations, not solely academic.”

Additionally, Tadimety stated that she was able to focus on extracurriculars that complemented her academic interests at Lawrenceville, and as a result “can honestly say that I was a better engineer in college because of my high school student life.” As a high school student, Tadimety played tennis and softball, was part of the Science Olympiad, Math Club, and Quiz Bowl teams, did theatre tech and design, and worked on the yearbook.

Resources and Facilities

Tadimety raved about the “amazing” campus—replete with hundreds of acres of farmland, a golf course, and conveniently located classroom buildings and dorms—in addition to Lawrenceville’s pristine facilities. “The library, athletic resources, and teachers available are absolutely top-notch,” she affirmed.

Regarding student body size—approximately 800 students total—she said this resulted in “small and intimate” classes which more appropriately facilitated discussion. Tadimety also confirmed feeling like she had the support network necessary during her time at Lawrenceville, with the school’s excellent academic, medical, and college counseling staff.

The Lawrenceville School also has a unique House System, which sorts students into specific houses prior to their entrance into their sophomore and junior years. This proved Tadimety’s favorite aspect of her high school career. “[The houses] are where the deepest friendships develop,” she stated. “They serve as a dorm for boarding students and a hangout and locker area for the day students, and there are two live-in faculty families. My friends from McClellan are still my best friends in the world.”

Global Exposure

The Lawrenceville School advocates an “appreciation for diversity and a global perspective.” Tadimety concurred that as a boarding student at Lawrenceville she experienced unparalleled cultural exposure. “Lawrenceville draws students from all over the world, creating a student experience that cannot be paralleled at day schools across New Jersey,” she maintained. “Students learn about other cultures, connect with students from other parts of the country and other countries, and…can try things with no consequences.”

Such exposure figured largely in Tadimety’s preparation for an undergraduate career at Princeton University. Besides the immense amount of resources Lawrenceville offers with regard to college preparation—dedicated guidance counsellors, SAT and college search assistance, and other programs—the school invites students from their first year to start thinking about college.

“I was incredibly well prepared for college life because I went to Lawrenceville,” she stated. “Simple things like being used to being around my friends all the time, knowing how to approach professors, or being able to manage my time were all skills that I’d developed in 9th grade, meaning that I was not flustered when I entered college. Additionally, learning what my academic and extracurricular strengths were during my four years at Lawrenceville definitely helped me make an informed decision about college.”

For Those Looking Ahead

Amogha advises that prospective students considering Lawrenceville “take a tour and be sure to speak to as many students as possible to be sure it’s a good fit for you… Be open to the possibility of trying plenty of new things.”


Additional Reading

Please check out other posts in this series:

You may also be interested in our related series of in-depth high school profiles:

About the Author: Kathleen McGunagle is a 2014 graduate of Princeton University currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Boston University. During her undergraduate career, she provided tutoring services through Princeton Tutoring, participated in on-campus theatre, and enjoyed a year abroad studying English at Oxford University.

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