One Student's Journey: To Private Day School >> To Public School >> To Boarding School
Day Student Life at Avon Old Farms
Hi, my name is Millan Jain. I am a three-year senior from Houston, Texas. For my freshman and sophomore years, I was a day student at Avon Old Farms, the private CT high school for boys, living in Avon—only ten minutes from campus. I have always enjoyed going to school; I loved interacting with my friends and learning new things. Coming to AOF was easily the best decision I had made in my life. In the first two years, I made lifelong friends with the students and faculty.
On-campus, I played baseball and basketball. I was a member of the Riddlers, and play-by-play broadcaster for the varsity soccer team. I was cruising through high school and was excited to finish my second year at school. As the spring of my sophomore year drew to the end, all of that changed and life threw a curveball at me.
The Journey to Public School
Summer: As graduation slowly drew closer, I was hit with the news that any high school student dreaded to hear. “We are moving.” The words hit me like a 2-by-4 hitting the ground. My first thought was “Maybe we are only moving to another house in Connecticut.” The dreaded question loomed. Where were we moving too? My curiosity led me to build up the courage to ask the question. “We are moving to Houston, Texas and we would like you to come with us,” my parents said. Boom, it felt like another 2-by-4 just hit the ground. We had lived in Avon for 11 years. Avon was the town I grew up in. I had made so many friends and made so many memories. Now, I was going to start over in a new school in a new state over 1,000 miles away. Worst of all, I had to leave the Brotherhood, and the school I fell in love with.
The Move: During the first week of August, we packed our bags and left for Houston. Throughout the month of August, temperatures reached a sweltering 100+ degrees in Houston. My family got right to work moving into the house. After about two weeks everything was settled and we all had our eyes on my first day of school which was looming. I was going to attend a school that was only three years old and close to 4000 students. After coming from a small school with rich traditions, I was curious about how the school would operate. It was their first time with a graduating class.
With the first day looming, I had never felt more nervous in my life. For the first time in 11 years, I walked in alone to my new school in Texas; it was filled with people I did not know and who did not know me. I was starting over. It took a while to make friends. Walking around the halls was lonely, although I was surrounded by thousands of peers. Nobody went out of their way to make me feel at ease or invited me to sit at their table for lunch. I missed AOF where everyone was always included. Thankfully, my friends back in Connecticut checked in on me every day to see how I was doing.
What did I learn?: This move taught me many things. I learned that I could adjust to different places and cultures (yes, Texas has a very different feel than New England), to a new school, and new kids. I took AOF’s motto of Aspire and Persevere and applied it to my move in Texas. In Texas, I jumped right into the school’s journalism department and got my feet wet. I went to all the football games and reported for them and made friends through journalism. In 100-degree weather baseball practices, I survived doing suicides with the baseball team. While I realized I could survive at Bridgeland High School in Texas, I also realized what I preferred. And that was Avon Old Farms. Just after the new year, I sat down with my parents. They could see Texas wasn’t a good fit for me. We put a plan in place to return to Avon Old Farms.
Back to the Brotherhood—Back to Avon Old Farms
Avon has something special that no other school in the world has. Avon has been striving to turn boys into men for 93 years whereas my school in Houston had only been open for three. Avon has faculty and students that will support you from day one that you step on campus. With only having 400 students, you get to know each person on a personal level. At lunch, you sit with students of all grade levels from all over the world. At each end of the lunch table, there are two faculty members so you can get to know a teacher that you may not even have.
Unlike public schools, Avon has small class sizes so teachers can focus on individual students. At Avon, my biggest class has been 11 students and my smallest class size has been four. This past year at public school, my smallest class was 22 and biggest was around 30. The best part about Avon is the Brotherhood. It has been said many times but this brotherhood can't compare to anything in the world. Avon is a family and you have 400 brothers ready to have your back and support you in anything you do. Whether it’s a play, art gallery exhibit, a choir concert, or a football game under the lights, the Brotherhood will show up and give you their full support. For me, Avon is a special place filled with life-long friends and faculty that is always there for you. I am excited to be coming back for my senior year.