Life After Rectory: A Recent Alum’s Letter to Rectory Students



Rectory Alum, Cheng (Victor) L., from the Class of 2014.

To every person who asks me about post-Rectory life, I give the same answer, “It’s different.” I cannot tell which is better; they are completely different. It took me a while to get adapted to high school life.

When I first entered the gate of my high school in a limo from the airport last September, I felt a bit lost. I looked out from the window of the car and saw the white tip of a chapel standing in between some giant trees, instead of the small, red and warm Rectory chapel across from the familiar campus. I knew this was going to be different. After I got out, an instructor showed me the way to check-in. I walked on a path that separated a playing field into two, and I felt that I was a stranger. I did not know this place; where am I? All of a sudden, a familiar, smiling face appeared in front of me; it was Brandon Hyun (a student who graduated from Rectory in 2013). He showed me around passionately, and I felt a lot better. The second day, with the arrival of Kazuki (another Rectory alum, from my class, 2014), I felt more and more comfortable and confident about joining the community.

Everything is different now. In high school you have much more freedom, but, on the other hand, no one tells you what to do. For example, I have the choice to skip meals, which I often do at dinner time, and you are also allowed to have a certain number of absences from class. However, I now have the burden of more responsibility on my own shoulders. Academically, high school is a lot more challenging. When you have a problem, the teachers will not come to find you; you need to go and find them. Night study hall lasts two hours every day for us, and I usually need to spend extra time to finish all my assignments on time. Almost everyone here is willing to study hard. People use their free time to study for a course or prepare for a standardized test, something that I rarely saw at Rectory. My grades dropped dramatically during the first half of the first semester because of the challenging academics.

However, there are also many more fun classes to take, like digital photography. My creativity was inspired, and I had fun in that course. School life is colorful, too. I made a lot of friends through athletics; I ran cross-country during the fall season, and I quickly bonded with the team by going to all kinds of big tournaments with them, like the New England Championship. The student council is in control of student activities, and they do a good job of organizing all kinds of events, like the dances.

Now I finally understand why people always used to say to me, “Treasure your time at Rectory; it’s a special place.” Rectory really is like a big family; people are all linked together there. The faculty care about you more than anyone else. Enjoy your time at Rectory and prepare yourself for a different life in high school!