By Emile Button ’19
Emile, pictured above second from the right, during a Hyde summer program
I’ve been told that the Hyde admissions process is unlike any other school’s admissions process.
However, the last time I needed to apply to get into private school, I was in second grade, so I honestly don’t remember much. I was 16 when applying to Hyde, so my memory here serves much better.
Normally families who inquire to Hyde get an inquiry packet or viewbook in the mail, my situation was a bit different. I was very depressed at the time, hence looking for an alternative high school to my current high school.
My cousin had attended the Hyde School in Woodstock, Connecticut, so my family was already acquainted with the school. I lived with my grandmother, and she told me about Hyde, and we talked about it for a good year before coming for a visit.
We decided to make the leap from my current private school to Hyde in January. My first glimpse of campus was when we came up for an interview.
In the interview, Director of Admission Kevin Folan asked me and my grandmother many questions. Questions ranged from the regular, “so tell me about yourself,” to getting into the deeper elements of my life about my mom dying, my father working to get his life together, and my depression.
Mr. Folan also asked my grandmother about our relationship, which had been progressing in a positive direction for some time, but had not started in a good place. He also asked her verifying questions about her perspective on what I had been through.
I can’t imagine any other school getting into a discussion similar to what we talked about in my interview. The depths of what was discussed is not something you generally bring up at a first time encounter.
Luckily, it wasn’t hard for me to go into detail about my life. I was so upset with my current school, and I could tell Mr. Folan genuinely cared about what I was saying and appreciated my honesty.
I couldn’t bear to think about continuing at my current school that continued to amass a great amount of strikes against it in my view, including rampant homophobia, lying (an administrator had lied to my grandmother telling her I was fine after I had admitted to the administrator that I was suicidal and depressed), and where the administrators would warn parents to have their children stay away from any student that didn’t fit into their cookie cutter idea of “normal.”
I don’t remember how long it was between when I interviewed at Hyde and when we got the accept letter in the mail. But I do remember that we got the accept letter mid-week, and they were happy to welcome me to the school starting that next Monday.
My transition to Hyde was surprisingly easy. I had all these stereotypes of what a boarding school was like in my head, and Hyde didn’t fit into those. I had a great roommate, who showed me the ropes of dorm life, and all my teachers were really nice.
It didn’t take long for the Bath campus to feel like a second home.
Hyde is a wonderful school that has changed my life for the better. I’m thriving and would definitely recommend Hyde to anyone, and encourage them to visit and go through the Hyde interview process to see if it might be a good fit. It was for me!