REVIEW OF De La Salle College BY student, Adam Abdulhamid
- Date of Review
February 21, 2019
Gr. 9 - Gr. 12
(5) Student Experience
My experience at De La Salle College has been life-changing, and I am extremely thankful to have had the opportunity to attend the school. The caring, vibrant community has shaped me from a quiet young boy into a confident young man, instilling onto me the values of hard work and respect, and providing me with the ideal academic and social environment to build character and become educated. The perfect way to capture my experience is captured in our school motto, “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve”. While I entered with the simple intentions of trying my best to achieve good grades for University, I have been to a school community that finds its basis in something far greater. As I near the end of my time at De La Salle, I am sad to leave, but I know I am prepared to face future challenges due to a strong educational background, priceless lessons in character and virtue, and the strength of a caring and loving community.
(5) School Leadership
The teachers and staff at De La Salle set an example for me through their high character and virtue; naturally, such teachers garner respect from students. Namely, the tone of respect and integrity at the school starts with our School President, Brother Domenic. Unfailingly, Brother Domenic keeps a watchful eye over the school, writes inspiring and meditative monthly reflections, and participates in Mass with students. His care, respect, and character set an example to teachers and students alike in our joint aim to become educated and to serve God. Additionally, I’ve noticed that the staff and school leaders care deeply about us students, as made clear by consistent focuses on the student body’s satisfaction, suggestions, and mental health. Finally, among of my favourite things about DEL life is that every teacher is involved in multiple extra-curriculars (which they put great effort into) in order to enhance student experience as much as possible, while still putting tremendous effort to create a positive learning environment. Specifically, I have found it tremendously beneficial that teachers have high expectations of their students, no matter their previous knowledge and ability. Seeing how much this has taught me in specific courses, I would love if more teachers demanded more from their students in order for us to take away the most we can from each class.
Teachers at De La Salle have pushed me into learning the value of hard work and important study habits. The school provides demanding course loads with plenty of material covered in order to properly prepare us for success in a multitude of University programs. As well, I’ve found teacher-student communication is very open, honest, and efficient, especially with the school website’s Student Portal page. Furthermore, I’ve found that a Lasallian teacher’s definition of success for me is centered around self-improvement, determination, and virtue; once I can grasp these, high marks come naturally. Specifically, my teachers challenge and push me to the edge of my understanding, allowing me to unlock my full potential and best work, which has fueled my academic interests further, providing me with an academic fervour that has truly inspired me.
As I’m nearing my Grade 12 year, I’ve been pushed and challenged by teachers at De La Salle into learning as much as I can, and have produced work that I never believed I was capable of. The work load is just right, making sure students receive a high-quality education while still allowing them to fully enjoy their time at school and with their peers. Moreover, the high-level education that De La Salle provides prepares us students for a multitude of different jobs in the future. In my opinion, though, it is not only the school’s education that prepares students for the future; rather, it is the life skills that they are taught through their trials and difficulties. Namely, the values of teamwork, effective communication, and determination give me the confidence I need to succeed moving forward. Truly, I feel prepared to do well in any environment because of the respect, integrity, and hard work that De La Salle has provided me with.
I am thankful to have been given the opportunity at De La Salle to take part in a number of different clubs and teams. My involvement in these various activities has shown me the strength of our school community, and has provided me with some of my most cherished friendships. Teachers are very involved in extracurriculars, which provides the students with a variety of different options when it comes to getting involved. As well, students are often encouraged and given the backing to start new clubs that the school might not offer. Therefore, students often have a multitude of options for extracurriculars, an integral part of our school experience.
Personally, the school community is the reason I chose De La Salle over other schools; the moment I walked in at the Open House, I was always greeted with a warm smile and a kind community. Because of the relatively smaller student body compared to other schools, the school feels more to me than just a group of peers – it feels like family. There is something special about the caring community at DEL, one where no one is left out and everyone is given the opportunity to build character and form quality relationships. Therefore, the students who do best in the school are the ones who immerse themselves in a variety of different activities, club, or teams, thriving on the school’s welcoming social environment. I am thankful that the school encourages all of its students to join many different activities, even if they might not have much experience. As a shy, scared student, the student community at De La Salle has given me the chance to come out of my shell and discover new opportunities, immersing myself in clubs and teams that have provided absolutely priceless experiences for me.
(5) School Life
If I was to give a tour of the school to visitors, there is one place that jumps out at as our first stop; the auditorium. Every morning, all of the school’s staff and students gather in the auditorium for our National Anthem, reflection and prayer, and daily announcements from the school community. Although it is easy to take for granted as a normal routine, there is something very powerful about coming together with your fellow Lasallians, from the youngest fifth grades to the most experienced teachers, to reflect, pray, and celebrate each others’ achievements. Indeed, it is this simple daily gathering that captures the true essence and core of the strong community and spirit of De La Salle – we are united under our country, united under God, and united as Lasallians. As well, the reflections on virtue and responsibility inspire each and every one of us to improve our character and perform good actions. Thus, our gatherings in the auditorium set the tone for each school days, in which we are called to serving each other and serving God.
De La Salle feels like home and a second family for me. As a shy, quiet boy, the caring school community has given me the priceless opportunity to be comfortable in my shoes and feel part of something special. Additionally, the various teams and clubs at the school provide an even greater sense of belonging, allowing students to come closer together and make friendships that can last a lifetime. Furthermore, since each grade size is relatively small (around 100 students in each senior school grade), students are able to form close and meaningful relationships with nearly all of their peers, strengthening the sense of community and care throughout the school. As well, the school ensures that each of its members are appreciated and given the best opportunity to thrive. In fact, through my years here, I have never seen a student eat lunch alone or be left out of an activity or event; truly, the school community is one of inclusion, compassion, and kindness, which has allowed me to feel right at home.
(5) School Location
Students tend to stay on campus throughout the course of the day, opting to study in the library or socialize in the cafeteria and lounge area during spares and after school. Additionally, the school has a very nice and pleasant lawn in front of its main building that many students enjoy throughout the warmer months of the school year. With that being said, there are still plenty of restaurants and cafes within walking distance that students make frequent use of, including Starbucks, a variety of restaurants, and much more that Yonge Street has to offer.
Coming from a small school myself, the thought of applying to a prestigious and respected school such as De La Salle, a school which I had no connections to, was quite nerve-racking. However, the Admissions staff and Student body were extremely helpful from the first inquiring phone call to Orientation Day. While the admission process does require many different steps, I can confidently say that the school only does this to ensure that it finds students who will thrive in the multi-dimensional academic and social environment that De La Salle has to offer. When I applied in grade 9, as a shy, quiet kid, I felt stressed, not by the requirements to get in, but rather by the prospect of entering such a new and foreign environment. But, from my interview to my first day, I was always greeted with a smile and been encouraged to be and improve myself. The stress and slight fear I had of entering such a school was completely lifted off my shoulders during my interview; it didn’t feel like a quiz or interrogation, but rather, I was able to freely and openly converse about myself, immediately giving me faith and trust that De La Salle was the right school for me.