Interview with Stanstead College Alum, Jessica Lozano-Schmitt
- University (major)
Hult International Business School (Business Analytics and Finance)
Highlights from the interview
Definitely one of the things they gave me was that base of just hard work ethic and a really strong studying base. So for me personally, I'm not sure how it was with my other classmates, but college was super easy for me because I had such a good base that it didn't come hard to me and because I'm studying what I love, it doesn't really feel like studying. So that was really amazing in the aspect of having a strong work ethic and at Stanstead, you are always busy, always had like ten things to do. So I didn't really get as overwhelmed as some of my other classmates in College because I was used to the pace.
So I'd say it's pretty much the version of now just in high school. I was involved in most of the clubs that were there. Chinese club, hiking club, all the clubs and then also volunteering was a huge part of it. I was a founding member of the Vietnam Service Learning Club where we would do volunteer trips with our sister. And then we expanded to Cambodia. So I went to four of those trips and two of them were actually after I graduated. So that was a huge part that impacted me as well as felt help with my house mom who ran that, which was tutoring for a local school near ours. And yeah, I love to be busy, so I'm sure I'm missing lots of things. Oh, I know what I'm missing. The sports. We had mandatory sports, so we had to do one sport per season or semester. So that accumulated to over eight sports in three years. And I was MVP of softball somehow without hitting the ball that much.
So we toured a bunch of colleges and Stanstread was our last one, and it didn't feel like a school. It felt like a home. I fell in love with the headmaster, too. We had a mutual rapport where he was like, I need her. And I was like, okay, I think I'm coming. So, yeah, there were a lot of benefits, and it definitely wasn't one of the flashiest schools out there. You have those big boarding school names, but I think Stanstead is such a good kept secret that I was like, yeah, it was all on purpose.
I was able to grow so much personally. This is going to sound really cliche, but I kind of found myself because I was like, oh, I don't have my parents kind of suggesting what to do. And it's on me. It's 100% on me. I couldn't ask, like, mom for help with homework or whatever, and I could eat whatever I wanted as much as I wanted. So I grew a lot in that aspect. And then I grew to appreciate all the things that I had taken for a given before in life. Definitely one of my favourite things from Stanstead, like I said before, is that it's not flashy. Everyone is equal there. And I would have never thought of that from boarding school just because it sounds really fancy and stuff. And now when I went to go to the dorms, I was fine with whatever. And the transition to living alone after my first year was so easy just because of the routine that stuck with me.I still make my bed every day and do a bunch of cooking.
And that was like with all the other students that I've spoken with that are at my college that went to boarding school. They always talked about how there were social hierarchies, or whatever income the parents had influenced them, and that it was very cliquey. But like I said before, at Stanstead, it's what you as a student bring. It's not about anything else. Because even if your parents are like the President of whatever country, your parents aren't at school with you. And that really translated to Stanford. So none of my friends who have been to other boarding schools have experienced that.
So Mrs. Ross was one of the first people I met actually when I went to tour the school. And she is just like, if home were a person, it would be her. And for me, Stanford is home because I've never really had a home because I've moved so much. So I really made it my home. So that's why I would describe it like that, with so many experiences that I've had there and like the most stability. So that's just personally it has such a great place in my heart. Then loving, because no matter what you do, no matter how many times you mess up, which everyone will, right? Everything's okay. Everyone's got your back and growth because you have no choice but to grow. Like, it doesn't seem like it when you're in the moment because everything's so safe, but you're thrown into the unknown and you have no choice but to grow from it.
Definitely knowledge. You're there to learn. That's why I said it's how much work ethic you put in. And it's kind of like the environment is for everyone to grow, so they don't really love slackers. And what I mean by that is you can come in like a slacker, but you'll go out not being one just because everyone's doing it around you. So you're motivated to grow and there's always someone you can look up to. So I definitely love that.
And then athleticism. I had no idea, no idea that Stanstead was such a big athletic school. I went there for the school aspects. But Stanford people are so fit and so good at sports that I was the worst in probably every sport I did. And that's a major aspect. And it also teaches it builds teamwork and rapport and a connection because you're like cheering the team and you meet so many people through that, but it takes up, like, a lot of your time, especially the varsity players and whatever sports. The dedication they have to both sports and school is just incredibly admirable.
It's called Stanstead because of the town that it's in. And it's tiny, like in the middle of nowhere on the border with Vermont. The Vermont gas station is actually closer than the gas station we have in Stanstead. So sometimes on the weekends we'd like to go to that just because it was closer. So it's tiny and it's in this town in Quebec where it's not very big. So the school really becomes your community, the whole town becomes your campus, and you get so much freedom to roam around and to learn and discover for yourself.
The independence of each student is really valued as well as each person's opinion. So we have so many nationalities in our dining room. We have all of our flags represented, and it covers the whole roof. So I couldn't describe how they look, but I could tell you that they have or gained a love for athletics like I did. They have the ambition to grow. And whether academics or whatever, like, personal aspect, there's that willingness to always go the extra mile and respect each other. Yeah, that was pretty present. I was in 10th grade talking to 12th graders, and they were like, Whoa, I'm so cool. But they treated you with respect. Yeah.
The people at Stanstead are really what makes it so amazing. And the reason why I think my college was so much easier, because there's so many brilliant people at Stanstead. You're not competing per se, but even with the grades or when studying, I came in thinking, oh, I'm smart. I got whatever. And then I looked around me and I was like, everyone here is so smart, and it really pushes you to be better and to do more.
The girls’ hockey team when I was there, they were the best in North America. The guys’ hockey team, they're really good. Hockey is such a big part of it, which I had no idea about, which is great, but I'd never done team sports before. So it was kind of a shock when they're like, okay, go dribble that soccer ball. And I was like, I've never done that. I was supposed to be in the senior group, I think, and I got put into junior because I had no idea what was going on, but that was fun.
There's so much more of a love to it because while you're there on your normal day to day, all of us would have, like, a countdown to when the next break was because we were like, oh, my God, we need to get out of this monotony. We're doing the same thing over and over again. But that was obviously part of the structure and part of the plan. I get that now. But looking back, there's, like, such a connection between all of the alumni. I know I can count on whatever Stanstead alumni to help me. And there's just this connection and love for a place that we all have towards Stanstead. One of our alumni from Boston actually became my mentor, so that was really cool. And, yeah, just so much more love and appreciation, but there's no way I would have had that at the moment.
If you're up for a challenge, if you want to grow, go. Because you won't be comfortable, in the best way possible. It’s about mindset, challenge and connection. So I think Stanstead really changes your mindset to be like, you're not the king of the world. And it really is part of the mindset that makes you realise like, oh, I can make an impact and that was really valuable. So the second one is connection. The variety of people there are just the most bizarre and incredible random group of human beings that you could ever find. And the third one is growth. You definitely are signing up for a new opportunity and learning things about yourself in different cultures that you never knew of, in a safe environment, like in the safest environment you could ever be.
There's just such a community of loving, supporting individuals, students, parents, and even spouses of the teachers. It's really a community and often even children are in it. So my house mom, she had a young kid, So it was like a huge family. So there's really no better environment to put your kid in. I know I’m super biased, but I recommend Stanstead.