This interview is part of a series, called “We Are Lakefield” — inspired by a phrase you’ll often hear our students and Head of School (Ms. Kee) say with pride (followed by “We got this.”) when community spirit and strength are employed to power through a uniquely challenging time, event, or activity. In this series, you’ll hear personal reflections from our students that provide valuable insight into what it means to be a part of the LCS community.
This week, we connected with one of our Grade 10 Grade Representatives, Luke ’24 to learn more about his experience at Lakefield College School. In this article, he speaks about how LCS became an aspiration for him from a young age, how he adjusted to life at school, what memorable learning experiences he’s made at LCS, and more.
Learning About LCS
“I first learned about LCS when my mother became an Admissions Officer here. I still remember walking toward the red doors for the first time, looking up at the A.W. Mackenzie Chapel and admiring the flower gardens outside the building. My first ‘big’ LCS experience was when my mother, who was the rowing coach, took me along with the LCS Crew to a Regatta in London, Ontario. I was enamoured with how fun, yet grown-up the LCS team seemed. Looking back, I was just this little kid tagging along in a bus full of high schoolers but they took me in as one of their own. They taught me about rowing, how to de-rack a Rowing Shell, and what they were hoping to achieve in their respective races. This experience is what made LCS my goal as a kid. I knew that when I was older, LCS was where I wanted to be.”
Discovering the Lakefield Difference
“In my first few weeks as a full-time student, I remember being so tired that when I got in my parents’ car to go home at night, I would just fall asleep. School had never stimulated me so much, not only mentally, but also physically. I was playing sports four days a week and had access to a full weightlifting gym and gymnasium. I wanted to use everything so badly that I would just tire myself out trying everything. I remember my first spirit event, I was able to stay later on campus, and we played an all-school game called ‘Extinguish the Flame’ that required me to run around with a cup of water and try and dump it on the flames of the other groups. This distinguished LCS so much from other schools for me. There’s something so unique about having your science teacher douse you in water, and then teach you about nucleic acids the next morning.”
“I was pretty surprised at how quickly I found a friend group here. I’m not a very outgoing person in general so I was a little worried that it would take me a while to make friends. But within days, I connected with so many people with shared interests, whether it was an interest in basketball, or trading on the stock market, it seemed that I had found so many people whom I could relate to.”
“I believe the community at the school is one of the main reasons that LCS lives up to the ‘Like No Other’ slogan. At LCS, the teachers are amazing. They create incredibly inclusive and comfortable classroom environments that make being a student a lot easier. The teachers are so genuinely nice and caring that I’ve found myself just wanting to be in their classes because I enjoyed being in their presence.”
Finding Joy in Learning at The Grove
“This school environment was so different from anything I had ever experienced. I could tell that the teachers cared so much about the material they were teaching that it was hard not to share their interests. If I could describe what the academics are like at LCS in one sentence I would say this: LCS is not a place of teaching, it’s a place of learning. At LCS you’re not just taught a curriculum, you develop a love for learning by being supported in following your interests. This has fostered a love of learning in me that I can use going forward in life.”
Beyond the Classroom
“Last summer, I had the opportunity to take a truly amazing course offered at LCS called From Seed to Table: Adventures in Eco-Farming. Over the course of a month, I was immersed in a world of new information and valuable knowledge that just isn’t being taught anywhere else. I learned about crops and soil health at the farm on our Northcote Campus. I got to see first-hand where our food was going as over 4,000 pounds of it was donated to local organizations that feed people in Peterborough. This was a truly transformative experience for me, not only as a student but as a person as well. I learned how to sail, how to care for a garden (which I started at my own home) and most of all, I learned that school is about more than deadlines and grades. It’s also about the experiences and the life lessons we gain along the way. The Seed to Table program was life-changing for me and it is the best class I’ve ever taken.”
Looking Ahead to Life After The Grove
“While attending LCS, I have been adamant about taking advantage of the opportunities presented to me. This year, I was elected as a Grade Representative, which is a leadership role charged with being the connector between staff and students. This role has given me a chance to grow as a leader, and work on important skills, like collaboration and even just listening. I’ve made a point to just listen to my classmates and try my hardest to represent their feelings, hopes, and wishes.”
“After LCS, I plan to attend university, although I am not yet sure what programs or what school. Luckily, LCS offers so many course options that I can really keep my horizons as open as possible and I don’t have to pick and choose until I’m 100 percent ready.”
“When I was first looking at LCS, I was worried. I only knew one or two people in the whole school and it felt daunting to think about an entirely new set of teachers and students from my old school. I didn’t want to leave behind my friends from my old school. When I got here, that all changed. Within days, I had a pretty amazing friend group that made me feel safe and included. I was still able to keep in close contact with my old friends, but now had a new set of people to share my day with, new people to chat with, laugh with, and enjoy high school with. LCS is a place with many opportunities, so take advantage of them; try a new sport, learn how to cook an amazing meal, talk to people from 46 different countries, and make lifelong connections. Your LCS experience is what you make of it, so make it truly like no other.”