I’m in the Upward Bound program; because of that I’ve been coming to the NMH campus every summer since ninth grade. I never really pictured myself going to a boarding school, but the people at Upward Bound encouraged me to apply. I thought, “I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I’ll see how it goes.” I was worried about being away from my family for so long.
From the start, a handful of girls from my dorm made me feel really welcome. They came to my room the first night and talked to me until four o’clock in the morning. I felt like I could go to them for anything. Circle of Sisters is another group that made me feel welcome from the beginning. They said, “We’re basically a group of sisters, and we want you to join.”
I started my first sport at NMH: I made the softball team, and I love it. I had never done a sport, ever. Not even as a little girl. Softball is definitely a lot of running and hard work, but it’s better than just sitting and doing nothing. Being on a sports team has helped me work on my time management skills—balancing athletics and academics.
At my old school I was frustrated with Algebra 2. But my NMH teacher, Julia Kameron, has helped me learn the things I couldn’t learn last year. She goes through every step of the process with us and doesn’t move on to the next subject until everybody in the class understands. Since math builds on itself, you can’t move on until you understand the problem.
Ceramics has been one of my favorite classes because it’s really hands on. I never saw myself doing ceramics—I thought, that’s cool, but it’s not for me. Then I had to choose a half credit of art, and I figured I might as well try it. I ended up loving it. I made a vase with carved-out characters and words and gave it to my sister, and I made a circular vase for my mom. She has it as a centerpiece on the table. It’s really nice to go home and see what I made.