I thought coming to NMH would be a really good experience. I would get out of my comfort zone.
Alejandra, Class of 2023
Alejandra ’23 wasn’t so sure about leaving her home in the Dominican Republic to do a postgraduate year at a boarding school in the U.S. when a family friend first suggested the idea. “At first, I wasn't really into coming to the U.S.,” she says. “I'm really close to my family, my friends. So I thought: Going away, it's going to be hard.”
Still, she was intrigued by the notion, in part because of what she’d heard from a friend from home who’d spent a PG year at Northfield Mount Hermon. “She told me so many great things about it,” Alejandra says. “She learned a lot, and she made a lot of good friends.” So after giving it some thought and doing some research, Alejandra decided to give it a go. “I thought it would be a really good experience. I would get out of my comfort zone.”
A year later, Alejandra has found a new comfort zone at NMH, where she’s continued to pursue old passions, like playing volleyball, while trying out new things, too — including, last winter, auditioning for the school musical, The Prom. “I've always loved dancing — singing a little bit, too,” she says. “I've also loved watching [theater]. But I'd never had the opportunity to be a part of it. … It was a really cool experience.”
At NMH, “you have so many opportunities in one place,” Alejandra says. This spring, she took on the job of manager of the boys’ volleyball team. She also organized NMH’s first-ever Student Entrepreneurship Fair, which showcased small businesses and nonprofit efforts started by students, including her own hand-painted smartphone-cover business. She was excited by the high turnout and energy at the fair. “I loved that people went to support it. … It’s something that I'm going to remember for a long time,” she says, adding that she hopes another student picks up the project next year.
Alejandra has also grown academically at NMH, where the strong focus on writing and interdisciplinary approach has helped her become a better writer and researcher. This spring, in her U.S. history class, she was excited to write a paper connecting the Black Lives Matter movement to the climate-justice movement, something she’d learned about in her environmental studies class.
She’s also learned valuable time management skills, as she’s worked to balance rigorous classes with sports, music (in addition to the musical, she sings in the choir), and spending time with friends. She’s especially enjoyed meeting people from around the world; in her small dorm alone, there are students from about 15 countries, she says.
“I feel like when you really like something, you find time to do it,” Alejandra says. “I try to use my time wisely and do as much as I can without getting overwhelmed. I only have a year here and I want to do as much as I can.”
Alejandra has tried out a number of new things at NMH, from performing in the spring musical to organizing a student entrepreneurship fair.