Some of the classes were challenging, but I think teachers are really encouraging. They’re always willing to help. It helps to be able to advocate for yourself.
Efe, Class of 2023
While NMH is a long way from his home in Turkey, the school wasn’t completely unfamiliar to Efe ’23 when he started here as a sophomore: His father is an NMH alum, class of ’92.
“The reason why I ended up here is probably because of my father. He was happy about his time here,” Efe says. “But also I was ready for a new adventure.”
Efe’s NMH adventure has included trying new things, like taking up Ultimate Frisbee. “I had no idea what Ultimate Frisbee was until I came here,” he says. “It turns out, it's a really fun sport.” A drummer since he was a child, Efe joined the concert band, stage band, and world percussion ensemble. “In concert band, I play an instrument called timpani, which I did not know how to play until this year,” he says. “Our conductor, Steve [Bathory-Peeler], taught me how to play it. He asked me if I was willing, and I said, ‘I'll try my best.’”
Efe’s two favorite places on campus are the Rhodes Arts Center and his dorm, Hayden Hall, where this year he’s served as a resident leader. “I'm basically the bridge between faculty members and the dorm residents,” he says. That can mean anything from making sure study hall hours are quiet to working with a fellow student who comes to him with a problem. “I was really close with my RLs in my junior year, and I saw what their responsibilities were and I saw that quality in me,” Efe says. “And having a close relationship with them helped me to become more like a leader.” So, too, did the connections he made with the dorm faculty. “I had good conversations with them about life.”
Supportive teachers and classmates helped Efe make the transition to a new school, far from him. “People here are so kind and warm,” he says. “I was never alone. … The faculty members were asking me if I needed anything, introducing me to new people.”
NMH’s English for Speakers of Other Languages classes also helped. “English is not my first language,” Efe says. “So I had concerns, like, how am I going to communicate?” Two semesters of ESOL classes “really helped my English and gave me self-confidence to open up to people.” He also benefited from one-on-one meetings with teachers. “Some of the classes were challenging, but I think teachers are really encouraging. They’re always willing to help,” he says. “It helps to be able to advocate for yourself.”
In the fall, Efe will attend Cornell University to study agriculture. His long-term goal is to return home to work in his family’s wine business. But first, he’s enjoying the end of senior year. “I’m going to miss my dorm; that's for sure. It's been great to be in Hayden,” he says. “ And I’ll miss sports, because the bonds you have in sports are really great and special. My friends, teachers, the warm environment — I’m going to miss that the most.”
Efe is proud of the confidence and leadership skills he’s developed at NMH, which have helped him in his role as a dorm resident leader.