I've met kids from all over the world, all over the country, with different backgrounds and religions and beliefs. I've learned so much about other people and their cultures and what they value.
Nick, Class of 2023
Nick ‘23 wasn’t unhappy at his old school back in New Hampshire — he had good friends there, and he enjoyed playing sports. But he wanted more.
“I wanted a more diverse community — diversity of thought but also of people, from all over the world,” he says. He was also eager for more academic challenges and for an opportunity to play soccer, his favorite sport, at a more competitive level.
Nick began visiting boarding schools, hoping to find a place that would help him achieve those goals. His last visit was to NMH. “I absolutely fell in love with it, in all aspects,” he says. “I loved the campus. I loved the vibe. I had a great tour guide.” As he walked around campus, students would say hello, introduce themselves, ask him about himself. “Everyone was just very kind. And I felt very welcomed.”
He also met with NMH’s soccer coaches and some of the players. “I was super excited to be part of the team,” Nick says. He was excited to join a high-level soccer program, where he knew he could continue to develop as an athlete. But he was also excited by the friendly, welcoming culture of the team.
Over the past three years, Nick’s teammates have become some of his best friends. Their bonds extend beyond the field; the team has also worked together on the NMH farm and volunteered, with their coaches, at a local food pantry. “The friendships that I’ve formed through NMH soccer are lifelong friendships,” he says. “The soccer program is bigger than just soccer. It's really something that is impactful, in all aspects of your life.
“I think NMH does a really good job making sure that you are an integrated part of the community, and you're not ‘just an athlete,’” continues Nick, who also swam and played lacrosse. “Soccer has been a significant part of my identity but not my whole identity at all.”
In the fall of his senior year, Nick stopped playing soccer, after struggling with chronic injuries. It was a tough decision to make, but the right one, he says. And he’s found plenty of other ways to connect with and contribute to the NMH community: He joined the debate team and worked as a campus tour guide, eager to give prospective students the same warm welcome he received. As a senior, he serves as a resident leader, or RL, in his dorm. “I had really good role models and go-to RLs when I was younger,” he says. “I really looked up to them, and they made my transition to NMH really easy. I wanted to be that person for the next generation of kids coming in.”
In the classroom, Nick especially enjoys the humanities. “I've always been a humanities guy,” he says. “I've always loved English, history, religion, ethics, philosophy.” NMH’s Humanities II class was a transformative experience, where he deepened his skills as a researcher, writer, and critical thinker.
In his junior year, Nick took a class on U.S. government and civil liberties, with teacher Jim Shea, that inspired an interest in political science. The following summer, he was accepted to Boys State New Hampshire, an American Legion program where he took part in government simulations, met political leaders, and even drafted a mock legislative bill that would protect his home state’s coastline. At the end of that program, he was selected to go on to the national version of the program in Washington, D.C.
“It all started with Jim Shea’s class,” Nick says. “If I didn't take that class, I don't think I would have had the skills or the knowledge to be selected for [the program].” After graduation, Nick will intern with a Massachusetts state representative before heading to Boston University, where he plans to study political science and philosophy.
But first, he’ll enjoy the rest of his senior year at NMH. “I'm going to miss the friends that I've made,” he says. “NMH is a pretty tight-knit community. One of my favorite things is walking on campus and seeing familiar faces. I'll be walking to the dining hall or the gym or class and say hi to maybe 10 people that I know by name, that I'm friendly with, and we might strike up a conversation.”
As he heads into the next chapter of his journey, Nick credits NMH with helping him develop strong leadership skills, as an athlete, a tour guide, and an RL. He’ll also carry with him a global perspective, developed in a community with students from almost 60 countries — in his dorm alone, about 15 nations are represented. “I've met kids from all over the world, all over the country, with different backgrounds and religions and beliefs,” he says. “I've learned so much from that, about other people and their cultures and what they value.”
While sports has been an important part of Nick’s NMH experience, he says, he appreciates that he’s had opportunities to explore other passions, too.