Deposit Made…

Isabel M.
Westport, CT
Boarding Student

It is finally over. The daunting task of filling out college applications, flipping through books and browsing the internet for what we think will be the “perfect fit,” and meeting with tutors to practice for the dreaded SAT. AP courses are winding down and those nights staying up way past our bedtime to finish our homework or study for a test have hopefully come to an end (at least until college). The college process, whose end always seemed so far out of reach, is finally over.

Now that May first has reared its head, many of us seniors have come together and let out a collective sigh of relief. As we take this breath, however, we are confronted with new anxieties and concerns. We are about to enter a whole new chapter of our lives with no idea what to expect. Many of us are looking forward to a new experience but at the same time it’s the unknown that’s making us anxious. Who will I be living with next year? Will my classes be challenging? What about my professors? There’s an endless list of questions I could ask but no one can tell me the answer. I won’t truly know the answers to these questions until I see for myself.

Although thinking of these things may make me uneasy, they are a part of the whole process. I know I’m not alone in these feelings and knowing that we are all going to be in the same position next year makes me feel a little bit better. After all, college is about experiencing new things and being pushed out of our comfort zone, right? I sure hope so!

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Through The Facebook

Isabel M.
Westport, CT
Boarding Student

A few weeks ago, Ms. Boulais (Freshman Dean/Director of Student Activities) approached me asking if I would be willing to be in charge of the name cards for the Senior/Faculty Dinner in May. I gratefully accepted, and soon after I was presented with a packet of photos; photos of the Class of 2012 from the 2008-2009 Governor’s Facebook.

Looking at these pictures was a “blast from the past” and immediately sparked memories from my freshman year. I remember vividly sitting on the floor of my room in Nannie B. with a few of my friends, flipping through The Facebook in an attempt to know everyone’s name and face in the entire school. This book was the one connection we had to a new community we knew nothing about.

Now that our time at Govs is coming to an end, we will soon take a collective last glance at a piece of The Facebook; our own picture from freshman year. Looking at all of these photos has really made me realize how much we’ve all changed over our time here (and not just physical changes). People have matured and grown into themselves. They have discovered what kinds of people they like to be surrounded by and have found friends here who will forever be a part of their past. People have learned how to thrive in this unique environment while remaining true to themselves and have found both strengths and weaknesses in their abilities. A lot can change in four years, and a lot definitely has.

At the Senior/Faculty Dinner many memories will surface from just looking at a single photo. It’s a good note to end on; remembering all of the good times we’ve had here at Govs while looking forward to the next four years of new memories to be made in college. Best wishes to the Class of 2012!

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One Community

Julia H.
Merrimac, MA
Day Student

The first question people ask when I tell them I go to Govs is, “Do you live there or do you commute?” However, I like to believe this answer does not define me. Rather the school is one community, not two separate groups of boarders and days. Although at times it may not seem like it, there is little divide between boarding and day students.

As a day student, there are certainly some perks of being able to leave campus and see my family every night. It is also a privilege to be able to watch television on school nights. I must admit, however, there are instances when I wish I did board at school. There times where I feel I miss out by not living in a dorm with other girls on campus.

On particular days or nights, I feel I lose out by having to go home when I would love to stay in the dorm with my friends. For example, it was the night before graduation of my freshman year, and I had just returned to the dorm with my friends after the Last Dance. I can remember sitting in my friend’s room reminiscing about our dance moves that night, and all getting slightly sentimental thinking about how this was everyone’s last night together. As it got later and later, I knew my mother would be picking me up soon, and I would have to leave campus with all the other non-boarders. I was jealous I was not able to be part of the big year-end sleepover in the dorm.

Situations like this can be hard to deal with, but ultimately, to me, are not worth stressing about. Both have their ups and downs, but in the end the school community is really made up of everyone who calls themselves a “Governor,” no matter their residential status.

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Shipped Out? Not Exactly…

Isabel M.
Westport, CT
Boarding Student

Whenever someone asks me where I go to school, it’s never a simple and quick conversation.  At first, I simply say, “The Governor’s Academy,” kind of hoping they won’t ask me any further questions.  The response is usually something along the lines of, “Oh, I’ve never heard of it, where’s that?”  And then I go on to tell the person that I go to boarding school in Massachusetts. Being from a town where most teenagers go to the local public high school, most people seem pretty shocked when I say this. Some even continue on to say: “Wow, what’d you do wrong to get shipped away to boarding school?”

Boarders at Govs are provided with a very unique experience that most “outsiders” have difficulty understanding. We are given the opportunity to live and learn in the same environment and experience things together as a close community. Yes, we do not have our parents around every night to tell us to do our homework or to make us dinner, but instead we have an almost surrogate family, a few dorm parents, and a ton of sisters.

Of course, there have been many times I’ve wished I could fall back on my parents, my sister, or a friend at home. But with the strength I’ve gained from this community, I have been able to make many of my own decisions and have learned to accept the consequences. I often think about how different things could have been for me at this juncture had I not taken this path and instead, remained at home and followed my community “norms.” Having taken this path I have experienced growth and independence, and have been engaged, delighted, and fulfilled in the process.

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Final Commute

Isabel M. ’12
Westport, CT
Boarding Student

I spent this past weekend at home with my family for Easter. On the drive down to Connecticut both my mom and I were struck by what a difference even a few hours can make in the season. We started surrounded by bare trees with just a few buds and ended surrounded by flowering trees and buds almost ready to burst. It was at this time that I realized this would be my last trip home before graduation, the last season change I would experience on my way to Govs. This would be the last commute I would make both ways.

The amount of times I have gone back and forth from Byfield to Westport, and Westport to Byfield is absurd. It’s crazy to think that this familiar drive will no longer be a common occurrence. My parents always joke saying the route is programmed into their car and they just put it on autopilot. Well, that will no longer be necessary.

It’s almost bittersweet. I am coming to the end of a chapter in my life and am anxious to start a new one. But, in a way, I will miss this trip. Although the ride may have been long and repetitive, it was a time for me to share with my mom and dad, no distractions. And, I always knew what I would be returning to when the four hours came to an end. Close friends, caring teachers, interesting classes, and a community so familiar to me it’s almost like home.

So, as I make this last trip back to Governor’s I can’t help but be somewhat sentimental. Although it’s exciting that next year I will embark on a brand new and very different commute, it makes me nervous that I don’t yet know how to characterize the new community I will be joining. I can only hope I will feel as comfortable and welcome as I do every time I return back to Govs.

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Bittersweet

Julia H. ‘12
Merrimac, MA
Day Student

To see progress of the dining hall renovation and expansion, please click here.

For my friends and I, lunch is when all our socializing occurs. It is really the only time during the academic day that we all get to be together. So, like typical teenage girls, we crowd around the table gossiping and laughing the entire lunchtime. However, it tends to get a bit crowded when the clock strikes eleven-thirty five and there is a rush of students buzzing around the dining hall scrambling to fill their plates. On days when it’s chicken nuggets or grill cheese, the hot food station is very popular and the line ends up being out the door. It is a common complaint among the students that there are way too many people squished into the building, making it almost like a food court you would find at a local mall. Luckily, for the new and returning students, a new dining hall is underway to be ready in the fall!

Since the majority of the Govs population eats every meal here, adding a more inviting or family-like feel would be a welcome addition. I think it would bring our school community even closer together. Those times I share with my friends, telling funny stories about our days, wouldn’t have to end because it is suddenly too crowded where we are sitting. For future users of the expanded dining hall, I think a more welcoming environment is going to have a positive effect on the relationships formed in our community. I must admit, I am a little jealous that my fellow seniors and I will not be able to experience a renovated dining hall. Clearly we do not have the best of luck, but I know I will be back to check it out, and maybe even eat a meal!

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New Meaning to “Service With a Smile”

Julia H. ‘12
Merrimac, MA
Day Student

To learn more about Cor Unum, please click here.

Volunteering for community service has been a prominent part of my time at Govs. There are many types of service offered that one can do. Like, Food Bank, Cor Unum, Special Olympics, or Cancer Walks, just to name a few. However, somehow my first experience volunteering at Cor Unum did not happen until last Sunday. I was a little unsure what to be expecting as I made my way to Lawrence with a few other Governor volunteers.

When I arrived, already a line of people were waiting outside for it to be dinnertime. My job that night was acting as a waitress serving dinner to whoever sat down at my table. Even with the many hours of service I had done, this was the first time where I truly got to interact with the people I was helping. Don’t get me wrong, I know when I sort though boxes at Food Bank I am helping, but I never honestly felt like I was making a difference. This time it was different.

This time it truly resonated with me that I am helping people with the hunger they suffer from. When they were done eating, almost all of my customers thanked me before leaving, and I know they genuinely were thanking me for volunteering and making it possible for them to eat that night. The hand shake one man offered me after his meal actually took me by surprise at first.

For me, it only took a couple hours of my time and mastering some waitressing skills (which I was terrible at) to help these people. I wasn’t even the one providing the food for them, yet the appreciation I felt being there truly made me feel as though I made a difference for the fifteen people who I served that night.

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