I applied to Peddie sight unseen, my sophomore year and had never set foot on the campus until revisit day. I had conducted my interview via Skype and knew absolutely no one who attended the school or lived in the surrounding area. My parents had let me apply to boarding school under the impression that it was just a whim and I would never actually follow through on all the application process required. When I got my acceptance letter that March, my parents had to stop and reconsider what they had previously agreed to. They weren’t too keen on the idea of sending their only child 1,000 miles away to a school they had never even seen, so a new agreement was made. We would go to revisit day, and if they were impressed by the school, and I still wanted to attend after seeing the campus and sitting in on classes then they would agree to let me go.
The first time I ever actually saw the campus I was in the back seat of the rental car that we had driven from Kentucky to New Jersey, we were on the bridge and I was looking at the student center from across the lake. I didn’t see any more then that but I already felt incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to attend Peddie. It was the first time in my life I remember feeling such a sense of accomplishment on something that I had worked for. When I had decided to apply to Peddie, I wanted to change my life. I came from a small farming town in Kentucky where it is rare for someone to go out of state for college let alone high school. I knew the type of change I wanted could not be found at any of the schools around me, so I started googling boarding schools. That’s how I found Peddie, and Peddie did change my life.
The first night I ever spent on campus was at preseason for girls tennis. My parents had dropped me off, said a tearful goodbye and then they were gone. I remember standing there thinking “What have you gotten yourself into?” I knew no one. Over that week at preseason, I grew to be friends with my roommate, who was also a new junior and from Spain. (Fast forward to this year, and she is my roommate.) We bonded over being new, and she made my transition at Peddie so much easier. After a month at Peddie, I felt as if I had been here forever. I had made so many new friends, I loved living in a dorm, I liked all my teachers, the classes were challenging but help was always available, and I no longer felt this sense of dread that I had made a huge mistake. I felt I belonged, and I even then I knew that my life was forever changed for the better.