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“I’ve packed more into this year than I had into my lifetime.”

Makenna - Lower Washington, D.C.

“When I first drove up to the school, packed into the back of my rental van amongst boxes, I was nervous.” Makenna felt a rush of responsibility—she hadn’t lived away from home before. “But the moment I saw all the crazy looking kids, decked out in beads, face paint, and Andover gear, I couldn’t help but smile. People were holding signs that read ‘Bleed Blue’ and ‘Welcome Home’. Someone was even dressed as a gorilla!”

To counter any homesickness she may have had, Makenna immersed herself in her studies and activities. Being involved in life outside of the classroom came with challenges as well. “The hardest part of Andover is balancing all of what I have to do in a day into one neat schedule,” says Makenna. There are countless sports, clubs, and productions to participate in while at Andover. “But there’s a catch,” she warns. “There’s so much to do, but there isn’t enough time to try EVERYTHING!” Makenna nearly succeeded at participating in all that interested her during her junior year. “I’ve packed more into this year than I had into my lifetime,” she says.

When not taking a class or studying, Makenna could be found on the playing field, in the debate room, and on the stage. “I played three sports, kicked for the JV football team, joined debate club, performed in two major theatrical productions, sang in Gospel Choir, and started playing a new instrument.” She embraces the benefit to having too many options and says it helps her to prioritize in a way she had never needed to before arriving on campus. “That has been my biggest challenge, and I couldn’t succeed alone,” she says. Makenna credits the support she receives from her teachers and friends with helping her to stay organized, happy, and healthy. “My English teacher even visited me in Isham when I was sick! I had never felt so blessed to have people who think about me as more than a student.”