Samantha Morrison ’19
Day Student – Wayland, Mass.
Dining hall food: Stir-fry night!
Way to spend time: Catching up with my friends outside on the quad
Book: One Day, David Levithan
Place to be alone on campus: The benches behind the Chapel
Places to be with friends: The quad or the sunny nook outside the library
Hobbies: Making friendship bracelets
CA traditions: Works in Progress or senior chapels
Thing about CA: The people!
Student leadership, clubs, and affinity groups
The Chameleon literary magazine, DEMONS engineering club, Q-squared
Chorus, CA Singers, ceramics
Dance, varsity softball
What memorable experience have you had outside the classroom?
I would say the most impactful — if unplanned — interaction I’ve had outside the classroom was a quick conversation I had with a good friend last fall. She stopped to say hi to me in the library and noticed that I was writing a paper. She then proceeded to tell me a story about the first paper she ever wrote at CA. Laughingly, she explained to me that quoting in French prose is entirely different than in English prose, and no one had ever pointed out the differences to her before this particular paper. As you can imagine, this resulted in a lot of confusion, as well as a rather unconventional paper. As she explained, she demonstrated for me how it’s done in French on a scrap piece of notebook paper, and then she continued on her way. While she probably doesn’t even remember teaching me, our conversation had an impact on me because it was so casual and yet such an eloquent description of what it means to be a “global citizen.” I love that at CA, we have these chances to interact in such simple ways with people of different backgrounds and perspectives. It’s truly a privilege to learn in a community such as CA, where the students and faculty come from all over the world! As someone who doesn’t speak French, I had no particular reason to examine our quotation marks, but because of a simple interaction with a friend, I now see the world a little differently. I think that’s something to be celebrated.
What have you learned about yourself during your time at CA?
Since entering CA my sophomore year, I have tried my best to dive into a whole new life. I immersed myself in dance, ceramics, constitutional law, fiction writing, physics, clubs, sports, music, new friends, and so much more, and I can feel how much I have grown because of it. I am experiencing how fun it is to learn for the sake of learning rather than for college admission or because people expect you to or anything else. I’ve also learned that high school is more fun if you throw yourself into it wholeheartedly. Don’t be afraid to try something new; be excited!
At CA, I have also discovered the legitimate value of balance. I discovered that I do my best work in school when I have reached a balance between my academic commitments, social life, physical activity, and downtime. While academics have always been important in my life, CA has shown me that it’s more important to take care of yourself than to get perfect grades. You can take challenging classes and still be healthy, happy, and successful! Plus, opening yourself up to new opportunities socially can be a great way to destress, and if you’re less stressed, you’ll do better in school, so it’s a win-win!
What advice do you have for an incoming student?
Especially to any new upperclassmen: you will find your people. Transferring into CA from public school during my junior year, I was scared that nothing would be different; I was scared that I would be left without my old friends but unable to find new ones; I worried that I had taken on too much or too little in my course load; I thought that I wouldn’t understand how to really be a CA student. These fears couldn’t have been further from the truth. I know you will hear this many times, and I know it’s hard to believe, but please, try to believe it: CA students are kind, smart, friendly, and welcoming, and they will make you a place in our school. Be yourself to the fullest extent you are able, and you will attract people who respect you for you and genuinely want to get to know you better. Be kind, try new things, take your academics and your mental health equally seriously, and take advantage of every Stu-Fac Hack, and you will thrive at CA!