By Brenna Kelly, Associate Director of College Counseling
Worcester Academy sits on top of one of the city’s seven hills, Union Hill. From here you can just about see the whole city of Worcester, from different historical sites to other educational institutions. Right before dusk or during an early morning here at Worcester Academy, the view you get from standing out the quad and overlooking the city is one in a million. If you were to stop and ask any WA student about this view they would support the same sentiment.
As a College Counselor here at Worcester Academy, I often try to get students to take in the whole view of what they want from their next educational step. Picking a college isn’t just about the name of the school or the food they serve in their cafeteria, it’s a conscious decision of where a student wants to continue to learn and grow. When I have my first one-on-one meeting with a student about where they want to go to college the first question I ask them when they start talking about their dream schools is, “Why?” This question allows a student to really articulate the reasonings of what they want from their next educational experience.
Oftentimes when I ask the “why” to a student they start by reflecting on their collegiate hopes and dreams, and naturally these are created because of their Worcester Academy experience. Maybe it was a specific inspirational relationship with a teacher or that class with 10 students where they oftentimes only interacted within a Socratic Seminar style. Or was it when they grew as a public speaker with their Debate Team or the athletics experience that made them really dig down and become the leader they always knew they could be. These experiences cultivate a student’s persona and exposure that allow them to know what they want for their future.
As each school year comes to a close our senior class has their graduation on the Worcester Academy quad. While student’s future college’s are listed on the graduation program or a speaker speaks to the institutions where students will continue their lifelong learning, the picturesque hill view is in the distance.
In a time of uncertainty and change with the worldwide pandemic, the Hilltop at Worcester Academy remains ever dependable. It’s extensive and inclusive, forever boundless and offering possibilities—just like our students and graduates. As we continually move forward in this academic year, and Worcester Academy students begin to hear admission decisions from their dream schools, I look forward to celebrating with them on top of Union Hill during graduation. As their Worcester Academy experience comes to a close, their future is bright and beautiful, just like the view from our Hilltop.