I grew up in Carmel, California. It’s a quaint town situated on the Monterey peninsula, on California’s central coast. I have always loved the ocean, and it’s one of the aspects of home that I miss most when I’m here at school. I really enjoy life in Carmel. Although it is a busy town and a prime tourist destination, it seems removed from the bustle of general life in California. Downtown Carmel is lined with art galleries, cafes, and clothing boutiques, and one of my favorite pastimes is window-shopping on Ocean Avenue.
My family consists of my parents, my two older sisters, and my younger brother. My mother is an acupuncturist, who instilled in me from a very young age the importance of health. My father is an electrical engineer who cracks jokes incessantly and refuses to listen to anything but classic rock. My little brother, Ethan, and I have always been very close. He inherited my dad’s sense of humor, and spends all of his free time playing sports. My oldest sister, Hailey, graduated from Whitman College in 2008 and now resides in Seattle. She paints and draws in her spare time, and I often wish I had a fraction of her artistic talent. My other sister, Morgan, and I are very close. She graduated from Middlebury in May, and is the person I most often turn to for advice.
My high school experience was fantastic. I attended Stevenson School, a private school in Pebble Beach, California. The community at Stevenson is very close-knit. Since it’s relatively small, everyone knows everyone else (or at least knows everyone else by name). I played field hockey and lacrosse for all four years, and was a prefect during my junior and senior years. I really enjoyed both sports, and my teammates became some of my best friends. My lacrosse coach, Ms. Burnett, was always an inspiration to me. She constantly reminded me that the game itself is more important than the final score, and made us keep journals in which we recorded our personal goals for the season.
My college counselor at Stevenson recommended that I apply to Hamilton. At the time, I hadn’t ever heard of it, but I was intrigued by his description of the school and by his enthusiasm for it. A history teacher at Stevenson had graduated from Hamilton, so I spoke with her after class one day; she spent an hour telling me how amazing her experience here was, and how she could not imagine a better place for me.
Three defining elements of my experience at Hamilton are friendships, personal growth, and academic exploration.
The friendships that I have fostered during my time on the hill are undoubtedly the most important relationships in my life. After moving away from home and coming to Hamilton, I realized that my friends would become my new family, and they most certainly have. They are the people I rely on daily for everything: a laugh, a shoulder to cry on, advice, or just someone to sit with in Commons. I truly cannot imagine life at Hamilton without them, and I believe that they will always be a part of my life.
Here at Hamilton, I have grown immensely as a person, and believe that I am finally beginning to understand who I am. Looking back, I can see that I have changed since first arriving as a shy freshman with no real plans for her future. I still don’t know what career I’ll choose or where I’ll go after graduation, but I am now confident that I will have a career and I will go places. The biggest difference, I believe, is that I have come to embrace aspects of myself that I had once viewed as shortcomings. I am now more confident in my abilities.
Academic exploration is a big aspect of my time on the hill. Before arriving at Hamilton, I had a number of interests but there was not one subject that I felt passionate about, or that I felt I could build a career around. To be honest, I still have not found my true calling, but I have taken advantage of the open curriculum. I have found that I enjoy studying certain subjects that I had never studied before (such as economics and sociology) and that I dislike studying other subjects, which I had once thought I was interested in (such as chemistry). After a year at Hamilton, I have been able to, if not find my passion, then at least begin a journey that will lead me to it.
The Social Network
“My Love” by Justin Timberlake
Wertimer, Bundy West
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Playing sports (field hockey, lacrosse), yoga, reading
A day spent entirely with two of my closest friends
“One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince