An update on DD2 and DD3

I’m so tired because we just got back from an 8-day trip revisiting 7 schools on the east coast for DD3.

Up until the trip, we literally had reduced her list of 10 schools to 8. Not great work on our end. And we had NO idea which would come out on top.

Hence the revisits.

For the most part, we kept loving all the visits, and we were able to see her make her life at every single school we visited! About half way through, though, we started to get clarity. I think we realized that all the schools were wonderful, but we were looking for the best fit for our daughter.

And, we visited Mercersburg.

But let me back up.

My DD2 applied to MB and was admitted last year, but we never visited. They were SO kind and helpful during the weird March-2020-corona period that they actually became one of our top choices, among her other admissions at places like Andover, Deerfield, Hotchkiss and Loomis (all of which we had visited). Ultimately, Andover was my DD2’s dream school and she accepted that offer. It was a heartfelt and difficult farewell to Mercersburg though. And they were so gracious, even with us declining their offer. (Which was NOT the case for all schools unfortunately.)

Anyway, a few months later, DD3, fresh out of her open-heart surgery (last year’s cohort may remember that ordeal), had the idea that SHE might also want to go to BS. I reached out to a number of schools, including Mercersburg. Well, actually, I first attended a MB zoom open house in September and the admissions person (not my DD2’s AO) recognized my unusual last name and said: hey did you have a daughter who applied last year? And then he remembered a bunch of things from her essays and asked how she was doing at Andover. Which made me feel like: wow these people really do see their students, even the ones who don’t matriculate!

So DD3 gets into the cycle this fall with MB while DD2 is at Andover.
Different AO.
Just as lovely and nice.
Loves it.
Applies to MB, along with 11 other schools.
All great.

In the meantime, DD2 decides Andover is not a good fit; doesn’t want 4 hours of homework daily for 4 years. (Lots of good stuff at PA; just not for us.) Over Christmas, she decides to apply to transfer and we support her decision. She says she really would love to find a school with a kind culture, “sort of like Mercersburg was to us last year.” So, she called her MB AO from last year and asked about applying to transfer for 10th grade. Would she need all new recommendations, she wondered, because J15 was just a couple weeks away. He surprises her by saying that due to Covid weirdness, they can actually take her this year. She gets off the phone and comes to my office and tells me: Ummm… I can start at Mercersburg after Christmas. Of course, we were floored. We thought about it for a couple of days and she accepted the offer. So DD2 switched to MB in January. (They even honored her merit scholarship that she had turned down April 10th!). I could write volumes on all the amazing support, love and connection she has had from faculty, her advisor (who texts me, and calls me, and checks in with me and with DD), and staff and the friends she has made. Also, the honors classes – just as wonderful and interesting and rigorous as her Andover classes, but each one just has slightly less extra homework, making the workload perfect – a couple of hours a night as a freshman.

And now back to DD3. She was leaning toward all-girl schools because of her love of STEM and how amazing those offerings are at all-girl schools. (see my post on all-girls education if you are interested in that topic.) And we have LOVED the schools we have been visiting!

And then we visited Mercersburg last week. (I’d still never visited the campus, despite me having now visited over 20 boarding school campuses in the past 1.5 years, and my DD2 living there!)

Uh. Wow.
The facilities really rival the very “tippy top” schools I’ve seen. (and I venture to say, I’ve seen all the tippy tops in New England.). I kept saying to my husband (who has NOT seen all these other campuses): this school looks like it should have 1000 students given how amazing the facilities are! And all this is really for 440 kids?

And moving beyond the facilities, the people. Again, I could tell you story after story about the amazing efforts of the people at Mercersburg. For example, the physics teacher getting on zoom for 1.5 hours with me a few weeks ago to talk about STEM and young women. The assistant HOS meeting with my DD3 and me on zoom to talk about women in engineering. The AO sending us tons of pictures of their robotics shop, the makers space (yes, these are two separate spaces) and the woodworking shop in the technical theater department. When we did our tour last week (social distanced; outside), we saw a faculty member running across campus and he came straight to my daughter and said “I had literally 10 minutes between classes I’m teaching but I heard you were on campus and I know you are interested in robotics. So I wanted to come meet you.” (and then he ran back across campus to return to his class.).

I’ll be honest. I kind of expected my DD3 to pick her own place, away from any shadow of DD2. The girls schools we looked at were truly amazing. We LOVED them.

But we could not deny: Mercersburg was too special. The campus is beautiful. I mean crazy-beautiful. The facilities are top notch. But more than that: the people are SO STUDENT-CENTRIC! When my DD2 had a tough day the other day, her dorm parent made her a homemade dinner and brought it to her dorm room. (“I can’t remember the last time I had a leafy green, mom.”). I am only scratching the surface with how human and empathic the faculty have been to our whole family.

I get tears to think of what this school has come to mean to us in the few months we have been a part of it.

So, the update is: we chose Mercersburg today for DD3, and we are in it totally now with TWO daughters there. I’m so grateful.

32 Likes

wow! This is so great.So happy for your family.

1 Like

YAY!!! So happy for DD2, DD3 and all of you - welcome to Mercersburg! :tada:

So glad you were able to get to campus - I love being there, it is so beautiful! I hope to get to spend more time on campus for DS’s senior year, I missed it so much this year.

4 Likes

Wowowowowow Im shocked. I didn’t pick Mercersburg for a few reasons but it is a great school. It was very hard to say goodbye. Funny that I was close to being in school with both your daughters! Im so glad she’s been loving Mercersburg!!! and i’m happy you did all this for your daughters. They are extremely lucky to have you.

PS. You are like all of our CC mom, and we’re lucky to have you too! thank you so much because i honestly wouldn’t have applied to mburg without you suggesting it, and i would’ve never been able to come this far without your guidance!

6 Likes

Congratulations and great story!

1 Like

I love this update!! That’s all. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

@lilyesh You just made me cry. (I may be extra tired and tender-hearted today.). But what a joy to be on this path together. I can’t wait to hear how you love Hill!! xxxooo

2 Likes

I agree with @lilyesh , your words of encouragement even though I didn’t get in anywhere meant the world to me .Knowing someone believed in me and my abilities was comforting .You truly are our cc mom : )

3 Likes

Welcome to Mercersburg! I think that makes 4 of us here that will have 9th grade girls at Mburg this fall! We will have to plan a get together!

4 Likes

yay @busymommyof4 – can’t wait for the get together! I know about @buuzn03. who is our 4th 9th grade girl? I know I am missing someone somehow!!

3 Likes

I’ll always be on your team @njscholor1129 ! (Am I remembering wrong? I thought you got into Cushing???)

@Calliemomofgirls - @comtnmom has a 9th grade daughter also! So they will all be dormmates!

3 Likes

Yay! Congratulations! I loved attending Mercersburg and am so excited that my daughter (my 3rd of 4 kids) will be attending Mercersburg next year and there will be so many awesome girls in her class. We will need to have a Mercersburg CC Moms wine get together after dropoff!

3 Likes

I’m just so happy that I survived college admissions during Covid with my senior, my poor daughter barely received any stress from me over her boarding schools applications!

3 Likes

This is all just so awesome! :heart_eyes::star_struck:

1 Like

I did but with no money so I don’t count it :sob:

I’m so SO happy! This has been quite the journey so far and it looks like it is JUST beginning!!
We knew the minute we stepped on campus 2 years ago that Mercersburg was a gem - I immediately messaged @hellomaisy and told her DD found her place. It is so cool when others see what you’ve been gushing about and they fall in love, too!

I can’t believe there are so many of us from CC starting together and joining the several already at M’burg! I already feel like we have a family there. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

@Calliemomofgirls Thank you for sharing and thank your DD for picking the school I secretly wanted her to pick. :joy: I see us getting into some BS shenanigan trouble!!

2 Likes

Congratulations, @Calliemomofgirls ! Not surprised! It’ll be nice to have them together, too…

What an amazing story! It makes me wish we had applied to Mercersburg. We know two kids who have been there, but I didn’t even think to speak to their parents, although one reached out to me after my daughter’s acceptance elsewhere and spoke so highly of it. It would be so much closer to us than where my daughter is going. We love her choice, but we went into this blindly and I didn’t know about this forum, or anything about boarding schools. Only applied to 3, and looking back, the two who rejected her should probably not have even been on our list. I do believe the one who chose her though is a good fit and she is thrilled. I just wish we had known more how to approach this process. Congratulations on finding such a perfect sounding fit!

1 Like

We had the same experience with our DS - no clue what we were doing and he was accepted to one. That one, though, ended up being the perfect fit for him and he has said it was one of the best decisions he has ever made. (Looking back on his list, there is only one other school out of 10 that he would apply to if he did it all over again).

So, don’t doubt that your DD ended up where she’s supposed to be!

1 Like