This has been an exciting year for Sam. In addition to his typically AP-laden senior academic schedule, he was elected President of the BHS chapter of the National Honor Society, he was an editor of the school newspaper, a member of the math team, and most importantly, he was team manager for the varsity boys soccer team that I coach. Add to that the rigors of the college selection process, and you can see that it has been quite a busy year for him.
Sam has always been a good student, and throughout his high school career has been quite focused on preparing himself for getting into a good college or university. Though we of course encouraged such aspirations, much of his motivation to be successful academically was intrinsic. We never had to push too hard at all – he always seemed to have enough of his own energy when it came to applying himself to the demands of high school. Now that the college selection process is completed, it has been gratifying to see how all of his hard work paid off, providing him with several excellent college options.
Throughout the year we researched and visited several New England colleges and universities. He looked at small schools and he looked at large schools, he looked at city schools and he looked at rural schools. We have taken the student-led tours, sampled the dining hall cuisine, and generally tried to get as good a feel for the campus and environment as we possibly could. This has been a long – and for Sam I am sure – stressful process, but the decision is finally made… he will attend Bowdoin College in the Fall.
He and I returned to campus again to participate in the “accepted student” day, and as you can see from the photograph above, the weather was quite spring-like. The campus was alive with a vibrant and welcoming Bowdoin community – though everyone was in class when I made these photos – and all of Sam’s original thoughts and perceptions about the college were merely reinforced and strengthened on this visit.
Aside from its renowned academic reputation, Bowdoin made an impression on Sam in a way that not many other schools he visited did. At Bowdoin he truly got a sense of students enjoying all aspects of their college lives… they were obviously academically gifted, but they were also full of pride for their school, and throughout the campus there was a palpable feeling of this being a happy place with a very positive atmosphere.
Today’s visit really helped Sam “see himself” at Bowdoin as a student, and as a parent it was heartening to see him readying himself for the next stage in his young life.
Right now he is interested in pursuing a career in the health profession, though I just know that over the next four years he is going to be exposed to so many new ideas, emotions, and possibilities… who knows what exciting path he will follow. What we do know is that he will have the freedom to spread his wings in an incredibly nurturing and caring environment, and as parents, both Lori and I feel reassured that as he leaves the home he is entering a good place, one that will challenge yet support him.
Needless to say we are very proud of Sam, and as a family we are also elated that he will have such a wonderful opportunity so close to home, making it possible for little brother Jack to see the college kid fairly frequently. This college and community will now and forever be a big part of Sam’s life – all of our lives – and we are very much looking forward to sharing in his experiences as a Polar Bear and member of the Bowdoin College Class of 2014!