< My Mercersburg Story

Andrew Kim ’14

I think you continue to find yourself throughout your whole life, and the possibilities that
Mercersburg gives you help you to find your true passion. I think “define yourself” really describes Mercersburg’s way of encouraging people to try different things.
 
I came to Mercersburg in 10th grade. Before coming to Mercersburg, I had attended a smaller boarding school near Philadelphia for three years. I decided to move on to find more opportunities, and in my search I found Mercersburg.
 
When I think of Mercersburg, I think of intelligent students who are down to earth at an extraordinary school exploring different things. I liked the fact that Mercersburg has an emphasis on the arts; the Burgin Center for the Arts is a big example.
 
With a cappella groups and good music programs that are here, Mercersburg really stood out to me. The school could provide resources and high academic caliber that I was looking for, without surrounding me with only rich people or high IQs.
 
I looked at other schools in the Northeast region, but I always liked Pennsylvania. The other schools were impressive but didn’t feel like the right fit. When I came here, I liked the campus and the student atmosphere. It felt like the total package, and I could really see myself being here.
 
Once I arrived as a student, I got to know the people and I found the teachers to be very approachable, whereas at other schools, it felt like they were college professors instead of relatable high school teachers.
 
Mercersburg provides lots of resources for its students to really explore what they want to
do in life; it is what I think to be the true value as a college preparatory school. Before I came here, I was interested in computer science and math, but with great English and history teachers, I’m planning to study humanities and social sciences in college. I think there’s a value in allowing students to explore their scopes of interest, which they might not have even thought of before they came here. I never thought I’d work in the Writing Center, for example, or sing in an a cappella group. The balance of the size and resources is forte of the school. It’s not overwhelmingly big, but it provides enough resources. That’s what I’ve really liked about the school — that I can fit in and be a contributing member of the school without feeling like there are 1,000 other people like me.
 
I play tennis in the spring and the facilities and coaches are great. Even though athletics isn’t my main activity, I am not excluded altogether, and I don’t feel out of place when I am playing sports.
 
Mercersburg really has the right idea when it comes to 21st-century learning. I think there’s a really good balance of the traditional learning and modern classroom settings.
 
Represented by the Harkness table and the iPads, we strive for a modern classroom but we also know how to return to a simple but passionate discussion around our Harkness
Tables. It is attractive to have 21st century learning, and all the technology that comes with it, but it’s good that we remember to have a right balance of the traditional model and the modern model. Our teachers are able to perform well in both settings, maximizing the efficiency while minimizing distractions.
 
I think if you’re looking for a balanced experience that allows you to focus on academics, arts, and athletics, and not feel forced to give up some of the experience because you don’t have enough time or your academic demands are too strong, then you should come to Mercersburg. I think Mercersburg consciously tries to establish that balance of student life, so that we’re able to do all these things if we work diligently.

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Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 440 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $6 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center.
Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance to New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg PA 17236
717-328-6173