< My Mercersburg Story

Christopher Thomas ’14

Believe it or not, I actually was thinking about boarding school during the eighth grade back in Austin, Texas, my hometown. Our school there held an admission fair every year, and I decided I really wanted to go to a boarding school.

So I went on a giant tour of boarding schools. I looked at 12 boarding schools, because I wanted to do it right, since I didn’t have a general knowledge of boarding schools.

As part of that giant tour I went up to New England and visited all of those schools. Overall, I didn’t care for them, because I didn’t like the general atmosphere. I was constantly asking myself, “Do I fit in there?” and, “Can I be happy there?” instead of, “Will this school get me into such and such college?” That’s not what my parents were thinking, but that’s what I was thinking.

So I looked at New England, and then I looked in the Mid-Atlantic. Well, after you’ve looked at all those New England boarding schools and you come here, Mercersburg feels a lot more open and cheerful. At Mercersburg I could definitely say, “Yes, I feel like I fit in here.”

I first came to Mercersburg on a really nice day in the middle of winter. And the campus was amazing—so beautiful. I really liked the people I met during my visit. I definitely made the right decision, and I have definitely fit in.

So I came here as a ninth-grader, and I’m on my way to being a four-year senior. Mercersburg is a lot of work, though you can see it pay off academically, because unlike middle school you actually feel like you’re learning a lot here. And socially, you’re much more independent—in charge of your time, choosing among all the options we have here, and learning how to make as many friends as possible in such a diverse community.

I have to admit, first and foremost, that I love dorm life. It’s awesome, because you can pretty much go door to door if you want somebody to hang out with. Some of my best friends are from Korea and Germany. I didn’t expect people from all over the world to be so similar to me.

My history teacher, Mr. Caretti, pushed me in a way that worked for me. I’ve never been the most organized person. He really wanted me to get all of my notes neat and actually have them with me in class. He helped me study, and he’s helped me in some of my other classes too. He’s always been accessible to me, and I feel like he’s been here to help me improve. My study and work habits are definitely much better than when I first got here.

My favorite places at Mercersburg are the the gym, because I enjoy basketball; the Burgin Center, because I play piano every once in a while and it’s kind of an amazing building; and then the library, because it has so many books and it’s a pretty amazing building too.

I’m on the varsity basketball team. I’ve always played basketball, and I love it, but baseball is my main sport, so in the spring you’ll find me on the varsity baseball team. Mercersburg has outstanding coaches for both of these sports, and the guys on each of the teams are just great.

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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