< My Mercersburg Story

Shahmeer Hussain ’14

To me, Mercersburg evokes preparation, independence, sophistication, and serenity; it’s just amiable. It’s so welcoming—to anyone—no matter what culture you are from, no matter what faith you are, no matter what your background is. They just accept you with open arms and they make sure that they help you whatever way they can.

Before coming to Mercersburg, I attended a Montessori school in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Several classmates of mine who were ahead of me went on to Mercersburg. I had never heard about it until then so I started looking into it. I saw the slogan, “Define yourself. Here.” I read this not only as “get yourself prepared for the teacher,” which is what I wanted to do, but also to get myself prepared for the future.

When I came here for my interview, I got to see just how amazing the campus was and just how much different it was from anything I’d ever seen. This was the first time I saw something beyond my comfort zone. I was just so hoping that I’d get in.

When I came back here for my revisit day, I sat in on a history class. One of the first things I noticed was that people where sitting around a table facing each other. I thought: aren’t we supposed to be facing the teacher? Then the students just started discussing, casually, as friends. No one was an outcast or isolated.

I talked once or twice, and they encouraged me—a guest—by saying things like, “Yeah, that’s a good point” or “I never knew that.” They even laughed at my jokes. It felt very comfortable, very natural; that’s when I realized that this is the kind of school I wanted to go to.

When I came here as a ninth-grader, I thought the faculty must be superior beings, that they knew so much more than I’ll ever know. Three years later, I can talk to them as friends, and I can joke with them. They just act like regular people. Now this has become part of my life—my Mercersburg experience.

There are just so many ways you can express yourself and try new things here to see if you like them or not, whether it be sports, arts, theater, community service, student government—anything really. The school doesn’t force you, but if you want to step outside your comfort zone and try something new, the school is all for it and will assist you in any way they can.

There’s a student center here, a place just for students to sit, do homework, socialize, or to take a break from the rigorous work of the school day. I thought this was the coolest thing ever. It’s something you see at a college. But I’m not at a college, I’m at Mercersburg! So for me that is a big thing.

I’m a day student, and I always like seeing the chapel spire as I drive to school. It’s such a unique structure, and it’s so beautiful.

< back
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