Before coming to Deerfield, I had been to eight different schools in five different countries. My parents are U.S. diplomats and we move every few years, but even so, if you were to ask my fourth-grade self where I would be graduating from, she would never have said boarding school. I’m not a legacy at all. When I decided that I wanted to go here, my parents were shocked.
Until I applied to DA, my idea of boarding school was a cross between Hogwarts and the school in The Dead Poets’ Society. I didn’t know what to expect. Would the school be some clique-obsessed version of high school hell? Would it be like college? Would it just be endless schoolwork? I didn’t even get a chance to go to second visit day, because I had school back in Kyiv.
The people here are a lot more down-to-earth than I thought they would be. The campus is great, such an upgrade from some of my other schools. The classes are interesting, the teachers are really involved, but what I like about Deerfield isn’t how special it is, but how normal it is. I was sort of afraid that if I came here, I would lose my youth and get caught up in some insane, über-competitive prep-school world. But it’s not like that at all. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything just because I go to a really selective school. Oddly enough, I feel right at home.
Caitlin Cleary ’12 has lived in London, England; Warsaw, Poland; Washington, DC; Madrid, Spain; Moscow, Russia; and Kyiv, Ukraine. Presently, however, she lives in Pocumtuck Dormitory.