Mary McGrath Carty Remembers

I never really wanted to go to boarding school, but my parents felt it would be a good idea. I visited all of the respected schools in the Northeast. I couldn’t imagine living at any of them, but Northfield felt the most real to me. So I agreed to give it a try.

It turned out to be a very wise decision. I was inspired to read and study and do homework in a way that I am pretty sure I would not have done otherwise.

I think I often felt depressed when those early bells went off in the bleak hours of dark winter mornings. I just put one foot in front of the other and reported to the kitchen or wherever I was supposed to be. I would call my parents during the allotted time – (so hard to imagine in our current cell phone lives), and tell them that I found it hard and I wanted to come home. They kept telling me to give it a few more weeks.

I did and those weeks added up to three years, a lot of friends and many formative experiences. I am grateful to Northfield for helping me through my adolescence and making the transition to college virtually a snap. The extraordinary faculty made the whole experience. Later in life, in college, I was perhaps as influenced by my fellow students as by professors, but at Northfield, it was really the faculty operating “in loco parentis” that helped solidify my sense of values and priorities.

I wish one of my daughters had wanted to go to NMH but that wasn’t the case and I was selfishly glad to keep them near home. Yet I know that each of them could have benefited from the resources and challenges that might have been theirs at NMH. I’m glad the school exists for so many other young people who will get a long leg up in life because of it.

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