What was your transition like after NSA?
After graduating in December I had nothing to do and no one to do it with. When I went home my friends were all in the middle of their freshman years at college.
I was still living with my parents until I would go to university in Washington the next August. I had to actively create obligations for myself. It didn't help that my first week was spent recovering from a wisdom teeth extraction, which gave me a great excuse to sit in front of my computer all day like the days of old. It was different of course, than before attending New Summit. I was spending time with my family, sleeping regularly, remaining healthy.
After Christmas I printed off about forty resumes and walked around town, giving them to any business that would take one. I received offers from a few places, and I ended up working at a
frozen yogurt shop. I also took Intro to Ethics at my local community college.
What was your biggest challenge in your transition?
In December and January, when I was slipping toward pointlessness, I did roughly what I had planned in my transition quarter. I was sensible. In May after my class ended, 19 hours a week standing behind a register weighing cups of yogurt wasn't enough to stave off that hollow feeling of existential drifting. I, somewhat impulsively, decided to go adventuring. I used some of the money I had earned to buy a plane ticket to Ketchikan, Alaska and found a job on a fishing boat until August.
What advice would you give to current NSA students?
In general I advise making a specific and achievable plan that advances whatever short or long term goals you have while bringing you some degree of happiness. That being said, I also advise testing yourself. Test your will, your resiliency. You will then be better able to plan for yourself having an honest self-assessment of your character.
What are your strongest memories of your time at NSA?
The Aventuras are doubtlessly the most memorable part of my stay at New Summit. I often think back nostalgically to those beaches, kayaks, trails, and especially to the company. I am grateful to have had those experiences. Sweat-saturated clothing, sore feet, burned skin, a knot in my back, blisters on my hands, sand in my shoes and pack, tired arms, tired legs all tested my patience.
I chose to maintain a positive attitude (most of the time), reminding myself that these burdens are temporary and that I have the strength to persist. I learned to take complete ownership of my life. Everything I do, whether I succeed or fail, is a product of the effort I apply.
New Summit Academy is fortunate to have many of our students return to “give back” to the program and to serve as interns and valuable mentors for our current students. This summer, we proudly welcomed a 2016 graduate, Zach, who has joined our team during a college break. Zach, who is double majoring in Physics and the Classics, was generous enough to share some of his experiences with us
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