Samantha Wagner '12(University of Minnesota)
I have to be honest; when I received the email requesting a message about my time in high school, I was a bit reticent to respond. However, after a little thought and reflection (which can be difficult as someone a little more removed from high school), I figured I’d impart my experience at MHS with you all, as well as additional nuggets of wisdom.
Currently, I am a sophomore in the process of earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Business (BSB) at the University of Minnesota, located in the heart of the Twin Cities. Like many others who have contributed to this web page, I wholeheartedly agree that Montgomery did not fail in preparing me for academics on the collegiate level. This statement applies to not only the breadth and depth of the work involved, but also in terms of intellectual curiosity. In addition to these educational benefits, Montgomery also prepared me well in a social sense. After all, competition is naturally expected in a highly-ranked undergraduate business program, especially one with several Fortune 500 companies just a few blocks away.
With regard to my personal experience at MHS, I would not be completely honest if I didn’t say that the four years I spent in high school did not play a factor in where I attended college. Primarily, as someone who had spent most of my life in Montgomery, it was occasionally difficult to find my proper identity. Some of my more vivid memories involved instances of differentiating myself, whether it was choosing to take TV Pro over yet another AP course or wearing neon-pink Doc Martens to class in lieu of a quieter pair of shoes. In hindsight, enrolling at Minnesota--a large Midwestern university that prides itself on its regionality, in a state known for figurative and literal frigidness, and a school where I had absolutely no connections whatsoever--seemed like an incredibly logical choice.
As I look back on those four years (and the eighteen or so months that have passed since), there are definitely some things for you current MHS students to keep in mind. It’s okay to take risks and do things that are radically different from everyone else. However, also make sure that you’re doing these things out of passion and ambition, not just to fill up lines on the Common Application (and eventually, a resume). Have experiences and enjoy life; chances are you won’t remember how poorly you did on your practice DBQ for APUSH II ten years down the road. As for those of you whose general high school experience isn’t a happy one, remember that Montgomery is microscopic compared to the rest of the world. High school eventually ends, and opportunities to live your life the way you want to grow exponentially.
Lastly, many, many thanks to the teachers and administrators at MHS. I don’t think I would have been able to succeed without your support.
Cheers,Samantha “Sam” Wagner
University of Minnesota ‘16