Last Tuesday, the Class of ‘24 celebrated a time-honored Mercersburg Academy tradition: Paint the Numbers. Seniors gathered at the school’s Davidson Gate to sign their initials on the road, reminisce about their experiences as a class, and then, finally, get messy.
The following morning, students dressed down in their pajamas and met in the Ford Dining Hall for “PJs and Pancakes”: a day off of classes for the seniors to work on their college applications and feast on a never-ending supply of pancakes. Cindy Fowler, Assistant Director of College Counseling, said, “We worked on a lot of essays. There are many students in varying stages of their essay writing. We worked on a lot surrounding the details of the application, like the activities to transfer requests. It was really productive. Kids really get down to work during these sessions, and some students even finish all of their work.”
Most students used the time to draft and fine-tune their essays, whether that be their personal statements or supplemental essays. Emerson Lissette ‘24 said, “I worked on supplements, and I was really, really productive.” Sonia Piontkovska ‘24 said, “I was a 10 on the productiveness scale.” Some people even finished their applications in their entirety. “It was really cool seeing some students hitting submit on their applications,” said Mike Conklin, Director of College Counseling.
Looking ahead to the future and the remainder of this college admissions cycle, there are certainly potential obstacles that seniors and college counselors need to be ready for. “The whole process has been volatile in the past four years. There are many things that we must navigate, the exponential increase in selectivity, test-optional policies, the Supreme Court’s decision regarding affirmative action; it’s all very intense,” said Conklin. Though the college admissions process may be tough, Mercersburg Academy’s college counselors are fully preparing the seniors and helping them rise to the occasion. “This class has been through a lot in the past four years, and I hope it’s almost cathartic in a way to see how far they’ve come. They are set up to be very successful in all of their endeavors,” said Conklin.