Matthias Reichard spent part of his summer at Andover Summer at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.
Why did you choose to participate in a summer program and what made you choose Andover Summer?
I chose Andover Summer for one big reason: academic excellence, in every sense of the word – whether in its teachers, classes or students. Coming from Germany, I was looking for a program that would challenge me, while also providing an opportunity to connect with students from all over the world. The stories I heard from my older brother were enough to convince me to apply, and one of the best summers of my life unfolded as a result of that decision.
The program offered everything I needed to achieve academically in a personal learning environment. I was incredibly proud to earn honors in both Physics and Writing for Success. Silent study in the library, easy and delicious dining at Paresky Commons, personal study and community activities in my dorm, sports on the fields and gyms, and prayer on Sundays at a local church contributed to my ability to achieve academically. I tell everyone who is thinking about Andover that so far I have never been to a place that gives you all these opportunities to flourish in the summer and then to take that experience home to incorporate it in your daily life.
What was a typical day in your summer program or at camp?
My personal daily schedule including an early breakfast at Paresky Commons, followed by a period 1 class and then some time spent in the gym before lunch. I had some time to socialize between lunch and my second period class, then went straight to a college-counseling session before my afternoon sport. After that came free time, when I could hang out with friends, play games in our common room, or walk into town to visit CVS or a coffee shop. After dinner in the dining hall (stir fry was the best!) I signed into my evening study location – usually the library, where I could choose from the silent study section or meet up with a group for a collaborative study session. From there I signed back into my dorm and had a few hours with my friends to hang out and play games before lights out.
What was the most memorable moment of your summer?
It’s hard to say what my most memorable moment was because I think that every single moment at Andover was memorable. Going to the weight room after first period and ordering pizza with the guys in my dorm at the end of the night were things I did often, and that I remember fondly. Other things that deserve a mention were fishing at Pomps Pond, a nighttime visit to the observatory, college counselling workshops with representatives from outstanding universities, my amazing teachers, and the college trips that have inspired me to aspire to a future at Harvard Law School, something I probably wouldn’t have considered if I hadn't gone to Andover and had the chance to visit.
What advice do you have for teens looking at summer programs or camps?
Andover is a world-renowned prep-school that offers summer students the exact same thing that its students are offered during the regular year, not like university programs that have a totally separate set of teachers. If you want to excel in your academics, if you want to network with people from all cultures and backgrounds, if you want to be a leader of your community and if you enjoy learning and want to develop an even greater passion for it, there is no place quite like Andover – it has changed me for the better.