An Independent K-12 school on a beautiful wooded campus, 3 miles from Washington, D.C.

Maggie

Favorite Thing About Potomac: The sense of community and the normalcy of upper-classmen lower-classmen friendships.
Extracurriculars:Theater, chorus, ukulele, Quintessence (a cappella group), field hockey, X-Alliance, plays, musical
Favorite Class: Spanish
Memorable Potomac moment: Being in the musical my freshman year, tech week, and Potomac pre-show rituals.
Aspirations: To speak out about feminism and women's rights issues in the USA and around the world.

Maggie
11th GRade

As I sat on my couch watching the "Golden Globes" with my dog resting his head on my leg, I filled out my junior college questionnaire," the first step in the long and winding road that is applying to and choosing a college. More accurately, I filled out my questionnaire for the second time, as being used to Google Drive "autosave" had come back to haunt me. Filling it out makes me feel old--I'm not supposed to be able to drive, I'm not supposed to absolutely love Brussels sprouts, and I am definitely not supposed to be going to college—yet here I am answering questions about my strengths, weaknesses, and extracurriculars.

I know I am just a junior and still have a year and a half of high school ahead of me, but the past two and a half years have passed me in the blink of an eye. I so vividly remember being a nervous freshman, asking upperclassmen for directions to my classes on the first day of school. Now, I am that upperclassmen, and I know the Upper School like the back of my hand. I remember my first day of field hockey preseason, intimidated by the older girls who knew so much more than I did. I remember auditioning for the musical for the first time, feeling nervous and yet completely in my element. I remember auditioning for my a cappella group, a group of girls who quickly became my best friends and sisters. It doesn't seem like two and a half years have passed since I was a freshman, but I am quickly coming to terms with the fact that over half of my high school career is over, and in a year and a half I will be in college. I am finally starting to realize that the next six months are the last months that I will live with my brother, a senior at St. Albans, who is my polar opposite yet a close friend.

As I prepare to say goodbye to both my brother and to another group of amazing seniors, I know that they all feel the same way that I am starting to feel right now. Although high school comes with its ups and downs, and there are moments when all you want to do is leave home and be independent, it goes by faster than you could ever anticipate. Over the next six months, I plan to try to focus not only on the notorious pressures of junior year but also on the incredible groups of people and programs at Potomac that have shaped who I am and who I want to be. It will be over sooner than I know.

Every single day, I look forward to stepping into the Black Box Theater at 3:30 pm and immersing myself into the world of Shakespeare's The Tempest. For me, there is no better stress reliever than acting. As soon as I step onto that stage, I am no longer a busy and stressed-out high school student. Under the lights, I become Miranda, a curious, nymph-like girl who lives on an island with her magical father and falls in love with a stranded prince named Ferdinand.

A lot of my friends don't understand why I am so in love with acting. Even I didn't understand it, until recently; I love to act because for me it is an out-of-body experience—it's magical. When I'm onstage, I forget about chemistry tests and Spanish pop quizzes, and I become someone else. Acting gives me a break from my day-to-day life, and I often find myself thinking more clearly after I've spent a few hours as Miranda rather than Maggie.

I'm so lucky to be a part of the theater program at Potomac because it is the most supportive group of people that I have ever came upon. If I'm having trouble with a friend or am frustrated with a class, I know that in the Black Box Theater there will be a group of people willing to listen to me, always. No matter how much we may tease each other, the friendships I have made through being in shows at Potomac are friendships that I cherish and rely on.

As of now, All in Care of Thee, the name of our adaptation of The Tempest, is really coming together. With a little less than two weeks until opening night, I'm feeling the perfect amount of nervous excitement. The directors, stage managers, and our small 10-person cast have worked extremely hard to make Shakespeare's The Tempest into something you've never seen before. All in Care of Thee opens on May 19, and will have four performances through the May 21. Hope to see you on opening night!

Potomac students have a lot going on. One of the biggest challenges in high school is balancing schoolwork, sports, activities, and all of the other extracurricular activities. Naturally, many people thought I was crazy for giving up my study hall to join the VPAC theater program, or Potomac’s Visual and Performing Arts Concentration.

I’ve always been interested in theater. In fact, one of the parts of Potomac I love the most is the vibrant and tight-knit theater community in the Upper School. VPAC is unique because it’s different for every group of students; it’s shaped specifically to work with the participant’s interests and skills.

Although VPAC isn’t a break, it gets my mind off of schoolwork in a way that other students aren’t so lucky to experience. While in a study hall I might try to get my mind off school by being on my phone or scrolling through my Facebook feed, in VPAC I take a break by learning about something I love and enjoy.

I’m not the only student that has the opportunity to follow my passions more closely in school. Potomac has different concentration programs for students with different interests. I have friends that participate in of all of the different programs like Science and Engineering Research Center (SERC), Global Perspectives and Citizenship Program (GPAC), and the other branches of VPAC for music and visual arts.

Now that musical season is almost upon us, I’m excited to use the techniques I’ve learned so far in VPAC during auditions and see the progress I’ve made. I love the time I spend with my peers in the Black Box Theater every day, and I can’t wait for the three years of VPAC I have ahead of me.