Back to My High School, My Home

MORRISTOWN, N.J.–I parked in the lot hugging the school, not the one stories below that I many a time had hiked from every morning. Without a bent back from my book bag, I opened the door to a place I know so well. And then I signed in as a visitor.

Proceeding with my mission for this morning, I walked up the two flights to the guidance counselor’s office as an outsider. The plum-colored skirt I wore did not match the plaid scurrying through the stairwell. My heels clicking on the hard steps did not sound like the flats I found around me. The giggles and chitchat I heard did not come from my mouth, but they sounded phenomenally familiar. My brown tights could never compete with their navy blue knees socks in a fashion show. This is my home.

These girls in the hallways are my sisters, although many might not know who I am. Attending my high school, I made an extended family that is larger than those of Italians or Jews. As any older sister should, I want to help my sisters. I must calm them during their hellish college-search path that just began.

The guidance counselor led me into a newly renovated room for the meeting. Expecting only a few girls, I smiled when I saw 14 names on the list of attendees… and all interested in a medical career… now that’s what I’m talking about!

At 10:45, the girls gradually filled the chairs around me, curiously waiting what I had to say.

“My name is Samantha Margulies, and I graduated from Villa Walsh Academy in 2008. I am now a student in the—” I took a big breath; I anticipated the need, “St. Bonaventure University-George Washington University School of Medicine B.S./M.D. 4+4 Dual Admissions Program.”

For the following 45 minutes, I explained how this specific medical school receives about 10,000 applicants a year that vie for 250 seats. Doctors-to-be sometimes have to apply for years before an acceptance letter lands in their hands. Applying to this dual-degree program greatly increases the percentage of an acceptance letter, and the applicant is only a high school senior.

No MCATs, maintain a 3.6 GPA on a 4.0 scale, don’t get into trouble and the student reserves a medical school seat in the nation’s capitol.

The girls constantly asked questions about how they can apply and sign the same contract I did at the age of 17.

I am so ecstatic with the turnout. I e-mailed the Franciscan Healthcare Program director, “Villa girls will soon take over Bonas… and I can’t wait!!”

Understandably, the 14 juniors just started researching colleges, and they still have a long haul ahead. I do not deny that a couple probably came because they could skip class. However, I have made it my personal job to keep them in love with the medical programs Bonaventure has to offer for the next months to come. My sisters will soon join me in rural Olean, N.Y.

Slumber party!

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well done.

  2. Lovely post! I do the same thing — take a DEEP breath before saying the name of our program. It’s great that you were such an inspiration to your sisters. Keep it up.

  3. Thank you for this website and your experience. Would you be willing to talk to us for some advice. We are visiting SBU in 2 weeks.

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