I was happy to catch up with Carlin, Class of 2011, recently. She graduated last December from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in Psychology, and I was excited to hear Carlin’s enthusiasm about embarking on a marketing career. She reports that she landed a position with a regional retail company near Charlotte and has quickly risen to the position of Retail Marketing Director.
Carlin attended OHA for two years, and her love for the school is evident by her visits to campus over the last few years to check in and catch up. We love seeing alumni! Recently, I asked Carlin to reflect on her time on The Hill.
As you look back, what are some of the main things that you took with you from OHA?
I really appreciate the time management and accountability I learned at Oak Hill. I was encouraged to plan my day around all of the responsibilities I had, such as homework, cheerleading practice, my work with the baseball team and leadership positions on campus. I carried this sense of accountability into college and it served me well! I also vividly remember OHA’s theme for my senior year, which was “resiliency.” The process–and it is a learned process–of adapting in the face of adversity is something I really needed in order to get through college. It is the skill I most value from OHA; there were many times in college I had to “figure it out,” so to speak.
Do you feel you “grew” at Oak Hill Academy?
Absolutely! At Oak Hill, I began to realize how capable I am. The fact that I was able to come to OHA and see it through with success still gives me confidence–it’s one of the most beneficial things I received from my time there.
Would you recommend OHA to the 16-year-old you, if you could go back in time?
I came to Oak Hill during my junior year because I was in a distracting environment. I was making bad decisions. I needed to restart and get back to good priorities. It was a tough transition and I cried because I was a little scared of a new start with “strangers,” and boarding school was not something on my agenda. When I graduated, I cried for different reasons: I was leaving a “family” I had been a part of for two years, and because I was proud of the success I found while there. So, YES, absolutely, I’d recommend it to myself!
What do you tell people about Oak Hill Academy?
That I’m so appreciative of the encouragement I received there. It was hard at times (growth is never comfortable), but Oak Hill is a really supportive community–and I’m talking about both the teachers and classmates. There is always someone to lean on and get positive reinforcement from. The training for the “real” world of being away from home and being held accountable is a huge growth opportunity. The exposure to different cultures and experiencing people from all over the world is a truly priceless part of the boarding school experience. Oak Hill Academy was a launching pad for me in terms of mental and emotional development. I’m thankful for every experience there and the people who helped me grow (and were patient with me!).