Julianne Aldous 13
When did you come to Waterford and why did you choose Waterford as your school?
I came to Waterford in 9th grade. My older brother was already a student at the school, and so I always knew I would attend high school there. I felt the strong sense of community right away and was welcomed very warmly.
What has been the most meaningful impact that Waterford has had on you? Did you have a favorite teacher or more than one? Why?
The teachers at Waterford had the most meaningful impact on me, and they still do. I keep in touch with many of them. We go to lunch, I update them on my life and they have written me letters of recommendation as well as just giving me general advice and guidance. It was a benefit that I could never have foreseen as a freshman. I cannot say that I had a favorite teacher because so many of them were my favorites in different ways. Some favorites are: Ms. Powers, Ms. Heuston, Mr. Watkins, Ms. Orton, Ms. Button, and Mr. Patteson just to name a few. I really do consider many of my teachers close friends and I know that many of my peers feel the same way.
What passions did you find at Waterford that you may not have discovered elsewhere?
I loved that I could try lots of different things at Waterford, but I think my writing and analytical skills were the most important areas of growth for me. I loved all of my English classes and the literature that we read and explored. I was able to be the editor of the yearbook my senior year which was a very fun application of the analytical skills that I had learned. I did not know that I could be a leader until my senior year when I was given responsibility in this capacity. Mr. Watkins, the yearbook advisor, put a lot of trust in me and I think I learned to trust myself as a result. Oh, and birding, I love birding as only a Waterford graduate can.
Did Waterford prepare you well for college and life beyond?
I am constantly realizing ways in which Waterford prepared me for college. It is kind of funny actually, because things that might have annoyed me at the time or have felt tedious have really helped, like making really detailed annotations, etc. I feel incredibly lucky to have been so prepared for my post-Waterford life.
Where did you go to college?
I go to the University of Utah where I study political science and psychology. I found a lot of my academic interests and passions in my last few years at Waterford. In my Poverty and Social Change course that I took as a senior from Ms. Heuston, we learned a lot about disadvantaged communities. At first, I thought it was kind of odd that we were studying people with different or harder circumstances, like one studies cells in a biology course, but it really ended up changing the way I see the world and has greatly influenced my studies. I had an internship last summer for which I did research on global human trafficking, and I think that my Waterford poverty class was the catalyst for experiences that I have had since then, like that internship.
I am really grateful for my time at Waterford, and the many mentors and friends that I gained along the way. Many of the successes that I have had, I attribute to my experiences at Waterford. There was always someone encouraging me to go the extra mile, and offering to help me get there as well. I love stopping by the beautiful campus to reminisce and see some familiar faces. I look forward to my future career and potentially graduate school, but I will always treasure my Waterford days.