Santiago '22 knows that time at Peddie flies by, so he recommends getting involved right from the start - and eating breakfast with your friends.
Outside of the classroom: Varsity crew, Artivism, DJ Club, jazz band, EXP, Mock Trial, Project Terrapin, Declamation Contest, Geiger-Reeves Speaking Contest
Advice for new Falcons:
Do SOMETHING! Especially as a freshman, you have limitless potential and the freedom to explore whatever you want. Take advantage of the opportunities created by all the Peddie students who came before you and find your passion. As a freshman, I was able to try out for Mock Trial and form bonds with students from all across campus. Working with upperclassmen on a team inspired me to take my Peddie destiny into my own hands. When you become involved in the Peddie community early on, you become empowered in your ambitions. So don’t waste any time! Get involved!
What being a Peddie student has taught him:
Anything is possible. Never tell yourself that you can’t do something — you have no idea what you are capable of. When I came to Peddie, I was a blank slate. Seeing how motivated and supportive this community is has shown me that it is possible to accomplish anything you set your mind to. Teachers like Mr. Murtaugh, who has been my coach, advisor and English teacher, taught me that nothing was ever out of my reach. Without that support, I never would have had the confidence to do something like the Geiger-Reeves Speaking Contest, where I delivered a speech to the whole school as part of a 115-year-old tradition! Peddie has shown me the importance of having a confident mindset because it opens up so many doors of opportunity.
Reflection: “I’ve never missed breakfast.” It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but eating breakfast with my friends is a constant at Peddie that has become very special to me. Starting off the day talking with friends and eating scrambled eggs and Tabasco sauce might not sound so memorable, but then I realize that I go to boarding school and this doesn’t happen everywhere. Not every high school student gets to walk to breakfast and enjoy it with their friends. And even in college, you can end up at a school with tens of thousands of people and no central dining hall. There is only one Stud [Caspersen Student Center] though, and when you go to breakfast at Peddie, you know you’re going to see everyone else who is getting breakfast.
Balance is key. It can be easy to bury yourself in schoolwork and extracurriculars, but without balance, it is difficult to maintain focus and motivation. I’m on the varsity crew team, I started the DJ club, I’m involved with Artivism and so much more. That’s why the time that I get to enjoy with my friends before class is so valuable. Breakfast is definitely my favorite part of the day — it sets me up for success each and every morning.