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Britney Atwater

Chenty Nunez, Editor

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Name:Britney Atwater

Graduation year:2010

 

Q:Did you go to college, military, service, job?

A:College: WPI for biomedical engineering

Q:What was it like going from the High School life to the adult life?

A: It’s bittersweet leaving the familiarity and comfort of your friends and family after high school for the future of the unknown, but it’s exciting to figure out who you are going to be as an independent person and discovering the ways in which you can impact the world.

Q:In college/job/service, was it easy to get settled down and find where you fit in?

A:Fortunately, I played soccer during college, so that was an easy way to make friends quickly. I also found that there are so many clubs and activities to join in college that it’s easy to meet people and find things that you are passionate about.

Q:If you are out of college or post graduate work, what are you doing now?

 A:I’m a second year medical student at UMass Medical School in Worcester.

 Q:What has been the biggest thing to happen to you since you left?

A:My acceptance to medical school is my greatest accomplishment thus far, but I’m also very excited about my one year old Newfoundland puppy, Diesel.

Q:Have you traveled? If so, where?

A: I had the opportunity to travel to Slovenia for two months to do my senior design project during college and I went to Costa Rica in March for spring break.

Q:Were there hiccups, or struggles along the way?

A:Of course! My original plan was to attend medical school immediately after graduating from college, but I ended up taking two gap years. While it wasn’t in my plan, I’m really grateful for the industry experience I gained working as an engineer for those two years and the opportunity to have an income and practice life skills like saving money, paying my student loans, etc. I also did a lot of self-reflection during those years to make sure that I was pursuing opportunities that I was truly interested in and was on the right path for becoming who I wanted to be as a person.

Q:What’s your favorite thing about being out of high school?

A:I love how big the world is. I love all of the potential, whether it’s travel, education, puppies, moving and buying a house, or just trying something that is outside of my comfort zone. To be completely honest, I really love that no one cares about the petty things that seem to matter so much in high school. It feels like everyone can just be who they are and do the things that are interesting to them without really caring about what other people think.

Q:What do you miss about High School?

A:High school is great because there are a lot of fun activities/events and there is a lot of structure, so the steps you need to take to succeed are very clear. After graduating from college, I had a phase where I was unsure of pretty much everything in my life and it was tough. It was a difficult transition from the structure of attending school and knowing exactly what was next to the phase of being a real adult where the next steps may not be as clear. But, high school helps you build a good foundation for getting through rocky times and it’s fun to think back to the Snowball dances, Friday night football games, Prom, working in the Paw Shoppe, Senior Dinner Dance, getting DQ every day after school, and trying not to get run over in the student parking lot at the end of the day.

Q:Did you play for Prouty? If so, what did you play and what was it like going from High school level to College level?

A:I played soccer at Prouty and at WPI (Division III). It was a really great opportunity to continue to play the sport that I loved, but it wasn’t glorious to go from a wise, experienced high school senior to a rookie college freshman. Having the team atmosphere was really a great way for me to connect with my college and form friendships that have lasted beyond graduation. Playing a sport can be helpful for avoiding the dreaded “freshman 15” (at least in theory!) and it’s a good balance to all of the studying.

Q:Any advice for current students at DPHS?

A:Enjoy it! High school truly is a great time and, it may be hard to believe now, but you’ll wish you could go back at some point. Try new things and discover what you’re passionate about!

Q:Are there any teachers that you would like to say some kind words to?

A: I was fortunate to have a truly amazing teacher at Prouty, Mrs. Anderson (now Mrs. Thibeault), who was incredibly supportive and went out of her way to help me find opportunities to learn about medical school and to network with doctors. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for her! There many others too. During AP US History, Ms. Jyringi taught me to think critically and have the confidence to speak my mind. As a track coach, Mr. Grady taught me to aim high, work hard, and laugh when life seems like joke. (And an English teacher who would write me hall passes when I was late for homeroom 😉 )! Really, there are a lot of great teachers, guidance counselors, vice principals, P.E. teachers, etc., at Prouty and many of them helped me develop skills to succeed during and after high school. Thank you all so so so much!

Q:What was your best memory from Prouty?

A:Graduation and never having to go back ever again. Just kidding! Some of my favorite memories of Prouty are Mr. Ford’s one-legged skier video, dodgeball Fridays in gym class, and pep rallies.

 

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