I was ecstatic when I received my letter of acceptance to Deerfield Academy. I applied to Deerfield because of the academic rigor, numerous opportunities, and unique experience that the school offered. So as a high school sophomore, I found myself at boarding school in Massachusetts, far from my California home.My first term at Deerfield was marked with great disappointment. Although I excelled academically and extracurricularly, I felt ousted from my new community. In many respects, I was different from my peers. I came from a public school of 4,000 students, while most of my peers had received an entirely private education. I was one of the few students that received generous financial aid to attend this school, while my peers came from lavish backgrounds that paid a tuition cost rivaling those of college. I felt that I needed to act a certain way in order to be positively viewed by this society dominated by what I deemed “New England Preppy kids.” My view of boarding school began to align with those portrayed in popular culture, filled with pretentiousness and entitlement, and this view took control of my fall term.However, during the next winter term, I realized I was looking at it all wrong. It took some time, but as the year went on, it became increasingly apparent that the community that I had grown to despise was not the problem. Rather, the disappointment lied in my perception. Prior to this point of my Deerfield career, I had only perceived Deerfield as a place where the societal values were stacked against me.Halfway through sophomore year, I changed the way I looked at Deerfield – I stopped looking at it as a place where I was outcast – and that is when I started to be happy. When I made this transition, I recognized that the people that I thought were so different from me were not so different, with characteristics, issues, and flaws just like mine. The society I felt isolated from did not exist and in retrospect, I was disappointed in myself for not realizing this soon. It was at this point in my Deerfield career where I began to flourish and enjoy the most of my experiences.