Ranney School Student Council President Addison Basile '22 talks about how her four years at Ranney have helped her appreciate a new home and family.
My name is Addison Basile, and I’m a senior at Ranney School. I came to campus as a freshman in 2018 and have since been lucky enough to engage in the community in so many ways. I’m proud to be involved with Student Council, the field hockey and softball teams, the Torch newspaper, and the Tri-M and Thespian Honor Societies here on campus, but most of all, I am grateful to be living and learning as part of such a wonderful and ever-supportive community.
I recently had a conversation with one of my teachers after class ended that led to me asking him how many years he’s been teaching at Ranney, to which he replied, “Fourteen years… almost about as long as you’ve been here!”
I laughed as I told him that I’ve really only been here for four years, but I take my mistakenly perceived status as a Ranney lifer as a compliment because, as I approach my final months here, I can only wish that I had more time to spend at Ranney. I realize that it is my connections with teachers like him that make it seem like I’ve spent my whole life at this school, but the amazing thing about Ranney is that deep relationships can be forged in what seems like no time at all.
I stumbled upon the best proof of this this past December. It was the day before Winter Break, and I had just received disappointing news from a university I was hoping to attend. I came into school that morning despite having completed my exams and academic obligations for the semester because I had some Student Council affairs to attend to and I wanted to keep busy so I would not dwell on the news.
I went over to visit some of my favorite teachers on the other side of campus, who had been awaiting this news as eagerly as I had, if not more. They knew I had been working hard towards this goal, and they couldn’t wait to share in the excitement with me. I let them know what happened and quickly changed the subject to something more positive. Within minutes, these four faculty members, none of whom have actually had me in any of their classes before, were offering me as much support as one would to their own child. They assured me that I never have to hide my real emotions around them because they truthfully see right through the act. They were already brainstorming ideas for making my other applications even more awesome, extending their life experience as comfort for my disappointment, offering to do whatever it takes to help show schools who I really am, and reassuring me that everything happens for a reason. I suddenly found myself in tears, and also in the middle of a big hug.
I soon realized that I was not crying for dismay about college but rather about the idea of ever leaving this place that gave me my second family, this place where the people around me have a profound concern for my wellbeing and an unwavering desire to see me succeed. “Don’t you dare walk out of here thinking you’re anything less than who you are,” I was told. I think about that moment every day.
That night, I went out to dinner with my family. As we sat down, the woman behind me tapped me on the shoulder to thank me, as I was her tour guide at a Ranney open house a few weeks prior. I was already choked up, as I was in the midst of telling my parents about the day I had, so I decided to let this family in on the story as well. I told them all candidly about how difficult it is to be upset when you are surrounded by so much love.
This is what Ranney is all about. It’s these small everyday connections that turn out to be extremely significant and long-lasting relationships. There is nothing more comforting than the knowledge that you have people in your corner, no matter what it is you’re trying to achieve. I love that I can spend five minutes with a teacher working on a math problem or spend an hour with them working out one of life’s great challenges and have their genuine support regardless of the situation.
Without the guidance and opportunities this community has offered to me over the last four years, I would not be half the person I am. Ranney has shaped the way I think, the way I lead, and the way that I view others and the world around me.
As I reflect now, my future is still completely uncertain, but I’m too grounded in the present to worry about it. I am focused on appreciating every morning that I wake up with the privilege of coming to this beautiful place and spending time with the family I have at Ranney.