So, I guess this is it. The end of an era. The final days of the Phillips Exeter Academy Summer School. For some, leaving the campus may leave them wishing that there was an extra week, but for others, they may be looking forward to returning to their homes. Regardless of how we all feel towards leaving this Saturday, we can all agree that we’ve made unforgettable impressions upon each other and the Exeter community.
I think I can speak for most of us when I say that coming into Summer School, we were all a bit nervous to a certain degree. Being enrolled into a new place for five weeks with people from all around the world can be extremely nerve-wracking and a bit intimidating. After all, being in America’s best boarding school with hundreds of other smart people can make someone question themselves and their decision to come here. However, something that I’ve learned from my five weeks at Exeter is that time flies when you’re having fun.
It’s such a classic cliche, but think about it. In the emails we’ve all received from the school in the weeks prior to arriving, they noted that they wouldn’t honor any roommate requests. The inclusion of this is crucial, in that it forces us to be put in a place with someone new, and allows us to meet new people. Coming from such a small dorm like Knight House, I’ve learned to be more open and cooperative with my housemates, and it’s made us all a lot closer than we were when we first got here.
These friendships that we have all made were extremely important to our stay at Exeter. Imagine being stuck on a high school campus for 35 days with no one to bond or share your experiences with? I could imagine that time would feel slower than it is, and would make us want to leave sooner than we’re going to.
In addition, something that we’ve all gotten a lesson in is responsibility. No parents, no allowance, and no excuses. It’s hard to not get work done when there are hours of leniency for us to do whatever we please, whether it’s go to the library to finish up a research paper, or take a long, well-deserved nap in our dorm. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure it’s productive. There are no parents here to remind you to do your math homework, or to take your phone away when you’re on it past 11 p.m. It’s important to make the best decisions for yourself, and Exeter has made that explicit to me.
All in all, we’ll miss our time spent at Exeter. Saying goodbye to the friends whom we’ve made here will be harder than we all think, and on our ways home I’m sure that we’ll wish that we had another day to spend with them. But at least when we’re all back home, we’ll never forget the lessons learned here in and out of the Harkness discussions that will stay with us forever. Farewell, Exeter!