If I were to change one thing in the Exter Summer Program it would have to be the dorm check in time. A later check in time for Upper School students will allow them to explore the cultural riches of other students as well as to make new friends. Extending the dorm check in time will also allow students to hang out and be more social.
Changing the dorm check in time will not only provide students with more freedom but more social activities as well. I often find myself rushing to the dormitory around 8:55 because I am having fun and do not realize the time that has passed. Problems that arise with the current 9 o’clock check in time are students coming in late because they were hanging outside the dorm until 9:20. I arrive in my dormitory around nine because I am a social person who enjoys staying out late flirting with girls. Some students arrive late to check in because they are hungry and try to go get food in The Grill. Around eight thirty The Grill is crowded with students so some students have to wait in line for ten to twenty minutes. Students hang out in the basement and forget to go to their dorms to get checked in is another problem.
If Upper School Students had more time to socialize outdoors it would give them more responsibility because they would have to manage their schedule more tightly. Upper School students are responsible for managing their schedule throughout the day. Extending the dormitory check in time by an hour would not hurt to try out. Upper School students are fifteen to eighteen year olds who have experienced coming home late. The people in my dorm check in early most of the time because they have enough responsibility to know when to go inside and do homework. In my dormitory we have an hour of homework and then we could visit other people’s dorms but then we only have about 30 minutes left to socialize, then students have to go back to their dorms. If I had more time to talk to girls, then I would not be tired in the morning because I would not have to text them in the night.
Exeter Summer School is only five weeks. Giving the students more time to hang out can be a great way to remember this experience. Homework gives the students less time to hang out with the girls outside their dorms. Since girls can not be brought into the dorms, the students would have more time to mingle outside the dorms. More time outside can lead to fewer problems because the students would have enough time to socialize and whatnot. Students would not get in trouble for being outside talking to other students because they would have more time to talk and socialize. If students have an hour extra of communicating then they will not complain about being bored. When the kids reach their dorms they will be too tired to fool around so the dorm will be less rowdy. When the kids in my dormitory come back to the building they are always loud and pranking each other because they are not tired yet.
Some of the students go to sleep late because they spend time on social media talking to friends from other dormitories. They spend most of their time watching videos on YouTube or using their phones. This is a bad example to the younger kids because we are supposed to be social. As teenagers we should be outside meeting new people and being active. Going into our dormitories at nine makes us bored because around eight thirty all the girls and boys in Upper School do not have classes or extracurricular activities. This only gives the students about 45 minutes to talk, play sports, or flirt with other students.
Providing us with more time can allow us to go to town and come back before check in. Most of the kids in my dorm are hungry around ten and since The Grill closes at 8:45 they can not buy snacks. If check in was at ten then the students could go into town to Walgreens or a gas station to buy food or drinks. Changing the dorm checking in time is not a high risk. More socialization will create more friends and memories. Meeting new friends can decrease the loneliness of others. The more time outside socializing, the more students will remember this experience.