Phillips Exeter Academy Summer School is tough. We have so much homework, more than I ever had at my regular high school. When I’m not at Exeter, I go to Colstrip High School, which is a public school in rural Montana. It is considered the best school in our region, but let’s be honest. It’s not anywhere near a top school like Exeter. At my high school, there are some classes that are considered “the hard classes.” In those classes, we had what I thought was a lot homework. But I was usually able to get it all done in study hall, and most of the time I didn’t even have homework to do at night, unless it was a paper or test to study form.

It’s very different than here at Exeter, where it was really hard for me to adjust to the amount of homework we get each day. I have to read more in one night for my Leadership class then in an entire week at my regular high school. It’s probably more than double the amount of homework I have every night.  Even though I’m taking two fun classes — journalism and video production — I still have a a lot of homework and I have a hard time getting it all done. I expect a lot of other students are in the same boat as me.

On top of the homework we put in a lot of work for our sports. I am doing crew, but I have friends doing basketball.  We have practice every day, and a lot of us take extra time to go to the gym to get stronger and faster. But just like our homework, we choose to put in the extra time at the gym to improve our selves. Exeter is work. It is all nonstop work. But we do it because we want to challenge ourselves in mind and body.

Even with all this work, this has been a very good experience for me because it’s helping me to focus. I am actually really enjoying the work and the challenge and the way we learn here.  The diversity of the students and all the different things we get the chance to experience add a whole lot to this Summer School.

I still have a hard time when it comes to having so much homework. I am still trying to balance work with sports and making friends. When they give us all this homework we barely have time to hang out with friends and make memories. I imagine most people would prefer more time to make friends. But what we are gaining here is worth all the homework and it is pushing us to get better.

Most of the students here at Summer School will end up going back to their regular high school where they will probably have less homework . Not all of these students will take what they learned here back with them. But hopefully most of them will consider taking more challenging classes.

Even though we don’t always want to take the time out of our day to do homework, if we want to get better  academically we have to pay more attention to our schoolwork.  And more importantly, if we want to improve ourselves, we need to make the time to improve our education. To be able to live on our own and think critically about the world we live in, we need to be educated about all different kinds of things. For many of us, that starts here at Phillips Exeter Academy Summer School.