When we first came here, the days seemed so long. We could never seem to find the dining hall, the heat was unbearable without a fan, and we were constantly feeling anxious to make a friend since you feel everyone else around you has already been walking in pairs. Now, summer has ended. You look back and the beginning feels so far yet so near. Strolling down memory lane, this piece is going to help you revisit some of the students’ favorite places and change summer into infinity.
Do you still remember when we first came here, we were afraid to wander off campus since there was no real border line between town and Summer School? It was later that we discovered places like Stillwells ice cream where we had to go every day and argue with our friend over which is the best flavor. Or the little diner Green Bean down the street that serves the best grilled cheese.
My favorite place is “downtown Exeter,” said Ana Ordonez Neira. I like “walking around with friends, going into different shops. Especially the boutique Ganesh. I like the white dream catchers you can see through the glass when you’re walking past through the street.”
There are many things worth exploring downtown, guess there just wasn’t enough time.
As time passed, we started to know more people. Every one of them had something up their sleeve to surprise, but you always had those few friends you were always with. You had your own safe heavens, where nothing could disturb you. You just sit there, laugh, goof around stalling time, not wanting to go back and check in one minute earlier than nine.
Then you spent the late nights fooling around in the common room refusing to touch your drab homework. The days seemed to pass by so slowly yet so very fast.
“My favorite place is the huge lake behind the campus,” said Elena Parenti. “I like the landscape. I like the feeling of peace that it gives me and my friends. It’s kind of out of the way of the rest of campus so there’s not many people there. It’s really peaceful.”
For A’di Dust, her safe heaven was “a lawn behind our dorm with a couple of chairs. We (me and my friends) hang out, play cards, do homework, and listen to music.” Do remember the one place where it was just you and your friends, it’s all you have to take back with you.
Then there were the hyper-long lines for sports and course changes. The teachers kept saying “Harkness” as if somehow it was self-explanatory why you needed to change your personality and speak so many times in class when you’ve never had to do so back at your old school.
The first time you went to sports was the first time you got a glimpse of what you had back home: not caring about the coach and swearing loudly anyway when you lose a point. You feel the universal bond and start liking the place a little bit more.
Luke Sabbio’s favorite place is the lawn in front of the Academy Building. “It’s where I play Frisbee. It’s where all the memories are made.” His answer was so sweet it gave you a toothache.
“My favorite place is the squash court,” said Geraldo Reid. “It has air conditioning in it. It puts my mind at ease. Last, it’s just what I like doing.”
You don’t remember when, but at a certain time, you discover the most magical place, not on campus, but on planet Earth— the Grill! It’s where all the memories were made; It’s where the cheese burgers, giant pizzas, fries, mozzarella, and root beers were at; it’s where the boring game room was at; it’s where all the after parties were at; and painfully, it’s where the amazingly long lines during snack time were at. You sit there and the clock runs faster than your bloodstream.
“That’s where we chill,” said Britney Riley, smiling. “It’s the symbol of the social aspect in Exeter. What is the Grill? Could it be a person? If people need answers to those questions they could approach me.” Indeed, if all you heard about was how so many people were deeply in love with the Grill, and wonder if it is actually a person, you can most certainly approach her and straighten things out.
It’s just one summer, but there are bundles to remember. You have to make room to remember the stupid windows on the bus that wouldn’t go down; to remember going to your first breakfast alone and nervously glancing around trying to find someone you know; to remember the blaring Latin music beside the not-so-creative dome; to remember thinking your dorm was the best no matter what; to remember the cookies that were just perfect at snack time; to remember how united students felt when incidents happened on campus; to remember the frustration you felt when the trip you wanted to go on was full; to remember when you finally gave up teaching your teachers how to pronounce your name right.
So have you really asked yourself, how was summer?
“It’s awesome.” Ana Ordonez Neira.
“It’s been a great experience. I’ll never forget it.” Elena Parenti.
“I love being here.” A’di Dust.
“I love it. Amazing wonderful I never want to leave.” Luke Sabbio.
“A great experience.” Geraldo Reid.
“Ask Olaf. Is symbolic of freedom, I like the sun, so many great things.” Britney Riley.
This summer was filled with laughter and tears, but we’d rather die than change a thing. We are proud to be Exonians. We are proud to know people from all around the globe. We would do this all over again without thinking twice.
Goodbye summer, goodbye Exeter.