Summer romance has been blooming at Exeter since…since – well, duh, since the first day, of course.
Now with the end of summer session, the question is inevitable: “Is it all over? Is romance dead at Exeter Summer?”
Don’t believe it.
Andy Chang, who is in a committed relationship with a girl he met at Exeter, is optimistic.
“The relationship may not last forever but I will always cherish these five weeks with her and hopefully one day we will be able to meet again,” he said.
Others are less starry-eyed.
“Everyone just wants a summer fling, and they don’t care how they get it,” said Sheridan Figueroa. “You have people who are like, ‘I’m going to have a fling because I can’t get a relationship or I don’t want to put in the effort’,” said Sheridan. “It’s not an uncommon thing at this point.“
Although the summer session lasts for only five weeks, the number of people in low-commitment relationships may be higher than you would expect.
“Eighty-nine percent,” is the figure Sheridan gave for the number of Upper School students she thinks are in ‘summer flings’. She said that the number of international students helps make that figure so high. “The more foreign people, the more foreign kids want to go after the foreign people or try something different. So, they do!”
Sheridan said that boarding schools and programs tend to see more low-commitment relationships. “Everybody knows they’re not going to see each other after this so there’s no reason to not go for it.”
Students boarding on campus who have relationships at home can use Exeter Summer as an excuse for cheating. It’s easier to lie to someone when he or she is potentially on the other side of the globe. Sheridan knows a few people that are cheating on people they have relationships with at home.
Some think that having a relationship also detracts from their overall experience at Exeter.
“Dating at Exeter is pointless because if you choose one person to spend all your time with, you miss the opportunity to meet so many more diverse groups of people.” said Juliet Taylor. Meeting people from around the world is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, whereas finding someone to have a relationship with can be done anywhere.
“I think that dating at Exeter is quite stupid,” said Gonzalo Meseguer. “Having a summer romance might be a memorable experience, however, there is more to it than just what you might be able to see.”
Exeter Summer is first and foremost a place for education. Having a relationship on campus may distract students from being able to focus on what Exeter is meant for.
“Apart from being a distraction for our main goal at Exeter, which is to stay focused on our lessons,” said Gonzalo, “there will also be a really sad ending to the story since each one will have to take their own path back home and probably never meet again.”
Sheridan doesn’t think that the few committed relationships made on campus will last. “There’s not many couples. “They all think they can make it long distance, but I doubt it.”
Andy Chang knows that a long-distance relationship is difficult. “The future with the girl I met in the summer is somewhat unclear since I live in New Jersey and she lives in the other part of the world—scratch that—a whole polar opposite of the world,” he said.” She is awesome and I will really miss her.”
Andy thinks that dating on campus is an important experience that enriches people’s lives.
“Dating here at Exeter is a great and memorable experience. Time flies very quickly but this makes you cherish—makes you make live out every day like it’s your last with your girlfriend or boyfriend. Even though the last days are going to be tough, you will have shared these memories with them and they will be always in your heart.”
After the summer is over, many agree that it will be hard to keep a relationship going. Romance is easy to hold on to while at Exeter Summer, but if couples don’t live near one another, it is hard to have the same amount of closeness that they had while on campus.
“I believe dating at Exeter at first can be pretty romantic,” said Haden Smith, ”but as the days go by you are hit with the realization that it is not really meant to be unless you live near them.”
Keeping the relationship alive might also be a challenge for most couples.
“Summer romance can be quite a fascinating experience, although it would require a huge amount of responsibility to keep the romance alive, even after summer is over,” said Bader Al Qahtani.
Summer is for having fun. Having a summer relationship will make life happier for some people. Either way, every individual has his or her own choice of being in a relationship over the summer or not.
“I believe that whether someone wants to have a summer romance or not is totally up to them,” said Julia Beaudet. “There’s nothing wrong or right about it. From my experience, it’s lighthearted and an in-the-moment thing that can either have a good or bad ending. I’m for them, everyone needs a little fun.”
At the end of the day, you decide how you want to spend your summer. Whether it’s a romantic relationship, creating a diverse group of friends, or focusing on academic goals, the summer is – or was — yours for the taking.