Everybody grab a tissue — the 2017 Exeter Summer session is rapidly coming to an end. Over the past five weeks, students have made inseparable and unlikely friendships with one another. Now, the time has come for them to say goodbye.

“I’m gonna miss the friendships that I’ve made here in a short amount of time,” said Jules Taylor, an upper school student from Fayetteville, North Carolina. “Even though we have only been here for five weeks, I feel like I have met some of my best friends here.”

For many of students, the most difficult part of the summer will be saying goodbye to those with whom they have made deep connections. These connections may never be broken, or they sadly may never be as powerful as they once were.

Cj Drapeau, a day student from New Hampshire, when asked about what he will miss most after everybody departs from campus, said, “The people … I’ve made a lot of good friends over these five weeks and I feel like it’s going to be hard to let go.”

It is no surprise to people that this is a very emotional time, even for the students that live locally. Seeing your newly-made friends go back to their homes, whether it be a different state or even country, is emotional regardless.

“I’ve made a lot of close friends but it’s by rare chance that I will ever see them again,” said Lyon Kim, an access student from Manhattan. Despite the good times students have had together and all of the memories they have made, the distance between each other may end up being too far to conquer.

Despite the friendships made here at Exeter, they are not only will people be taking home with them. Students from all over the globe came to experience the astounding and innovative way of learning: Harkness. Harkness has become a new way for students to learn.Students claimed to have been fascinated by the Harkness method, and want to keep doing it.

“Yea definitely, the Harkness setup is different from what my school does,” said Lyon Kim, an Access student said. “It helped me open my mind up to new opinions and a new way of thinking about things.” Students claimed to have been fascinated by the Harkness method, and want to keep doing it.

For older students, Exeter has prepared them for a new chapter of their life: college. Julia Constantin, a Upper school student from Switzerland, said “Exeter has also gave me a glimpse of what college may be like … I learned to manage my time, to get work done, eat, and hang out with friends. I also got used to having heavy workloads, which I don’t have much of back at home.”

The ending of 2017 Exeter Summer may be the last time students actually get to use the Harkness method, but they will definitely take back a unique learning skill. This skill can come in handy when students are challenged to work in some team-based activity later on in their lives.

This summer has been a game-changer for many students: not only did they get to learn with kids from around the world, but they also got to live in a diverse setting for five weeks. Many students are used to living in an area with people very similar to them, and Exeter challenged them to step out of their comfort zone and speak to someone new.

Despite this, however, the end of Exeter Summer should be a time to celebrate. Everybody should celebrate the new friendships they have made and the hope that they will be able to carry out these bonds until they meet again later in their lives. This summer has helped students to develop socially, academically, and culturally. These five weeks have flown by, but the memories will last a lifetime. 

Hey guys, good work getting interviews for this, a lot of different voices, which is great. You covered a bunch of different angles, and I think overall this story turned out well. Now go back through and read it carefully, I highlighted a few regions where mistakes should have popped out to you with another read-through. Especially where there were two of you working on this, they should be mistakes you catch. Yes, I’m the ‘editor’ for the story and it’s my role to catch those, too, but you should always give your story a preliminary edit before sending it off. Be vigilant about ensuring sentences are clear, complete, and that proper nouns are properly capitalized — there was a good amount of disparity present that I’ve noted.