By Lucas Chiang, Summer Times Staff Writer

Well, here we are. Five whole weeks have come and gone, and as our time at Exeter Summer starts dwindling down to its final hours, it’s time to reflect on our amazing experience. Not only as students, but as athletes, friends, teammates, peers, and as people, we have all learned so much—inside and outside of the classroom. For many students here at Exeter, this summer taught them many amazing things. I asked students what their takeaways were from the life-changing experience of Exeter Summer.

A major part of our life at Exeter was making new friends. According to Abdulrahman Almazrou, “life is about communication and having friends. I enjoyed being here because of my friends.” This holds true for many others who have learned how to make friends in a completely new environment. For international student Jimmy Wu, the biggest thing that he learned from Exeter was “making friends and getting to know people from other countries.” With students coming from all over the world, many of us have been exposed to cultures, opinions, and beliefs that we hadn’t encountered before. “There are a lot of people with different perspectives on life,” Roberto Cruz said. Erk Justus put it more simply, saying, “people can be different.”

Of course, a summer at one of the most prestigious secondary schools in the nation left us with many useful academic skills. “I learned how to participate in Harkness discussions,” Brenda Zhang said, referring to a central part of our curriculum. Meanwhile, during his time at Exeter, Judah Hood learned “to manage time better,” while Max Wang grew more comfortable with “the ability of cooperating with others while solving problems.” Ilia Popov wrapped up his experience quite nicely, saying he learned “just general stuff, like how to participate in teams, and how to do work in time, and manage deadlines.” Sharing this sentiment was Joao Dupui, who advises that “you should always be organized.”

Another important part of Exeter Summer is the athletics program. With a minimum of four hours of practice a week, we students have grown to be stronger athletes. After weeks of cross country training, Daniel Zhang said, somewhat jokingly, “I can now run a mile or two without feeling achy the next day.” Similarly, Wade Price took lacrosse for the first athletic session, and learned “how to be a better lacrosse player, and how to be a better teammate.”

For some people, it’s the mere experience of being away for a month that was the most significant. “I usually don’t get out much during summer, and it’s good to know that I can get out and have fun like this,” Brian Luckett said. Being away for a whole month is tough on some students, but it helps them grow socially. Yang Runfan said he learned “to be more outgoing,” a skill that many other students have practiced in the past month.

This summer has taught us many valuable things about life. From how to thrive academically, to how to grow stronger as an individual, to how to make friends in a brand-new environment, what we learned here at Exeter Summer will never be forgotten. While our time at Exeter will soon be no more than a memory, we can all agree that our incredible experience here will last in our hearts forever.