This is it.
The end is near. It is time for you to say your goodbyes.
You sure read that right. Exeter Summer is coming to an end. Students have been here for almost five weeks and many have grown attached, not only to this place Exeter and the Academy, but also to the people who inhabit this wonderful campus. Exeter has allowed us to create lifelong friends, and the experiences here have all been unforgettable.
When students realize the summer program is coming to a close, many of them have the same reaction: “Sad, wish it was longer,” says Jacob Lee. “I guess time does fly faster when you’re having fun.” In fact, many people found that time went by faster than they would’ve liked.
Everyone is having a mixed bag of emotions, experiencing joy and sadness at the same time about leaving Exeter and going home. “I am happy to go back home,” says Moreno Purnomo, “Nevertheless, I am going to miss Exeter because of the friends and the experiences I had here.”
The students are torn apart by this duality between staying with their new friends and going back to their families.
If you have read the 2nd edition of this year’s Summer Times, you might have come across an article talking about love blooming here in Exeter between students. Much like all of the other students, these couples must go home. You can imagine how soul crushing and heart-breaking it must be to say goodbye to the person you love and to be separated by hundreds or even thousands of miles.
“I am sad — really sad about leaving here,” says Tomoki Iwata. “After finding my significant other, leaving here without her is going to be difficult.”
You shouldn’t lose hope though, as in this day and age, the ways of communication at everyone’s disposal are really useful. “ I hope I will keep in touch [with the friends I met here] even when I’m on the other side of the world”, says Chakraboon Bhanarai in Wentworth.
Now, you can just hop on your phone and talk with someone through social media – with apps like Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp, Instagram or even Snapchat. And you can do this at any time even if you are on the other side of the world, as long as you take jet lag into account because you would not want to wake up a friend in the middle of the night.
Another thing that will be missed is the Harkness system.
“I’ll miss Harkness because it made me more comfortable to speak in class,” says Vanya Agireddi, who liked the Harkness system. But like most things, there are people who liked it and people who didn’t like it, for whom the system didn’t click. For example, Bella Chen says she will not miss it “because I don’t think it is a learning method that works for me.”
Anyway, it is always better to think about the positive side of things instead of the negative one like Vanya. “It’s been a really fun summer,” she said. It’s always hard to enjoy the good things when you are too focused on the negative side of things.
That is why you should enjoy the little time you still have together instead of being sad because of a separation that has yet to take place. So enjoy the time you have left with your new friends.
There are still some activities these last days here. You can share the specifics of the country you come from during the ‘4 Corners of the World Celebration’. Or you can still try and — as one student said ” “make the most memories this last week” by participating in activities or just by going to restaurants and walking in Exeter.
So don’t think about the future goodbyes now. Think about the past — how you have met your new friends, what you did together — and have fun with what you are doing now. Just leave those nasty sad feelings for your future self to worry about in the bus, car, airport or right before leaving and think about what you will do after Exeter.
Will you continue travelling through the United States or will you, like Vanya Agireddi, see your family? “I’m really happy about seeing my family when I get home.”