Spring Break in China

RS China 1Hi Guys,

First, congrats and welcome to all of the newly admitted students! I can’t wait to see you all next week during Experience Exeter. I can easily remember my revisit day, and know that it was that day, after sitting in on classes and hanging out in a dorm, that I knew Exeter was the right place for me.

For spring break this year, I went on a ten day trip to China with five other students and six teachers, all Exonians. The group consisted of one prep, one lower, three uppers, and one senior, a few Chinese teachers as well as math, English, and history teacher, and the director of the Lamont Gallery. The main objective of the trip was to learn about the migrations of Chinese families and individuals from rural to urban areas. By speaking with experts who have studied this pattern as well as with locals who have migrated to the cities themselves, we learned about the job opportunities migrants find and the challenges they face.RS China 2Our time in China was split between three large cities, Beijing, Chengdu, and Chongqing. We spent our days exploring the local neighborhoods, visiting famous sites like the Imperial Palace, and trying lots of cool food (Chengdu and Chongqing are both known for food that incorporates the Sichuan peppercorn, a spicy seed that literally numbs your mouth when you bite into it). 

Of course, to learn about migration from rural areas, we had to spend some time outside of the city. While in Beijing and Chendgu, we spent one night each in the countryside. During the rural home stay outside of Beijing, we had the opportunity to hike up to a remote section of the Great Wall; reaching the top of the mountain and looking out over the countryside from the Great Wall was probably my favorite moment of the trip, though there are tons to choose from.RS China 3After studying Chinese for almost three years as my language course at Exeter, it was awesome to visit China for the first time and get to use my speaking, listening, and reading skills outside of the classroom. I’m so thankful to Exeter for providing this “co-learner” trip experience (co-learner, because of the 1:1 student:faculty ratio), and I can’t wait to hear about other Exeter off-campus trips in the future.

Monday marks the start of the first full week back from Spring break. Although the weather doesn’t quite reflect a vision of spring (the forecast is calling for temperatures in the high thirties), the shrinking patches of snow on the quads and the increasing determination of boys to wear shorts are both sure signs that spring term is here. Fingers crossed for lots of sunshine when you visit next week!

See you then,

Rachel

Spring Training

Florida 2014 Pic 3Hey Guys! Over spring break, the boy’s varsity lacrosse team went down to Florida to train together before the season started. With three practices and possibly a game each day, we worked our tails off and really improved as both individuals and as a group. Our whole team bonded and grew closer; we were able to figure out each others’ styles of play, which led to a better overall team dynamic. But all of this focus on lacrosse didn’t mean we didn’t have time for a little bit of fun. On the second to last night, because of bad weather, we all went for a run on the beach and then a swim in the ocean. Coach Glennon (not in the shot) even jumped in with us!

Afterward, we roasted marshmallows that Coach Rawson went out and got us. It was a great time, and I can’t wait to really get our season started. Florida 2014 Pic 1Until next time. Peace out, and GO BIG RED!

Welcome to Exeter!

Hey guys!

To those new admits, WELCOME TO EXETER!!!!!  Here in my senior spring looking back on my time at Exeter and all that it’s given me.  I hope you all give it the chance to show you what a truly magical place it is.

As a tour guide, I often get the question “what is your favorite part about Exeter?”  Despite the frequency with which I receive this inquiry, I always hesitate a little.  What is my favorite part about Exeter?  Is it the unparalleled beauty of the old buildings hiding behind vibrant red maple leaves on a sunny day in fall term?  Is it Dhall’s chocolate chip cookies? Is it the opportunities it has given me, for example to work with fruit flies, both here and with Exeter alums out at Stanford?  Despite the millions of amazing things about this place, I almost always answer: “the people.”

Although the people here come and go, they are what makes Exeter.  I have had teachers that form an interesting blend of parent, mentor, and friend.  They have knowledge greater than you can imagine, but sit as equals around the Harkness table, and often around the dinner table as well.  Some of my best and what I think will be longest-lasting friendships at Exeter have actually been with my instructors.  They give me advice on everything from fashion to college to home life.  I am forever grateful for their patience, honesty, and open ears, not to mention their stellar teaching abilities.

I also love my peers.  Their voices around the classroom give the text meaning and value.  They drive the discussion.  Outside the classroom, they are superhuman.  They play varsity sports, master intricate songs on the piano, make our community better place through volunteer work, and somehow still manage to sleep at night.  And they aren’t robots either.  They joke around and have more fun than even the most outrageous Hollywood high schoolers.  One of my best friends live in Massachusetts, only an hour away, another in South Korea, and yet another in Chile.  Exeter has put us in the same place, and we took care of the rest.

I even visited my Chilean friend over spring break and experienced a 7.0 earthquake, something I probably wouldn’t have had the chance to experience at many other schools!  You’ve all probably stopped reading my sentimental post by now, so here’s some pics of my trip for you to glance at! We made it all the way down to Patagonia!

Don’t Feed the Foxes:Image

Moai Statue: Image

The mountains in Torres del Paines National Park, Patagonia:Image

The squad:Image

Good luck in making you decision, and I hope you choose Exeter! 

Best, Elle

A Second Home

I remember waking up at 5 AM on a Saturday morning, squinting my eyes from the screen on my mother’s smartphone, and the yelps of sheer joy as I read the words “Congratulations and Welcome to Exeter!”  from her e-mail. The questions, emotion, and uncertainty storming through my head were overwhelming.

The decision to come to Exeter was one that would change my academic career and my future forever. Coming from an immigrant family, the thought of boarding school, coming from a different background, and leaving home was petrifying. Yet I remember my first Experience Exeter classes well. The dark, cloudy spring morning never came to shadow the enthusiasm of kids around a Harkness table.  No one feared to be wrong, sound confused, or present a brilliant epiphany; stagnancy was the only enemy. I soon learned that one’s voice was one’s greatest weapon here at Exeter; you are implored to find it and use it, to show a passion around the table. At Exeter, no one cares who is on financial aid and who is not; we all come from different parts of the world to study and learn, battle it out on the playing fields, and do what we do best.

The first days of Prep Year were some of the most exciting yet terrifying days. After entering my new dorm room, I saw all the other new 9th graders unpacking. I reached over to lend a hand. The transition to Exeter is nothing to be intimidated of, as many people are in your same shoes; I quickly gained 60 new brothers who all bleed blue and gold from Wentworth Hall. I quickly came to learn the value of meeting new people. Make it a goal to introduce yourself to a stranger each time you walk to class. Cross your fingers every time new schedules are released that you are assigned classes with complete strangers. Find a pack of friends you know will last; these will be the connections that will last a lifetime.

And as many of us have, you’ll get your fair share of late night History research papers and English narratives. At Exeter, you’ll be constantly immersed with many brilliant people. As the days get shorter during winter term, workloads will pile. Yet at times like these, your lowest points become your greatest advantages. Remember: YOU were chosen to come here, rightfully and deservedly so. NEVER compare yourself to others. Set your OWN goals for yourself and track your progress. And by the end of your years here, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come, and your accomplishments will exceed your own expectations and those of others, up to par with your peers.

Exeter is so much more than just a school; it teaches one to listen rather than just speak, to doubt rather than just accept. Your independence compels you to search for and immerse yourself in a passion, target your weaknesses and question your strengths. Yet in the process, you fully realize the resources backing your endeavors, whether it be the courses, teachers, or friends who want to see you succeed. It’s your own discretion to decide HOW you wish to succeed, and HOW you wish to grasp Exeter’s offerings; at this moment, You are no longer just an application or a name on a piece of paper. Congratulations, welcome to Exeter, and God Bless!!!

Welcome to Exeter!

Image

Lamont GirlsWelcome to Exeter!!

I can only imagine how your futures changed this past Monday.  For those readers who are new Exeter students, parents, or even siblings, welcome to to Exeter!  The next few months will be incredibly exciting and filled with decisions.  I hope you are able to attend Experience Exeter later this month.

I remember my Experience Exeter.  The day I went, New Hampshire was pounded by a late Nor’easter. The campus looked beautiful with thick snow clinging to the buildings and covering the lawns.  The paths were salted and clear.

I remember being so excited to meet my potential classmates and observe, and even participate in Harkness discussions.  I was unsure if I wanted to attend Exeter before going to Experience Exeter.  But when I gave the school a chance, I realized that is was a perfect fit.  With so many courses to fulfill the requirements, classes of 12 around a Harkness table, so many clubs, and so many different people to meet, Exeter was, and still is, the perfect school for me.

Since coming to Exeter, I have made countless friends with my fellow students, people who are both older and younger than me and who are from places as close as New Hampshire to as far away as India.  I have built friendships that will last beyond my time here at the Academy. I have been able to take classes learning about Islam, pursue a variety of languages, and participate in clubs with some of my closest friends.  Exeter has both ups and downs.  But the many ups I have experienced outweigh the downs and I wouldn’t trade my Exeter experience so far for anything else.

I find it hard to believe, right now, that I am about to enter Upper Spring.  I am starting to think about a life after Exeter.  After three years at the academy and countless evenings spent working on homework, after days strolling down Swasey with Stillwell’s ice cream in the spring with friends, and after many nights of movies and Cards Against Humanity in the dorm, it is hard to believe such an important part of my life is beginning to end.  Because I’m studying abroad next year for a term, I have only three terms left at the Academy and am determined to make the best of them.  Upper Spring is supposed to be one of the hardest terms at Exeter.  I plan to take it head-on and remember, even when I have a lot of work, I am part of an amazing community

I hope all of you give Exeter a chance.  If you decide to come to Experience Exeter, whether as a potential student or potential parent, talk to Exonians on the path, walk around the campus, eat in the dinning halls, walk around the town.  But, most of all, take in your surroundings to take in Exeter as a whole because Exeter isn’t a black and white experience on the path to a successful career. Exeter is a place to question yourself and grow as a person, student, athlete, and community member.  As my Russian teacher said, “When we take people as preps, they become molded into independent, functioning people with their own dreams and ideas.”

Good luck and welcome to Exeter!

The Invisible Net

First of all, I want to congratulate all of our newly accepted students, and give a big welcome to the class of 2018! I am looking forward to getting to see you guys again during revisit week and living with you all next year.

This past week was finals week, and getting through it was tough. At Exeter, one can get bogged down in one’s studies, especially at the end of a term. The demand that comes with attending an institution with the academic rigor and basic expectations that the Academy has, coupled with sports and extra-curriculars, is a large order to fill. But what really gave me the extra push to get through this week was the resounding support I received from my friends. Now when I say friends, what’s interesting is I mean the term friends to include the people I thought were my close friends, as well as several individuals who I never knew cared so much as to how I was doing! All of the other kids were going through the same hardships that I was, and advised me on different ways to lessen the stress of finals week and make the most out of my study time. It was so reassuring to know that I wasn’t alone in feeling intimidated by my exams. After talking to some of my peers and heeding their advice, I felt more confident about my tests and was really happy with my performance.

As a place, Exeter can start to max out a person after a long term of work and extra commitments. But the beauty of the Academy is that it is a place where you are surrounded by people who want to see you meet your potential. From these difficulties I have learned how to better handle my stress, and I know how to approach tasks and difficulties in the best way possible for the future. And so, even in ways I may not have seen immediately, Exeter taught me lessons and gave me tools I would never have acquired otherwise. For just another reason, I am grateful for my opportunity to attend my school.

Welcome to Exeter!

Kim #4Congratulations on your acceptance to Exeter! Give yourself a pat on the back, this is a great accomplishment. You should be so proud of yourself. It’s hard to believe I was in this position two years ago.

I remember that morning so vividly. I was asleep, and I didn’t want to wake up to see my acceptances/rejections. My mom came in, and she tapped me on the shoulder. I squinted my eyes open, opening just enough  so I could see her silhouette. She had an ambiguous expression on her face and she said, “I got an email this morning. It was from Exeter.” Internally I thought, Great, my first rejection of the day. I had previously applied out to boarding schools in 8th grade, and unfortunately things hadn’t worked out. Exeter had rejected me then, so I figured what changed this year. I hadn’t planned on being accepted by Exeter from the beginning. In general, I was pretty pessimistic about applying again.

After I grunted “Oh” my mom burst into a smile and said, “You got in!!!” For some reason, I wasn’t as enthralled as I thought I would be. I just said, “Yay” apathetically. “We don’t know about financial aid yet, but hopefully it works out.” When my mom said this, it reminded me why I wasn’t that excited. If Exeter didn’t give me enough financial aid to attend, I would probably be attending Beverly’s public high school. However, when I got my acceptance package in the mail, my mom saw that Exeter gave me enough financial aid to attend the school. That was the major factor in my decision to go to the school. I’m not going to lie, Exeter was not my top school and I didn’t really want to go. But I think things happen for a reason, and I can’t imagine myself at any other school. The friends I’ve made are the best, and I don’t know what I would do without them. It’s hard to think I might not have met them if I hadn’t gone. To me, the wonderful experience I’ve had at Exeter is all due to the people. From my advisor to my teachers to my friends, they all care about me. My friends and I look out for each other, and it’s a camaraderie I don’t think I will find anywhere else.

I hope you decide to come to Experience Exeter day, it’s a great chance to really get to experience the school. You can read my post, you can read the website, but you won’t really understand the school until you witness it yourself. For some advice about what to wear, and what the day is like, see my previous post: http://phillipsexeteradmissions.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/experience-exeter/

Hope to see you all soon!

Kimberly

Kim #3