Getting Back in the Rhythm

Hello Everybody!

Although school has already been in session for more than a month, it feels like only a couple of days! It is crazy to think that in a couple of weeks I will already be heading home for Thanksgiving Break (and that snow will soon be blanketing campus).

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So far, this term has been nothing but a blast– I am taking two sciences this year, genetics and advanced chemistry, and they are both difficult but extremely interesting, which makes all the long nights studying worth it. My other classes are also going well, and I am just trying to enjoy the last few days of the nice fall weather before the bitter, New Hampshire cold descends upon Exeter.

The colors of the trees are incredible right now, so I love going on long walks or runs during mornings just to take in as much of the New England scenery as possible. In the photos you can see an early morning sunrise over Swasey Park and the Squamscott River, which is a thirty second walk from campus, and also me and my friend Phil walking down a path in town, enjoying the beautiful leaves.

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Hopefully this weather holds for just a couple more weeks!

–Rex

Halfway through the Fall!

Hey guys!

We’re about three weeks into the school year, and time is flying fast. Student Council, breakdance, classical piano, debate, volunteering with kindergarteners and managing volleyball is keeping my fall term packed! One great thing about Exeter is that you can choose to be as busy or relaxed as you want; and for me, I chose to be busy. I love exploring new activities and now that I’m an upperclassmen and a club head of many of the extracurriculars I enjoy, I get to lead others and help them find passions and hobbies they never tried before.

I try to balance my social life, academics and sleep, and I think I do a pretty good job. I hang out with my dormmates very often and go on weekly Thursday walks at the local Farmers Market. Academics, arts and athletics can be taxing and challenging, but equally as enriching and enlightening. It is no lie that the Exeter Experience is tough, but I can tell you, the pros outweigh the cons. The bonds and friendships you form with dormmates and classmates both emotionally and intellectually cannot be replicated. Once you join our community, you are forever a part of it.

Below I have a photo of Academy Life Day, a day in which students spend a day without classes with their dormmates (or if you’re a day student, with your advisor) from last week. Cilley Hall went to Plum Island Beach and played touch football in the sand, and also ate a nice meal at Szechuan Taste when we got back. I definitely enjoyed taking a quick break from the usual Monday grind, and I can’t wait until the next ALD.

Kevins Plum Island Academy Life Pic

Take it easy,

Kevin

Out of Darkness Walk at Portsmouth!

Hey guys! It’s already been a month since school started! Lower year is going by so fast. I’ve been trying to spend a little more time working and doing other activities while still having fun with my friends!

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So last Saturday the 27th, my best friend Meghana and I participated in the Walk for Suicide Prevention at Portsmouth, NH. It was hosted by Active Minds, an ESSO Club that mainly focuses on promoting healthy and friendly environment for students at Exeter. Around 40 people participated from our school, and we raised more than $2500 by selling awareness bracelets! It was a fun, relaxing walk for a great purpose! This was the first time Exeter participated in the walk as a team, and I hope this continues in the coming years.

serenas suicide prevention walk pic

Start of the Year

Hello Everybody!

I hope the start of the school year is going well for everyone so far. Here at Exeter, it has been a blast! Coming back from summer break is always a time for excitement– seeing old friends after a three month break, moving into your new room, and getting to know all the new kids around campus– and this year was not any different.

After my mom and I arrived on campus and I registered, we immediately began setting up my room in the newly renovated Webster– I was lucky enough to get a spacious first floor room, and so we wanted to make it look nice and neat (at least until after my mom left).

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With the help from a friend who had been on campus for a couple of days, my mom and I were able to finish the moving in process in a couple of hours, which left plenty of time for me to hang out on the quad, play a little tennis, and enjoy the all school cook out later that afternoon.

Rex with group of friends

The next day (Friday the 5th), classes began, and although it was difficult over the next few days to get in the groove of doing homework and attending classes, the first week sailed by and I can safely say I am settled in. It should be a great term! (Here you can see me with my advisory of nine dorm mates and dorm head, and in the other I am standing in my new dorm room).

You’re Already a Piece of the Exeter Puzzle

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Hey Guys!

Its been a wicked crazy summer for me so far, what with organizing college applications and working at an internship in NYC. But now that August has rolled around, my mind turns again to the leaf-littered paths of Exeter. I can’t tell you how excited I am to get to school and start the upcoming year.  You all should be excited too!

I remember how nervous I was in the months leading up to my first move-in day.  Would the kids like me?  Would I miss home?  Would I wake up on time?  How do I button a shirt again…? I imagined all sorts of things that could go wrong and complicate the beginning of my Exeter career.

Once I got to Exeter and saw that EVERYONE in the freshman class was new and worrying about the same things I was, I started to feel more comfortable and enjoy myself. Time sped up and days flowed by me faster and faster as I had more and more fun inside and out of the classroom. Before I knew it, I had found my home away from home in a small town in New Hampshire.

I also want to send a message to all of the new lowers, uppers, and seniors – I promise Exeter has plenty of room in our community for you. Coming into a new school with people who have already known each other for so long is intimidating, but I can assure you that there is nothing to be scared of here. You were admitted just like the rest of us, and you’ll fit right in. Two of my best friends in the world were new students after freshman year and they both love Exeter as much as I do and have lots of friends all over campus.

Finally, I have to give a special shout out to anyone reading this who will be moving into Cilley Hall. I’m not sure if all dorm assignments have come out yet, but I am a proctor on the fourth floor of Cilley, a floor comprised almost entirely of new students. While I encourage everyone and anyone reading this to ask me any questions you may have, I want to extend an extra invitation to any of the students who will be new to Cilley Hall next year to feel free to e-mail me about any questions or concerns you may have about our dorm.

Costa Rica!

hector costa rica groupThis might have been perhaps the most fun summer, with a 10-day trip to Costa Rica from ESSO (Exeter Social Service Organization, our community service program) with 12 fellow Exonians and 2 chaperons, Mr. Hawkins and Ms. McGahie.  Our team will forever be indebted to the University of Georgia at Costa Rica (UGACR) for sponsoring our stay. Upon landing into the country’s capital we were taken to the lush rural community of San Luis de Monteverde at the UGACR campus. 3 days of intense hiking through the forest ensued, with spectacular sights.

We then took on a brief community service project; after the community center experienced normal wear-and-tear, we sanded and varnished all the tables, laid a rock bed foundation for a building, and much more. Here’s a picture of the team digging a waterway for floods, so they don’t destroy the building:
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The next part of the trip was devoted to a 3-day homestay, a special, memorable experience for our team. After a day’s drive to a village through Guanacaste, we arrived in a town of 100 people in a place called Quebradas de Nando. I lived with a nice family of 4; Nena, Richard, and their two sons Arley and Andrey. I’ll always be grateful to Andrey, a master marimba player, who taught me how to play in just a few days.

To make their school wheelchair accessible, we created sidewalks and stairsteps around the one room schoolhouse. Here’s a picture of us carving the sidewalk:
hector costa rica sidewalkTo finish off our stay, we threw a giant tamale-making party and invited everyone! Here’s a pic of us with our culinary expertise:
hector costa rica dinnerThe final days of our stay were marked by leisure in paradise at the CIRENAS campus just a short trek (over two rivers and a mile-long beach) away. After surfing lessons and a horseback ride through the jungle, we spent our last days at the beach, enjoying the sunset.
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I’ll always remember the absolute paradise of isolation, the beauty away from hotels and cityscapes that make Costa Rica truly unique. It caught us in awe of wildlife and in love for sustainable living, from the simple lifestyles of Quebradas de Nando to the wildlife reserve at UGACR. Thanks to Michaella ’16, Rohan ’16, Sasha ’16, Spencer ’16, Kelvin ’15, Rebecca ’16,Efe ’16 Sacharja ’15, Ashley ’15, Julie ’16, Kelly ’17, our guides Mane and Amelia, our fabulous driver Fabio, and our chaperons Mr. Hawkins and Ms. McGahie for a truly memorable, transformative experience.

Summer Fun

Hey Everybody!

I can’t believe more than one month of summer break is over- it is going by so fast. So far this summer, I have not done much- tennis practice, hanging out with old friends from home, and working around the house. One incredible experience I did get to partake in was a trip to Fiji! From July 1st to July 10th, I traveled the island nation of Fiji with a group of eight other teenagers and two guides (one was from America, another was from Fiji), and I had an incredible time. First we went to the highlands of the main island, where the Fiji water is bottled, and then we went to the Yasawa islands where we swam with Manta Rays, scuba dived, and relaxed on the crystal clear beaches.

Rexs summer 2014 jeep pic

Although exploring Fiji was one of the most memorable times of my life, getting to know the other high schoolers on this trip was possibly even more fun. After the ten days, I feel like I knew my trip buddies for a life time, and I actually met three other kids that go to boarding school.

All in all, this was definitely the high of my summer, and I will never forget it, but it is nice to be back at home.

-Rex

 

Commencement

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One of both the happiest and saddest events of the year: commencement.  Weather permitting, our graduation is held outside on the lawn in front of the Academy building with a luncheon afterwards.  This Sunday, 318 members of the class of 2014 graced the stage to receive their diplomas.  For me and a little under 200 other seniors, those diplomas had been four years in the making!  As you can see, the tradition is to smoke cigars after grad, I can’t say most of us enjoyed them though!

It still seems completely surreal to be the girl in a white dress rather than the underclassman watching from the audience.  I have made such incredible friends here, and I can hardly believe that the first stages of our time together are coming to a close.  With everyone scattering across the globe for summer break and school in the fall, we all took the beautiful sunny day to cherish our last moments together as a whole class.  Only now, a few days out, am I starting to fully realize that the dorms I will be sleeping in Hanover in come September will not be the dorms I have spent so many nights in.  All good things must come to the end, thank you for the lessons and the memories!

Signing out!  Elle