Congratulations to all of you on being accepted! To help you decide between schools, I wanted to share what made Exeter stand out to me: its people. As a day student, I want to tell you about the 20% of people on campus who fit into that category.
Day students don’t spend as much time together as the boarders who live in one dorm all together do, as we live in towns throughout New England, some much closer to school than others. Don’t let the distance fool you, the day students or day studs as we have affectionately been dubbed, are a very close group. When students come to campus before their first year, Day students have an ice cream social so we can get to know each other, meet our student listeners, which dorms have as well, get to know the older, returning day studs and start feeling like a group. All of this happens before anyone else comes to campus; International students arrive a few days later, new boarders do so a few days after that, and all returning boarders reach campus the following day.
The day students then mix with everyone else and people often don’t know who’s a boarder and who isn’t mostly because it really doesn’t matter. You make friends and what matters is what dining hall they eat in and what music they like and whether or not you have classes together, not where you live. But for those of you thinking that the older day students you meet early in the year forget you, or don’t care, think again. In March, roughly seven months after I first met a lot of these people they still say hi to me, wish me luck at sports tryouts, and look out for me in so many situations. Day students know each other and are close even without seeing each other every day.
Another thing I love about being a day student goes along with being a tour guide (which I highly recommend). Over breaks, a group of day students give tours for admissions. This year there are seven of us, three preps (9th graders), one lower (10th grader), two uppers (11th graders), and one senior. We spend a lot of time together throughout the year, and I’ve learned that the other six day studs are some of the funniest, kindest, most awesome people I know on this campus. The seven of us get closer every break and stay close throughout the terms. They’re so awesome that I willingly give up free time I could spend sleeping to hang out with them. If that doesn’t prove how cool they are, I don’t know what will.
Another cool thing about being a day student is sleepovers. Day students can spend the night in dorms, with permission from a parent and a dorm faculty member. I have taken full advantage of this and spent more nights than I can count curled up on the floors of dorm rooms, staying up way too late talking about anything from a TV show to teachers to our favorite dining hall meals. Sleepovers in dorms are also a really great way to make friends with even more upperclassmen who will look out for you. The older students in the dorms are funny, amazing people who will remember you ages after the last time you slept over. It’s also possible to have boarders spend the night at your house, it just involves some paperwork. This is awesome because your boarder friends get to sleep in a real bed, eat a home cooked meal or two and you get to hang out away from the bustle of campus. And you can go on adventures, like driving to the beach to watch the sunrise over the water at 6 o’clock in the morning.
Overall being a day student doesn’t change the people you hang out with or the way your life on campus works. In fact, I think it makes it even better. To quote Hannah Montana, “It’s the best of both worlds!”