We’re halfway fall term here so I decided to talk about what it’s like to be a prep, or ninth grader here at Exeter. However, it has been four months since I was a prep, so I managed to get a little help from Paula, a friend of mine who happens to be a prep this year. I asked her a couple questions about what her fall has been like so far and she was willing to let me share her answers with you.
What was your transition like?
My transition was a little overwhelming because my previous school was not quite as rigorous as PEA, but with help from my teachers, I was soon feeling better. I felt well integrated into the school and community from the beginning.
How do you feel now compared to your first week?
I feel a lot more secure with how to not stress myself out and manage my time. I also finally understand the schedule and know where all my classes are.
How did you meet new friends?
I’ve met a lot of wonderful people through the mainstage play and in my classes. I’ve become close with a lot of them and look forward to meeting new people as well.
How did you decide what clubs to join?
I had already had in mind what clubs I wanted to join such as fem club and tour guiding, but at club night I signed up for some that seemed interesting after hearing what the club heads said about their clubs.
What has prep fall been like so far?
It’s been really fun to start being integrated into Exeter life. I’ve been a little stressed with this new environment but there are lots of support systems on campus that have helped me out.
From memory, prep year can be a little bit hectic, but luckily prep fall is pass/fail, meaning your grades don’t count you either pass or fail your classes, which allows kids who aren’t used to the workload or living on their own adjust to life here on campus.
When it comes to meeting new people, it’s very easy to meet people who are in your dorm or classes, along with clubs and sports teams. However, as you continue here, you meet even more people, whether that’s because they come in as a new tenth, eleventh or twelfth grader, you have a class together for the first time or you bump into each other on the paths. I didn’t get close with one of my best friends until winter term and became friends with most of my friends who are older in the spring.
Adjusting can be difficult, whether it’s to the workload or being away from home for the first time but it’s important to remember that there are people on campus who are going through or have gone through the same things and are always there to help if or when you need them.