About ibergill

Hi everyone! I'm Ingrid and I'm a tenth grader from right here in Exeter, NH. I'm a day student here at Phillips Exeter Academy. I take Latin currently, which is one of out classical languages and I'm hoping to take Greek, our other classical language, my senior year. I love going into town with my friends on Wednesday afternoons or weekends and getting food from Stillwells, the local ice cream place on the river or Me & Ollies, my favorite sandwich shop/ bakery that has the best smoothies you'll ever taste.

The Day Student-Boarding Student Thing (Is Not a Thing)


Here at Exeter, about 80 percent of the students are boarders who live in the dorms, but 20 percent, including myself, are day students who live at home and commute to campus every day. Coming into prep year, I wasn’t sure how I was going to fit in with the boarders. Now, I can say that the majority of my closest friends are boarders.

I spend a large amount of my time in my best friend’s dorm room, whether I’m keeping my sports bag in her room, doing homework, spending the night or just hanging out. In fact, I spent so many Saturday nights in her room last year, that this year I stored an air mattress under her bed. 

The girls in her dorm have gotten to know me from seeing me around the dorm, and lots of them treat me like I’m actually a resident. Even the dorm faculty know me by name, and are rarely surprised when I ask to spend the night. One of the seniors in the dorm is one of my favorite seniors, and I know she’s always there for me if I need her, just like she would be if I were actually a member of the dorm.

A few weeks ago, the dorm talent show coincided with a night I was staying over. I ended up being pulled up onto the stage to join an improv dance act by a friend of mine with whom I had done dance this past fall. It was unexpected and really funny! I love nights like those where the whole dorm is hanging out because the girls never fail to include me and make me feel like one of them.

All in all, as a day student, there’s no reason to be worried about becoming friends with boarders. On campus, there really isn’t a big difference between the two. 

— Ingrid Bergill ’19

Winter E/A

Hey everyone!

This past weekend was Winter E/A, the renewal of the sports rivalry between Phillips Exeter and Phillips Andover. The faculty surprised us during assembly with a flashmob to Whip/Nae Nae by Silento, all dressed in red. It was really funny to see all of your teachers who you see, for the most part, in a professional, classroom setting dancing up on stage (Check it out here).

Also on Friday was pep rally. Winter pep rally takes place inside the gym and lots of dance groups perform. The varsity teams also go up and introduce themselves, perform a skit, or do something to entertain the audience and make them want to come to their games. This year, varsity swimming held a relay race between each class (which the lowers won) and girls varsity basketball held a shootout to win a package of mac and cheese and Swedish fish.

On Saturday, I started with girls varsity basketball, which was the first game of the day, and unfortunately the only varsity team to win.


After basketball, I headed over to girls hockey, checking in on the JV girls for a few minutes before moving to varsity. JV won 17-2 but varsity lost 7-0. After girls hockey, I stayed to watch the boys, who lost 5-2. Boys basketball was the last game of the day and though Exeter held a lead for a while, Andover eventually ended up winning.

Even though the scores weren’t what I would have liked I still had a great day. This time, I ended up screaming enough that I left the gym with a very scratchy voice and woke up Sunday morning with a sore throat from screaming too much. E/A is one of my favorite parts of the year, and I love getting to watch the school come together to support its teams.



Boston Women’s March



Hey guys!  

On Saturday, I took a bus with Exeter’s Feminist Club down to Boston for the Women’s March. There were about 45 of us on the bus and even more students from Exeter took the train into Boston. Fem Club started our preparation on Wednesday night, during our usual meeting. We talked about why we were marching, how to stay safe at the march, as well as what makes a march or protest good. On Friday night we met again to make signs for the march on Saturday. It was so much fun being with a bunch of people who were excited to stand up for something they believed in. We were listening to music and helping each other brainstorm different phrases for our signs. Saturday morning we loaded onto our bus and drove down to Boston. My friends and I sang pretty much the whole way down which was really funny. When we got into Boston, we saw hundreds of people walking towards the march. There were tons of hats and amazing posters. We got lots of thumbs up for our feminist sweatshirts which we got as fem club gear. We got into the common in time to hear all the speakers, my favorite being Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator. Then the actual march started and as all of the 100,000+ people tried to leave we got a little stuck. We spent most of the slow push to the actual march route talking to the people around as, explaining our sweatshirts, asking about why we were marching, singing along to the music and taking pictures of all the incredible signs. When we actually got out of the common onto the street there were tons of people lining the streets, on the balconies of their apartments, in their buses, on the corners, even people who had climbed light posts to cheer us on. Our group stopped marching at our bus because we had to head home but we stayed on the street and kept cheering and chanting for everyone who was still marching. We got a lot of compliments on our signs and smiled for lots of pictures. It was an incredible day and I’m so glad that I had the chance to be a part of history.


MLK Day: Wellness and the Struggle for Justice

This past Friday we had our MLK day workshops here at Exeter. My workshop was called “Wellness and the Struggle for Justice” and was run by Kameelah Rashad from the University of Pennsylvania. She talked a lot about what to do when something happens, whether on a large national scale, or on a much smaller personal scale, that upsets you or disrupts what you believe is right.

Something I found very interesting was her idea that to go about a world where negative things happen more than we would like, you need to dig a well of joy and protect it. This well can be comprised of people that make you happy or make you laugh, places that make you feel safe and happy, or anything else that can help protect you from negativity. It was an excellent reminder that there are lots of positive things in the world and as long as you look for them, you can find them.

Later in the session we all got up and started to talk to people we’d never met or weren’t familiar with in the room about our responses to the workshop and any personal stories that were related. I got to meet lots of people in the room that I’d never spoken to and got to learn more about them and their stories, which is a theme that continued through the rest of the day as well. After we talked to each other in small groups, we came back as a whole group and had the opportunity to ask Ms. Rashad questions and have a discussion. During this we talked a lot about how to approach discussions with people who have different opinions and what to do in situations similar to that. I think getting to hear how other people react to conversations about such important and emotionally charged conversations was helpful in learning how to make those conversations better. Overall, I was really happy with my choice in workshop and how it played out. The fact that we have a day like this here at Exeter is something I think is very important and beneficial for everyone.

Exeter/Andover 2016


Hey everyone!

This past weekend was one of my favorite days, Exeter/Andover, a Saturday where all of our sports teams play the teams of Phillips Academy, our rival school. The rivalry between Exeter and Andover is one of the longest running high school rivalries, which is pretty cool. E/A alternates where it’s at every year, this year it was at Andover.

Preparation for E/A starts on Wednesday, which is JV E/A. All of the JV teams play at whichever school isn’t holding the varsity competitions, which was here at Exeter this year. All the fall teams play Wednesday afternoon and tons of posters go up around campus reminding people to go to the games and cheer on their friends. Thursday is then class color day. Preps, or ninth graders, wear all white, Lowers (10th graders) wear gray, Uppers dress in black and Seniors get decked out in red. Friday is red day and everyone piles on as much red and Exeter clothing as they can. Every year, we get what are called psych packs in our post offices boxes. Each one has a red bandana, a red beaded necklace, and two temporary tattoos. This year and last year I managed to convince my friends to give me their necklaces, so I ended up with ten.

Our assembly on Friday was the pep assembly, which started off with a joint performance by Outkast and Precision, the two step teams on campus. Their performance was amazing and it was so fun to see the two groups perform together which doesn’t happen often. Next, the red bandits, who are the most spirited seniors teach a few of the cheers and then we watch the E/A video, which is produced by Reel Life Productions, our film club on campus. This year the video was  about a competition between two students to see who could make a fall varsity sport first. The underdog won and the video was filled with tons of fails and was a great way to get everyone laughing. After that, Principal McFarlane came out with a broom and started a “Sweep!” chant. After that, the seniors got to rush the stage and assembly was dismissed.

Friday night is the pep rally and E.A.R concert. Unfortunately this year the bonfire that usually starts before pep rally was canceled due to high winds. At pep rally all the dance groups get to perform, including Poms, our cheerleaders, ABS, the belly dance group, Imani, one of the hip-hop groups, BOA, which stands for Beat of Asia which is a Kpop dance group, and Lionettes, the jazz group. Each sports team also gets to come out and perform a skit, talk about their season and convince people to come to their games on Saturday. Boys cross country performed a Star Wars skit that was very funny and girls volleyball tried to find their biggest fan by quizzing people. Even though it was freezing out, pep rally was so much fun. After pep rally, I went off to the E.A.R concert. E.A.R stands for Exeter Association of Rock  and is one of the clubs on campus. Different bands and acts performed throughout the night, including a few people who performed original songs, an incredible cover of Hotel California by the Eagles, as well as an amazing Ray Charles cover.

Saturday morning I got on a bus to head to Andover and got there just after the start of boys soccer, who tied 0-0. Next was field hockey who lost 2-0. Girls volleyball was my favorite game of the day, and the only one I saw start to finish. The girls pulled off a win in 5 sets and storming the volleyball court was one of the most exciting parts of the day. After volleyball was girls soccer who fought bravely but lost 2-1. The day ended with football, which we lost 16-7 However, even though it wasn’t the closest game, both sides were very energetic and were rooting for their team up until the last few seconds. I screamed so much throughout the day that I got home that night with a very sore throat and very little voice. We got really lucky with the weather. It was mid to high 40’s the entire day, which beats last year, when it snowed during girls soccer. That night was Soule Tea, a dance hosted by Soule Hall, a boys dorm on campus. The dance was very fun, with a great dj and lots of good snacks.

All in all, it was an amazing day and I’m already looking forward to do it all over again in the winter!


What it’s Like to be a Prep

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.


Spring Fling

Hey everyone,

We’re slowly reaching the end here and as the weather gets warmer and warmer here in Exeter, we start having more and more outdoor events. On Saturday nights, there is almost always something fun going on and a few weeks ago, that thing was Spring Fling. Spring Fling is an outdoor concert/ dance organized by Student Council. It starts off with faculty bands, then switches to student band from the Exeter Association of rock or E.A.R. for short. After E.A.R. we had a DJ named DJ Uplifted who was very good, then E.R.A, the Exeter Rap Association took the stage before we switched to Michael Christmas, a rapper from Boston. Spring Fling is held on the steps of Phillips Hall, our English and Modern Languages building and everyone starts out sitting and relaxing on the grass in front and watching the bands.

I got there a little late, just at the start of the E.A.R bands, in which one of my friends was drumming. It was awesome to get to see him perform, especially at an event like this one. Throughout the night there were beach balls that were floating around the crowd and it was really funny watching kids try to get someone to hit them one.

Once the other band finished, DJ Uplifted came out and was very good, probably the best DJ we’ve had at a dance this year. StuCo handed out little frisbees and glow sticks at this point and everyone got up from their picnic blankets and started dancing when “The Middle” by came on. Seeing everyone jump up and start yelling along was so funny, especially since we had all been so relaxed before that. It was a great way to start the end of the year, and the weather only made it better.  

On another note, last weekend was the last game of the season for JV softball. We won at BB&N in Cambridge, MA and it was probably our most fun game of the season. On the way down, we had all braided each other’s hair on the bus and after winning, we drove back singing terribly most of the way until one of our coaches gave a speech to get us to stop. That night, we met as a team to watch A League of Their Own which just so happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time. We all brought food and hung out in our pajamas and it’s safe to say that I’m really going to miss the team over the summer.

Ingrid - softball

Enjoy your summer breaks for those of you who are finishing up soon and I can’t wait to meet all of the new students arriving on campus in September!


JV Softball

Hey guys!

Recently here in Exeter, we’ve been having some amazing weather which has made playing softball so much better. I play for the JV softball team here at Exeter and I’ve had so much fun with the team so far this season. I was in Prep Program, which is basically a freshman gym class that is much more fun and more intense, during the fall and winter terms, so this is my first team and first competitive sport here at Exeter.

The JV team didn’t make cuts this year, so we have 17 people, which is pretty big for a softball team. The girls on the team are some of the funniest people I’ve ever met and practice is one of my favorite parts of every day. We practice four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) and we have games on Wed. and Sat. We also do special workouts twice a week with the strength and conditioning coach, Coach Barboza, and do strength and conditioning or speed training.

The team is super close and it’s so nice to have teammates who are so supportive and really like taking care of each other. On Saturday of last week, one of our catchers brought us all brownies because we won our first game a few days before. We’ve also had brownie-cookie-muffin combos brought to practice to celebrate a birthday as well. We have so many inside jokes and we always try to hang out, even if it’s only some of us which I think just makes us even closer, both on and off the field. This team is so kind to one another and we’re kind of like our own little family which is awesome, especially as we get to cheer each other on throughout the rest of our season.

Ingrid Softball 1

I’m so glad to be playing both for the school and on this team because it’s been one of my favorite experiences so far this year. I highly recommend trying out for a sport here at Exeter, no matter what level you are. There are girls on my team who have played for years and some who had never played until this year and the same goes for other sports teams on campus. There’s something really special about having teammates and it’s something that I think helps make Exeter such an amazing community. Sports teams help mix people from different dorms, countries, grades and helps bring together some really interesting and fun people.

Ingrid Softball 2

Also, the Preps have been playing Elimination (a.k.a. Survivor or Assassin) this week, which has made for some really crazy stories, and a lot of running around campus in a panic. Unfortunately, I was eliminated on day 1 but I think it’s even more fun now to try and save people or help others eliminate their targets.