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