Spring Break in China

RS China 1Hi Guys,

First, congrats and welcome to all of the newly admitted students! I can’t wait to see you all next week during Experience Exeter. I can easily remember my revisit day, and know that it was that day, after sitting in on classes and hanging out in a dorm, that I knew Exeter was the right place for me.

For spring break this year, I went on a ten day trip to China with five other students and six teachers, all Exonians. The group consisted of one prep, one lower, three uppers, and one senior, a few Chinese teachers as well as math, English, and history teacher, and the director of the Lamont Gallery. The main objective of the trip was to learn about the migrations of Chinese families and individuals from rural to urban areas. By speaking with experts who have studied this pattern as well as with locals who have migrated to the cities themselves, we learned about the job opportunities migrants find and the challenges they face.RS China 2Our time in China was split between three large cities, Beijing, Chengdu, and Chongqing. We spent our days exploring the local neighborhoods, visiting famous sites like the Imperial Palace, and trying lots of cool food (Chengdu and Chongqing are both known for food that incorporates the Sichuan peppercorn, a spicy seed that literally numbs your mouth when you bite into it). 

Of course, to learn about migration from rural areas, we had to spend some time outside of the city. While in Beijing and Chendgu, we spent one night each in the countryside. During the rural home stay outside of Beijing, we had the opportunity to hike up to a remote section of the Great Wall; reaching the top of the mountain and looking out over the countryside from the Great Wall was probably my favorite moment of the trip, though there are tons to choose from.RS China 3After studying Chinese for almost three years as my language course at Exeter, it was awesome to visit China for the first time and get to use my speaking, listening, and reading skills outside of the classroom. I’m so thankful to Exeter for providing this “co-learner” trip experience (co-learner, because of the 1:1 student:faculty ratio), and I can’t wait to hear about other Exeter off-campus trips in the future.

Monday marks the start of the first full week back from Spring break. Although the weather doesn’t quite reflect a vision of spring (the forecast is calling for temperatures in the high thirties), the shrinking patches of snow on the quads and the increasing determination of boys to wear shorts are both sure signs that spring term is here. Fingers crossed for lots of sunshine when you visit next week!

See you then,


A Second Home

I remember waking up at 5 AM on a Saturday morning, squinting my eyes from the screen on my mother’s smartphone, and the yelps of sheer joy as I read the words “Congratulations and Welcome to Exeter!”  from her e-mail. The questions, emotion, and uncertainty storming through my head were overwhelming.

The decision to come to Exeter was one that would change my academic career and my future forever. Coming from an immigrant family, the thought of boarding school, coming from a different background, and leaving home was petrifying. Yet I remember my first Experience Exeter classes well. The dark, cloudy spring morning never came to shadow the enthusiasm of kids around a Harkness table.  No one feared to be wrong, sound confused, or present a brilliant epiphany; stagnancy was the only enemy. I soon learned that one’s voice was one’s greatest weapon here at Exeter; you are implored to find it and use it, to show a passion around the table. At Exeter, no one cares who is on financial aid and who is not; we all come from different parts of the world to study and learn, battle it out on the playing fields, and do what we do best.

The first days of Prep Year were some of the most exciting yet terrifying days. After entering my new dorm room, I saw all the other new 9th graders unpacking. I reached over to lend a hand. The transition to Exeter is nothing to be intimidated of, as many people are in your same shoes; I quickly gained 60 new brothers who all bleed blue and gold from Wentworth Hall. I quickly came to learn the value of meeting new people. Make it a goal to introduce yourself to a stranger each time you walk to class. Cross your fingers every time new schedules are released that you are assigned classes with complete strangers. Find a pack of friends you know will last; these will be the connections that will last a lifetime.

And as many of us have, you’ll get your fair share of late night History research papers and English narratives. At Exeter, you’ll be constantly immersed with many brilliant people. As the days get shorter during winter term, workloads will pile. Yet at times like these, your lowest points become your greatest advantages. Remember: YOU were chosen to come here, rightfully and deservedly so. NEVER compare yourself to others. Set your OWN goals for yourself and track your progress. And by the end of your years here, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come, and your accomplishments will exceed your own expectations and those of others, up to par with your peers.

Exeter is so much more than just a school; it teaches one to listen rather than just speak, to doubt rather than just accept. Your independence compels you to search for and immerse yourself in a passion, target your weaknesses and question your strengths. Yet in the process, you fully realize the resources backing your endeavors, whether it be the courses, teachers, or friends who want to see you succeed. It’s your own discretion to decide HOW you wish to succeed, and HOW you wish to grasp Exeter’s offerings; at this moment, You are no longer just an application or a name on a piece of paper. Congratulations, welcome to Exeter, and God Bless!!!

Experience Exeter

Happy Easter, everyone! I hope you all had a great one.

This week newly admitted students are shadowing current students to experience what a day at Exeter is actually like; this day is called Experience Exeter. It’s hard for me to believe that I was in this position last year. I was so worried about what to wear, if I would get along with my host, if the classes would be so hard to comprehend I wouldn’t even be able to follow the conversation, the students at the school might think I’m stupid, etc. Well, no need to worry, admitted students. You were chosen for a reason, and the admission team knows that you can handle the work at this school. You will be able to understand what’s going on in class, and the whole school is made up of intelligent people. However, you are probably still anxious, so I will give you some little tidbits so you can relax.

What to wear: The dress code at Exeter for boys is a button up shirt and tie. You must wear a tie. If ties are too constraining for you, you do have the option to wear a turtleneck, but the weather has been warming up. A turtleneck might be a little too hot. For girls, it is more relaxed and you can wear a skirt or dress (fingertip length), and the usual: no low cut shirts, no spaghetti straps; to be succinct, look appropriate for class, stay classy. Both boys and girls can wear jeans. No rips or cut-offs though.

Hosts: We’re all really friendly here! We’re excited you got in, and we want you to feel comfortable here at Exeter. Don’t be afraid to talk to your host, ask questions, etc. You will meet your host’s friends, and I believe you will find it easy to get along with your host. My host last year and I got along very well, we talked during walks from class to class, during breaks, and I felt like I could really be a part of the community.

I can’t wait to see you guys in class, on the path, or in dhall! I hope you guys have a great experience.


Back at it

Well we’re back into the swing of things here at Exeter. Classes only started on Thursday the 21’st but that seems like a long time ago right now.

My classes have all started up and, so far, I like them all. Upper Spring is the time when students write their infamous history paper, the 333 (named after the class you write it in, History 333). I start the process of writing it on Monday and the paper wouldn’t be bad at all except it’s acquired a legendary status here at Exeter. I’ve known about it since prep year and its reputation makes it far more stressful than it really is! Hopefully I’ll be able to hunker down and right it without too much stress. The trick will be to stick to the time table and not procrastinate.

In other news, biking is going well. We have a lot of new kids on the team and they’re all figuring out the ins and outs of cycling really well and it’s been a lot of fun to get to know them. A lot of my teammates (and my coach) have discovered this iPhone app called “Strava” which uses GPS to track you on your bike ride and it will tell you your speed, your mileage, and so many other statistics that you didn’t know you needed till you had them. It also allows you to “follow” other cyclists, like you would with Twitter, and even send them messages. The result: all of my team mates are trash talking one another and trying to beat each other’s Strava records. It’s pretty cool but it’s starting to be a big distraction!

Take it easy,


P.S Newly admitted students: I’m looking forward to meeting as many of you as I can during Experience Exeter!

Something I learned today: I’m starting to understand logarithms better!

Welcome to Exeter!

Congrats to all of you who got accepted!  I remember how anxious I was to hear if I got in when I applied.  For those of you can, I highly recommend going to Experience Exeter or at least revisiting and shadowing a current student.  I know how foreign and distant Exeter can seem on paper but in person, it is much closer and tangible.  I look forwarding to meeting all of you girls and guys at both Experience and Exeter, and next fall when you get on campus!


Congratulations to the new class of 2017

I think everyone that posts on this blog can say that March 10th is a day that they won’t forget. For me, Exeter was my dream school: my acceptance letter was the culmination of months, if not years, of work. To the many students in a similar situation that I was in two years ago: congratulations, you made it! However, I recognize that some of the rest of you have shopped around for prep schools and are now faced with a choice as to what school you’ll be attending next fall. I think the best thing to be said for Exeter is this: yes, it is a lot of work, but you learn at a pace here that keeps you on your toes all the time, which is an extremely rewarding feeling. The things you can get involved in here – whether it is making new friends, picking up a new hobby, club, or sport, or learning how to live independently – make this school unique and well-worth four years of your education.

Again, congratulations to you: getting accepted is no small feat. I encourage you all to come to Experience Exeter: you get to shadow current students for a day, and it begins to give you a sense for the day-to-day life here.

See you on campus in a few weeks,



Congratulations on your acceptance! Wasn’t this day worth the waiting? You should be so proud of yourself, and I hope to see you next fall! If you’re unsure about Exeter being the right choice, I highly recommend coming to the Experience Exeter day. This day is really helpful, and you get a chance to see what the school is really like, instead of just reading about it. When I came, it was really great being a part of the community, and I could start to see myself as a student here. So, come to Experience Exeter, you might even get to follow me around for a day!