Maia '19

There is zero tolerance for unkind behavior here; no one is judgmental. We help each other out. It’s such a special place, and, in a way, Putney has become a haven. I came from a split-parent home; I spent a lot of time going back and forth between my mom’s and my dad’s. It was distracting both academically and emotionally. Being at Putney has enabled me to center myself, I really needed that. I love the community and knowing all the people I pass in the course of a day. Living on your own adds another layer of independence, that you have to be open to gaining.

I like English, theatre, and fine arts, but I think Putney has also made me more open to trying other things. It’s a try-everything community. You have to have an open mind and an open heart. I’ve taken up rowing, jazz dance, ballet, and I worked breakfast crew.

At my old school in Rhode Island, we focused on diversity, but it was mostly racial. Here, diversity has come to mean so many other things to me. We pay attention to how people self-identify, for example, knowing and respecting their preferred gender pronouns. I was ignorant, but ignorance is part of growth. The community runs on kindness and respect.

I’ve learned to be more patient with myself. If I look at a math problem and don’t understand it, I don’t freak out. I wait and look at it again. I ask for help. I wasn’t born with natural confidence, but at Putney I don’t stop myself from trying new things or meeting new people; I don’t assume I’ll fail.

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