Meet Lila ’22

Hi! My name is Lila and I am a junior at The Putney School. I was born in Portland, Ore., and I grew up there, as well as in a small town in Pennsylvania. After middle school, I transferred to a boarding school outside of New York City and my parents moved to Vermont and Rhode Island. My whole life, I’ve moved around a lot. In fact, this summer was the longest I’ve stayed in one place, ever. 

Despite all of the chaos that comes from moving around, I’ve always appreciated the different opportunities that my many homes have given me. If it weren’t for my stint in Vermont, I wouldn’t have found out about Putney, for example.

What drew me to Putney was the freedom to explore who you could become. I often found that schools were very keen on students “finding themselves” but didn’t allow for much room to try different things out. I don’t feel that way about Putney. Putney allows you to experiment and learn about who you are and what you can be. 

Staying Sane During Quarantine

Something I’ve been doing a lot of in quarantine is baking. I know this experience is far from unique to me. There is something especially comforting about creating in a world that seems to be falling apart. Here is a picture of my favorite creation: a carrot cake decorated to look like a rabbit that I made for Easter. 

My family doesn’t typically celebrate this holiday, but it came to a point where the days seemed to melt together, one slipping into the next with little definition. My solution was to celebrate every holiday to the fullest. I even had a half birthday party. 

A Passion for Performing Arts

My passions have always been the uniting factor between my varying locations and often these new places have sparked interest in entirely new passions as well. Growing up, performing arts was always an interest of mine. Legend has it that once, when I was only two or three, my father put down a phonebook and I used it as my very own stage. Since then, I’ve leapt at any opportunity I’ve found to perform, whether it be ballet, choir, or even the cello. However, my greatest joy will always be theatre. There’s something about the thrill of acting that facilitates a connection like no other in my mind. When I step onto the stage for the first time in a show, skin hot under the glaring lights, my heart is full. 

A picture from a production of Macbeth that I did last summer.

The Importance of International Relations

If it wasn’t for theatre, I probably wouldn’t have found my other greatest passion: international relations. At the beginning of the ninth grade, little awkward freshman me was looking to find my people. I was at a new school with new people in a new state and I didn’t really know where to start. Then one day, during the school-wide club fair, I accidentally signed up for Model United Nations. Little did I know that MUN would become my favorite club and be the cause of some of the best (and worst) moments of high school. 

I tell these stories and share these interests of mine not just for their own sake but to demonstrate a point: often the most valuable things that happen to us originate from pure chance. I certainly feel that way about Putney. There I was, curled up in the chilly confines of my dorm when I stumbled upon a YouTube ad for Putney. I already knew I wanted to leave the school I was at, but was worried that the deadline had passed to apply. Luckily, it hadn’t. It’s kind of strange to think that perhaps one of the best things to have ever happened to me occurred due to a silly YoutTube ad, but I think that’s just the way that life is sometimes. You never know what choices will lead to positive outcomes, which is why I choose to live my life without fear or regrets. 

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