Eli

year: Junior from: Virginia

There's so much freedom for students to design their own learning at Putney, and that's something that's pretty unique.

I went to a pretty traditional public middle school, and I did well in my classes, but didn’t feel as though I was learning very much.

The student I was when I arrived at Putney was very disorganized and very raw, but I also was very curious about the world around me and very eager to learn. I’ve had a lot of help here at Putney to work on that, but I still struggle with it. And I have been able to maintain that level of curiosity while working at my organization, and study skills.

I’ve always been interested in history, and before I came to Putney, that was largely manifesting in the memorization of facts. But when I came to Putney, I learned about how history, and all these other disciplines intersect. And I started to become a lot more aware of history in the news that we’re seeing, and history in the literature that we’re reading, so my interests began to branch out a lot more, rather than just the memorization of historical facts. 

I’ve had several adults here who have really helped to nurture and guide me through my growth. One of the main ones is my Spanish teacher, who showed me that there is more to a Spanish class then learning the rules of grammar for Spanish and.

I would say that, while it is a boarding school, many of the stereotypes attributed to boarding schools are not applicable to Putney. And that Putney students are very passionate about what they do. And that Putney is… It’s a school, but it’s also an institution dedicated to helping people pursue personal goals that they set. There’s so much freedom for students to design their own learning at Putney, and that’s something that’s pretty unique.

I’m not an experienced artist, but coming to Putney has allowed me to try a bunch of new art forms that I wouldn’t otherwise have even thought of trying. I’ve tried everything from sculpture, to singing Madrigals. I had not really sung ever, but through the weekly Sing tradition, which was a great chance for community building around an art form that really sparked my interest, I was inspired to join a more serious singing group called Madrigals.

I probably visited 15 other boarding schools. Because I really did not have a good idea of where I wanted to go. I visited very traditional boarding schools with coat and ties, and very traditional traditions. But Putney felt like a community that both I would be a valued part of, and that could help me better myself in ways that I wanted to see myself better in.

I learned to really look at the type of community you want to be a part of, because there are a lot of really smart people in the world, and you’re going to find them here, and you’re going to find them at other boarding schools. But I think the attitude towards learning at Putney is very unique. So I would pay attention to the attitude of people at the school.

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