year: Junior from: Vermont

This is the perfect environment to experiment.

I’ve had the same project for five straight project weeks, rebuilding a 1965 Volvo 122s.

In my freshman fall, as we were preparing for project week, my friend and I were trying to figure out what we found interesting, what we thought would be fun to explore. And I don’t really remember how it came up. We were like, “Wouldn’t it be cool to work on a car?” And we just said it in passing. We didn’t think any more about it.

Later, I mentioned it to a teacher who said, “that’s totally doable here.” So we spent a week looking for a car, trying to figure out what type of car we wanted to work on, what type of work we want it to be doing—bodywork or the mechanical stuff, which we ended up doing. And just figuring out when we would want the car, how old we wanted the car to be. Older cars are less computer-driven. They’re a bit simpler.

We did a lot of research. We did basic research on how a car works and we replaced the emergency brake just as a start— to take something out and put it back in again. Yes. And now I’m working on switching the brake system over. 

As a day student, the original goal was to turn this into a commuter car, which would have been super cool. To get a broken car, make it work, and then drive it to school and back. 

I feel like people often look at Putney and think that everyone knows exactly who they are and that they came in thinking that. And I think it’s important to know that most people come in having no idea what they like to do. And this is the perfect environment to experiment with that and not necessarily find the one thing you want to do for the rest of your life. Because we’re young and it’s too really early to figure that out. But find out and figure out who you want to be in the things you want to focus on. And I think there are so many different opportunities and different paths you can take yourself on to figure that out. It’s a great place to just experiment.

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