Ev Berger-Wolf has spent several summers at the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University.
Why did you choose to participate in a summer program?
I’ve been participating in Center for Talent Development programs at Northwestern University since I was young because my parents have needed a way to keep me intellectually engaged during the summer. I started with summer day camps, and slowly worked up to the three-week sleep-away camps. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found myself enjoying it more and more, being able to connect with peers and maintain those friendships year-round.
How did you decide which program or camp was right for you?
Equinox is the program offered for high school students grades 9 through 12. I usually choose more science and math-based courses, but this year I decided to take creative writing. It was an unexpected choice but I had been taking English sophomore year with an amazing teacher and was inspired to do more writing, particularly poetry. Creative writing seemed to be the best course of action, and I was not wrong.
What was a typical day in the program?
A typical day for me started pretty early, around 7 a.m. My classmates were all living on the same hallway so we made sure we all got to breakfast and class on time.
Class was all day, with a break for lunch, but it didn’t feel long. I enjoyed learning about different forms of creative writing, and implementing that knowledge into my own work. Class flew by pretty quickly, and then we got to head back to our dorms, where we either went to fun activities or worked on homework. Compared to previous years, the workload was substantially larger; however, the work I had to get done was fun and fulfilling. Since my friends were all in my class, we worked together, giving each other feedback as we went.
What was the most memorable moment of your summer?
The most memorable moments were being with the group of people I had become closest with. Almost every evening was spent working on stories and poems and playing games. Highlights included ordering food delivery from local places, going out for bubble tea, and bouncing ideas off of each other as we walked around the campus town. Other times we stayed in and listened to one of my friends play violin.
What advice do you have for teens looking at summer programs or camps?
One of the best pieces of advice I have is to get to know people. Obviously, the biggest part of this program is the academic aspect, and that should be the main priority. However, interacting with peers who are all intellectually at your level and share so many similar interests is a rare experience. Take advantage of the fact that you are surrounded by people with so many unique backgrounds and listen to their stories and thoughts. Making friends at a program like CTD’s can only enhance your experience and will create friendships that will last for a long time.