Natasha L. spent part of the summer at the Experimentory, a summer program held at Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Mass.
Why did you choose to participate in a summer program? What drew you to the Experimentory?
The Experimentory at Deerfield Academy looked like an engaging and fun program. I’d heard many good things about it from a family friend and decided to apply. I also knew that the Experimentory would be held on the Deerfield Academy’s campus and taught by Deerfield faculty. I wanted to experience what it was like living on a preparatory school campus, and this seemed like an excellent way to do it.
What were your favorite team projects? What role did you play?
One of my favorite team projects was designing a multipurpose building (including a restaurant) using a computer program called Sketch-Up for my Architecture + Culture class. I was partnered with Noah, a boy from New York. We worked well together, playing crucial but equal roles in the development and completion of the project. We designed a menu for our restaurant and even got to prepare one of the foods on our menu: bruschetta. We thoroughly explored Spanish culture, and we drew inspiration from buildings found along Española Way in Miami for the design of our multipurpose building.
Tell us a little about the friendships you made at the Experimentory.
I met and made friends with so many bright and engaging people from all over the world. We quickly became friends with each other despite being in different grades in school, from different countries, or from diverse backgrounds. We shared inside jokes and memories full of laughter and pure joy. We were all weird in our different ways, but for the first time in forever, I felt like I’d finally met my people.
I especially loved my dorm mates. We became sisters. We would lend each other clothes, share snacks and enjoy each other's laughing and joking. In the early mornings, we would wake each other up, and make sure everyone was ready for the day ahead.
I can sincerely say that I will cherish the unique friendships I made at the Experimentory forever.
What is one important thing that you learned or one way you grew because of your time here?
I learned to try new things and be a little more adventurous. I went whitewater rafting down the Deerfield River, rode giant roller coasters at Six Flags, and experienced a bizarre ropes course. One experience I‘ll never forget is my “nature walks” co-curricular. We hiked with bugs flying around us through summer heat until my legs ached, carrying nothing with us but water and determination. However, I kept on going and I was one of the first to make it to the top. What a rush of accomplishment and pride looking at that view! I felt like I was on the top of the world.
Becoming more daring, I grew as a person. I realized that the only way to fully understand myself and my true potential is to try new things. I am eternally grateful for having the chance try so many new things.
What would you say to someone thinking about applying?
My summer was full of adventure, challenging courses, and genuine friendships. The opportunity to live on Deerfield’s beautiful campus for a month was a privilege in itself, but the community the Experimentory staff nurtured was unlike anything I’d ever known before. I can whole-heartedly say that I could not have asked for a better summer experience!
To those thinking about applying: take the plunge! The Experimentory will be a summer you will never forget. You will discover your true self and remember the program for the rest of your life!