Why did you choose to participate in a summer program? What drew you to the Experimentory?
I chose to participate in a summer program because I wanted a new experience. Meeting new people is one of my favorite things, and summer programs are a great way to do this. Specifically though, I chose the Experimentory because of what it would offer me individually. My brother goes to boarding school so I looked at many boarding schools’ summer programs that would give me a glimpse of what it’s like. The Experimentory does just that! What puts it above the others, though, is that they don’t just have normal academic courses, they have courses like Theatre + Electronics and Music + Film that teach you many things in ways that are so exciting! Plus, trips to Boston, Six Flags, white water rafting, and more are great bonuses of the Experimentory, too!
What were your favorite team projects? What role did you play?
My absolute favorite team project was a strobe light/ still image challenge called "Freeze Frame" in our Theatre + Electronics cluster. We were challenged to write computer code to activate strobe lights to light up a scene on stage for the Electronics aspect of class. Meanwhile we were challenged to tell a story using just the moments lit by the lights. We chose Sleeping Beauty and with the help of the wonderful teachers at the Experimentory, ended up with a beautiful piece!
Tell us a little about the friendships you made at the Experimentory.
I’ve been with most of my current friends since Pre-K. I thought we had the closest friendships in the history of friendships, but after going to the Experimentory I started to rethink that. I had basically lived with the girls in my dorm for only 4 weeks. But over those 4 weeks, we had practically become a family. Not only my dorm, but also the boys, proctors, and teachers have made lifelong bonds with me. I still talk to a lot of these friends regularly. It’s an amazing feeling knowing you actually had the opportunity to make these wonderful friends.
What is one important thing that you learned or one way you grew because of your time here?
I have grown up in the same close-knit small town of Natchez, MS basically my entire life. I’ve gone to the same school, with the same friends, for as long I could remember. I thought my whole life was in Natchez; I never even thought there was more to the world. Then my brother, mom, and dad pushed me to try boarding school, or at least try a summer program that would give me an idea of what it was like. So I did. And it was probably one of the best experiences I will ever have in life. I met new people, experienced a new side of the world, learned many new things, and even want to go to boarding school now. The Experimentory helped me to dream even bigger than I had before, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.
What would you say to someone thinking about applying?
If you’re applying to the Experimentory, I can give you one piece of advice. I know it’s a cliché, but I promise you, it’s so, so important. BE YOURSELF!! The Experimentory wants to see the real you. When I could just be myself, I never felt better. If you’re a little reluctant about leaving home or living in a dorm, let me tell you: I was in the same boat when I first started! I did not want to leave my family, friends, and home for a whole month. But I decided to give it a go with the help of my parents and brother. It’s an experience that you’ll never get anywhere else, and anyone with the opportunity should definitely try it! So I hope you apply, because it’s an amazing program that will impact you life forever!!
Sami was an Experimentory student in our 2016 program. If you're interested in discovering a new world of friends like Sami, visit our Application Page to apply today!