Blake Students Return After First Semester Programs

Programs like Swiss semester and Semester Abroad are offered at Blake so that students can experience life outside of Blake. These programs are highly coveted and each year many are turned away because the spots are limited. But the lucky few who do end up getting into the programs are given the experience of a lifetime.

Olivia Priedeman ’15, who went on Swiss semester last year says, ”Swiss semester changed my life. It was probably the best experience that I’ve ever had.” Going on these programs end up being life-changing experience. Many students find the lack of electronic devices and the Internet refreshing. Most of us at Blake can’t function without telling people about our menial lives every couple minutes through Facebook or Twitter. The students who went abroad for the semester had the courage to face this problem and many of them are happy they did. When asked about leaving social media behind, Hudson Dougan ‘16 said, ”Not having to worry about social media really gave me a chance to get in touch with my true self.”

Living in a foreign place can be scary, but returning home can be even more intimidating. The real question is how people adjust to daily life after coming back from such a life-changing place. Living and surviving at Blake, although it may seem mundane, still takes some skill and practice. We all know that as freshmen we were far from perfect. It took most of us almost a whole year to become normal in a school setting. Leaving the school for a whole semester must make it hard to come back to school as though nothing has changed. Adjusting to these changes can be tricky, some take more time than others. Many of these students are coming back to new teachers, new students, and even a new science wing.

Though its not easy, students still did all they could in order to have a chance to study abroad. These experiences truly are amazing. Enough to make people forget about Facebook and Twitter, about which teachers and students are leaving and coming, and about which new part of the building is springing up. Because in the end, opportunities like this don’t come around very often in life, especially in high school. This is why I urge anyone that is eligible to apply for these programs. As evident by the students before you, you won’t regret it.