While many students at the end of high school are more than ready for college, some opt, for academic or athletic reasons, to take another year of school. Each year, Deerfield students excitedly await the new post-graduates. Since they attend DA for just one year, they make up a special part of the community. The perspective of a one-year Deerfield student is unique, so it is crucial that post-graduates share their stories and make their mark on the community in the short amount of time they have at Deerfield; as the halfway mark of the year flies by, the ever-ticking clock of graduation looms over these students.
Day student post-graduate Carsten Carey ’20 articulated the prominent differences between his previous school and Deerfield. Carey pointed to the campus, saying, “The facilities are outstanding.” But to Carey, Deerfield is not all about the glamour. In addition to speaking about the excellent opportunities Deerfield provides, he noted the kindness of DA students. Carey said, “Everyone’s really nice. The community is really supportive…Nobody is openly arrogant and pretentious. That surprised me.”
International post-graduate Atang Peloewetse ’20 also believes that the closeness between community members has made his experience much more inclusive and exciting than his last school, saying, “We’re all trying to get good grades; we’re all trying to go to college. We’re all in this together.” In addition, he argued that within such a diverse community, Deerfield students are more similar than they may think.
Carey agrees, citing Deerfield’s diversity and closeness as among his favorite things about the school. Carey explained that he is fascinated by the people he has encountered and the cultures he has learned about. “My favorite experiences at Deerfield so far have been probably getting to know people from different parts of the country and even different parts of the world, people I would have never come into contact with before,” he said. Coming from a small-town school, Carey values his interactions with other individuals as the most impactful aspect of his Deerfield career. “Now, I’m meeting people from California, from Europe, from Africa, and Central America…Whenever there’s an event that exposes me to another person’s passion, or another way of life, that’s been really cool.”
Marveled by the willingness across campus for intellectual conversation, Peleowetse said, “…there are 650 people on this campus. With every single one you have a different connection, you speak about different topics. You go from talking about Fifa games with a bunch of freshmen to an engaging conversation about contemporary issues such as immigration with juniors and seniors. It’s absolutely crazy.” While Carey particularly values the cultural diversity on campus, Peleowetse holds diversity of intellect as a key marker of the Deerfield community.
With the amount of time they have left, both Carey and Peleowetse have similar hopes for the following months. They wish to experience everything Deerfield has to offer and make life-long connections with peers before they walk across that graduation stage. Carey said, “I’d like to, in these next few months, do anything I wished to do in the previous months.” Peleowetse added, “I hope to make more friends, enjoy my time inside and outside of the classroom, and wait to see what the next chapter of my life holds.” Although they reside on campus for merely a year, post-graduate students strive to leave lasting impacts and impressions on the Deerfield community before they collect their second diploma.