Although my time here at Chewonki is still in its beginning stages, I have found so many deep and meaningful connections with classmates, teachers and cabin mates alike. I find myself in conversation with a group of friends and reminding myself that I have only known these people existed for three weeks, yet I feel so compelled to laugh, study, and explore with them. This concentrated environment is constructed to stimulate these life-long friendships, and I feel as if I am already seeing those friendships take form. Eating family style meals for all three meals each day has been a significant source of this bonding. Coming into the dining hall knowing that you are going to sit with seven other people and you are going to have a fun, interesting, or relaxing conversation has always been comforting for me. More likely than not, one of those seven people will be your teacher! These three weeks have been packed with excitement, adventure, learning, and reflection, and I can not wait to see how much closer I will grow to each and everyone here.
These three weeks with minimal outside distractions have allowed for everyone to connect and bond through various board games, team sporting competitions, Saturday night activities, dish crew, ect. Time is just such a strange concept here. When watching the sunset with friends by the waterfront and enjoying free time between activities, time seems to fly by. However, each day consists of so many activities, memories, and laughs that I always find myself journaling for an hour each night just to make sure I never forget them. The commitment each of us students have made to going without our phones has allowed us to fully connect with the people and nature here. Now, the only distractions I can partake in is a spontaneous Nature Trail hike to one of the points, or a quick game of cards. Personally, neither of those options sound like a waste of time. It has been amazing to see how little I think of my phone. I attribute this to being fully immersed and present with the people and nature here, so I don’t have time or the boredom to think of distracting myself with a mindless scroll on my phone.
Our structured days help to define the ways in which we use our time; therefore, the free time we have to explore and connect are much more appreciated. As each day and week becomes more and more routine, I enjoy the predictability of each school day. However, I love the spontaneity that comes with each and every evening. Days here truly are what you make them. I have seen so many people use their time in very different ways here, yet no one is ever alone in those activities. You will find your people here and you will make Chewonki your own. Personally, the long school days and packed schedules seemed overwhelming on paper, but when put into practice the days are all so unique. There is no such thing as a “Day in the Life at Chewonki”, because each day is yours to make!
Haley Jones, Milton Academy, Mableton, GA