Natasha arrived her upper year looking for a school where students were genuinely excited by learning. She found that environment here at Exeter.
“Learning was a passive activity at my previous schools,” she says. “Often, when I had a question, my peers wouldn’t be as eager to learn. I wanted to be around people who cared about what they did.
“Exeter’s not for everyone. In my old school, I was taking the hardest courses and pushing myself. But preparing for a Harkness class requires a different type of work and expectation. Your teachers and peers expect you to perform at a level far beyond your former comfort level. You think you don't have it in you until you realize it was there all along.”
At Exeter, Natasha first found a home in the music building as a member of the Concert Choir, Peadquacs, Exeter Choral Union and a vocal ensemble. She also developed a love for mathematics — a subject she once hated. “It was boring before. But the way they teach math here forces you to think instead of being given the equations. You have to figure it out for yourself through the word problems.”
Being at Exeter has given Natasha more confidence to speak out. “I’m no longer afraid I might give a wrong answer in class, because I know my peers will help me and we’ll work it out together.”
Exeter’s expansive curriculum has allowed Natasha to take courses such as The Ethics of the Marketplace, Current Events in the Chinese-Speaking World and an independent study project on urbanization in China. Through these classes, Natasha has explored global issues and real-life case studies, increasing her desire to work in China after college to help raise the profile and status of the migrant population in urban areas.
“I’ve grown so much as a person and as a student at Exeter,” she says.