Devin Schroeder

Year of Graduation: 
2016

I felt free to be more than just an athlete or a science guy or an artist.

I consider myself shy and a little introverted, but the transition to Exeter was easier than I expected. Even though I wasn’t in a dorm, I had gone to prep soccer camp, so when classes started up, I didn’t feel out of place. Sports are where I first made my friends; it definitely helped to be part of a team. It can take a little longer to get rooted here as a day student, but that can be a good thing because you have to push yourself out there. During the day, I might end up in the library or in a friend’s dorm room between classes. I’ve spent a lot of time in Soule Hall over the years!

I wanted to come here to be part of a community of people who took learning seriously and were like-minded in that regard, but who would also open my mind up to new perspectives. I know it’s a cliche but Exeter takes the best people from around the country, and they end up bringing all of their experiences with them. That captivated me, and being here has actually surpassed what I thought it would be.

I’ve often had misconceptions about what things entail until I’ve been forced to push through them at Exeter. It has been genuinely enjoyable to be a part of so many amazing in-class discussions, and I’ve tried things I had never experienced before: I rowed crew, became a pole vaulter, took a class in architecture, tried Stagecraft, and I unexpectedly ended up loving computer science because it involved so much problem-solving. This year, I took a history course called Vulnerable Conquerors: Humans and the Environment, where we examined what causes societies to fail or succeed. Until then, all my history courses had been focused on conflicts, but this one gave me a new view on history. 

My favorite class has been Molecular Genetics. With students from three different sections, we collaborated to design our own laboratory-based research project, and then we submitted a paper to a peer-reviewed science journal for feedback and possible publication. It was a completely different experience from any other course I have taken. 

Writing a senior meditation has been transformative for me as well; after hearing my first meditation during prep year, which made a big impact, I really looked forward to writing one of my own. I like the balance at Exeter, and I want to keep that. I will probably study biochemistry at Brown University next year, but I want at least to minor in some kind of art. I don’t want to limit myself by saying, "Oh, I’m a science guy." That’s one of the things that drew me here — I could bridge the different gaps more easily, and I felt free to be more than just an athlete or a science guy or an artist.