The student news site of Peddie School

The Peddie News

The student news site of Peddie School

The Peddie News

The student news site of Peddie School

The Peddie News

Farewell, Mr. Quinn!
Nikita Goyal ’26, Staff Writer • March 30, 2024
Ocean Breeze Invitational
Luke Chon ’26, Assignment Editor • March 30, 2024
Should Peddie Have Snow Days?
Stephanie Oh ’26, Staff Writer • March 30, 2024
WeSoar Co-Chair Interview
Claire Chen ’24, Editor-in-Chief • March 30, 2024

Be Careful What You Watch: My Life As An Exchange Student


Once upon a time, in chilly November, a girl decided to watch Friends. After hours of binge-watching, she fell in love with America and its citizens. Why? Well, it is hard not to when you see all these characters celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with such fun enthusiasm, walking in the streets of Central Park, eating dozens of pizzas without any judgment, and having this urban lifestyle in New York City. And you want to know about her turning point? At 4 a.m., after finishing all the episodes of Friends and bawling her eyes out for two hours, she decided she was going to go to the United States. Weird right? Well, yes, because she had decided way before that to come here, but let’s say this was the turning point because it sounds cute.

As you have guessed, that girl was me.

After two years of learning, applying for the programs, and getting rejected hundreds of times, I finally got the news. I was accepted into one of the best private high schools in the United States with a full scholarship. I was speechless. I could not believe I was stepping on the land where Jennifer Aniston walked on until two weeks after I arrived. Our people, Georgians, consider Americans very lucky, maybe because of how nonjudgmentally they live here. I mean, they are not wrong. Last week, I saw a guy randomly screaming in the subway, and nobody said anything. Nobody even looked away. You can’t shock New Yorkers.

We also love the country because of the education system it provides. Therefore, hearing the news that I was going to study in one of the best high schools in America was unbelievable. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It was more than unbelievable. I was crying from happiness.

But was it really good once I got into American high school?

On my first day at The Peddie School, they gave us the sheets of what we were supposed to do the whole day. At 9 am this and 10 am that. It was confusing for a person who had never been given a sheet of paper with everything planned by the school. I just wanted to take a nap from being jet-legged, but no, no, no. American people never stop. They never take a break. They always plan something and want us to sink into their plans, too. Even though I was dying inside from exhaustion, I tried my best to show up and do the school activities. I remember looking at the campus map and wondering how I was supposed to find all these buildings without getting lost. Trust me, I got lost like four times only on my first day. Now imagine that for the next three days. Not only that, the fact that 9th and 11th graders study together was … well … new. The cafeteria, I believe, is the most confusing place for me on the whole campus. From being in a dilemma about whether I should take a salad or the best muffin I have ever eaten (well, that’s a personal dilemma) to where I should sit. In my previous school, for four years straight my first breakfast would be at 4 p.m., when I would go from school to home. 

Overall, I am still getting acclimated to American high school … to writing in one note except on paper, realizing the fact that school starts at 8 instead of 9 a.m., and going to different classes instead of staying in one always with the same people. I have got to say I do enjoy little challenges. I love how confusing everything is here for me. How nothing makes sense. I am observing this whole new world and falling in love with it.

Irina Tkebuchava ’25 is an exchange student from Georgia.

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