Spring provides a welcome air of change following a long winter season. There is a natural craving for warmth and outdoor activities. Project Week marks the first meaningful disruption to our normal routine, rich with immersive experiential learning around an essential academic question. Small groups of students and faculty travel to all corners of the globe and throughout our own backyard. The groups not only provide an opportunity for a new experience, but also the development of new relationships between students who may not normally cross paths on campus or with adults that students are able to see in a different light.
The change of seasons also brings with it the opportunity for new co-curricular activities. For some, it is the arrival of their most popular activity while for others it is the chance to experiment with something new – participation in the school musical, a new sport, or joining a new club.
In these ways, change rejuvenates us and fuels our spirit as we begin the celebratory nature of the final leg of our school year.
Rituals Mark Change
While we operate with a focus on our current school year, there are annual rituals that highlight pending change. The 100 Days Dinner for seniors marks the countdown to commencement and serves as a reminder for students to embrace their remaining days on campus. The process of selecting student leaders for the new year is well underway, which builds excitement for underclassmen, while at the same time highlighting the reality for many that some of their closest friends in the Class of 2019 will not be on campus next year. We recognize the emotional toll this can take on our students, particularly given that we promote the development of meaningful relationships that will be sustained well after one’s time at New Hampton School.
Change for Adults
It is also true that change is not exclusive to our graduating seniors. Each year there is faculty turnover as adults consider their personal and professional path. This may lead to full-time graduate study, new career paths, a more metropolitan area, or other adventures. When a departing faculty member has been instrumental in a student’s experience, it can be deflating and difficult to process.
We have learned to recognize these cycles and work closely with our CARE Team, student life office, and health center to provide the support that students need to manage whatever aspect of change someone might be wrestling with. This is one of the many topics advisors will take up with their advisees this spring, individually and in group settings.
Change Breeds Opportunity
While it can be difficult, we also know that change breeds opportunity in all sorts of exciting ways. Through an open mind, change and innovation will keep New Hampton School, soon to be 200 years old, a healthy and prosperous institution, committed to supporting the strong programs that attract quality students and adults to our wonderful community. Change allows us to fulfill our mission to cultivate lifelong learners who will become active global citizens in a world that is never stagnant and constantly growing around us.