As the fall colors begin to appear, we reach a great moment on campus that I like to call “One Month In.” For anyone who has been on a journey such as a road trip or a hike, you will understand what I’m talking about. It’s that moment when the gravity of the endeavor has set in and some of the excitement has worn off. Each mile seems to drag on, or the steps on the trail become a little steeper.
We are now into the routine of classes, complete with short-term assignments and semester long projects. Our athletic teams have had their first contests and the realities of opponents and playing time have set in. Theater students working on “Clue” are trying to memorize their lines and blocking with the opening night about a month away. For all of us, adapting to the routine of having to check in for dinner, adhere to the dress code, and live with and converse with your roommate on a regular basis is quite clear. It is the moment in the school year when the new shine has worn off.
But, it is also the moment when we realize that we can’t do this alone. I could not be the Head of School without the support of my colleagues. Students cannot navigate all the challenges without the support of their teachers and friends. This is the the time of year when we become vulnerable and begin to discover new things about ourselves.
What we learn one month in proves invaluable as we navigate our world. We learn about our own shortcomings in French or history and how to address those challenges through hard work or with the help of others, or perhaps a combination of both. We learn how we can help others with a vexing physics problem, or master the art of dribbling in field hockey. Every single member of our community has a role to play in being a positive part of someone’s experience. That realization gives us meaning as a member of our community.
Yes, we are one month in. It is a time when some of the first real challenges come up in our school year, but it is also a time when we understand that we are going to need help from those around us. And, we realize that we can help them.