OHA’s Director of Student Affairs shares a snapshot of campus life:
We have entered late October; the leaves have turned, and are now beginning to fall. The weather is crisp and beautiful – cool mornings, pleasantly warm afternoons. A spectacular time of year on “The Hill,” and a great time to be in the Oak Hill Academy community.
It’s hard to believe we’ve been together for two months – weathering a pandemic within our “family-like bubble.” But we’re not just surviving, we’re thriving. We’re staying healthy, attending classes, building relationships, getting challenged physically and mentally to grow and stretch outside our comfort zones.
Students know the routines and rhythms of daily life at our small boarding school; we stress the little things, like getting to class on time, keeping a clean room, using quiet time effectively, managing technology usage, engaging with others respectfully, clearing the table. These are all small things in and of themselves, but are part of practices and routines that allow us to grow and develop into responsible, independent men and women who can build on this foundation and find our passions and callings.
We are a community. Sometimes we may get frustrated with one another, sometimes we may say the wrong thing or haven’t learned when to stay silent. Sometimes we think things aren’t fair, and sometimes we don’t really want to get up in the morning, clean our room, put on a uniform, and head out into the cold morning air.
But as a community, we don’t define each other by our bad days, our bad moments. We need people who have our backs, who are going to hold us to high standards; those we can have difficult conversations with because there is a foundation of trust and care. These relationships are what I value about Oak Hill, and why I am proud to be here.
My encouragement to students right now is to learn how to handle the little interactions we have every day. If a teacher sends you back to the dorm to get a missing textbook, if you forgot to do your laundry during the scheduled time, if you are corrected for talking in church. How do we handle those little conflicts? I believe those who have learned to handle the little conflicts will be capable of handling the big conflicts, and challenges of life.
We push on, and look forward to Semester Break in just one month. But in the meantime, we are together, embracing the opportunities right in front of us, opportunities much of the rest of the world doesn’t have right now, here in little Mouth of Wilson, Virginia.
Mr. Aaron Butt
Director of Student Affairs
Oak Hill Academy