Today’s guest blogger is Mr. Aaron Butt, Director of Student Affairs. He shares the lessons of February at a boarding school – the “in between days” are the stuff life is made of.
From the Director of Student Affairs:
February is a notoriously tough time at boarding school. Christmas Break is far in the rearview mirror and Spring Break seems achingly distant. We, like many other boarding school communities will understand, celebrate the completion of February. March has arrived at Oak Hill, and in typical March fashion, yesterday the daffodils were blooming and robins were chirping, and today we have snow. I call this time of year “Here, but not here.” We are just over a week away from Spring Break, and a few days into our last academic quarter. Basketball is winding down, and more students can be found on the tennis courts and soccer field. Spring is here, but not here. It is easy to wish away the days, to look down the road to vacations, warm weather, and graduation. Our encouragement to students right now is to live in the present.
Dr. Groves gave a devotion on Monday morning in which he referred to this time as the “in-between days,” and about the importance of living for today and not wishing the moment away. I was reminded of the movie “Click” with Adam Sandler, where he fast forwards his life through the dull moments, and realizes too late that life is made up of those small, seemingly insignificant events.
At this point in the year, students know what it takes to be successful at Oak Hill. We know the value of discipline, routines, structure. The hard part isn’t knowing what it takes, it’s doing what it takes – on a daily basis. It is no surprise to me that the students who have their bed made each morning and wear their shirt tucked in are the students who are on the honor roll; that the best athletes are the same ones who get up at 6:30am to go to the gym.
Oak Hill is a unique blend of accountability and individual responsibility. We ask students to abide by our structure, but also ask them to take ownership for their decisions, and be responsible. This is who we are, and who we will continue to be as a school. Our approach may occasionally change, but our mission will stay the same.
As we move into Spring Break, as spring weather actually does arrive and as the year winds down, my encouragement to students is that we are always “here.” We have already arrived. Take advantage of today, and as Dr. Groves says, “Grow where you are planted.”