Whitefield Academy Blog
A Charge from the Seniors to the Seventh Graders
Every year at Whitefield an upper schooler gives a charge to the seventh graders entering upper school. This year, senior Lindsey Jones presented the following message.
Good morning everyone, and welcome to upper school, seventh graders. I know most of you have been waiting for what seems like an eternity to finally get to wear yellow shirts and a new plaid, and now you’re here. So welcome. I think I speak for the entire upper school when I say that we’re ecstatic to have you all here. When asked to give this charge, I immediately thought about what I would have liked my seventh-grade self to know, and I realized that I should encourage you all to make sure that you think, especially in these three areas.
First, it is imperative that you think about what you are learning. You may have heard this idea once or twice before, but I at the very least want to reiterate it: we are beyond blessed to be in this school. However, this education means nothing if you refuse to think. So I urge you to contemplate. Think about how the works of Homer and Herodotus have not been preserved through the generations for nothing, and the ideas saved in them are ones that probably ought to be valued. Think about how beautiful it is that we can write in a systematic way or think about the utter complexity of the created world. One of the many Whitefield mantras is “Pursue excellence.” Unfortunately, this does not actually look like getting all A’s and turning everything in on time: it is a willingness to go a step further and realize that what you’re learning is splendid and unique in its own way. Therefore, I charge you to think about what you’re learning and actually engage it, so that you may truly ponder anew what the Almighty can do.
Second, this may not feel as though it is that important, but think about your classmates. Your class can enhance your experience at Whitefield to an extraordinary degree. Your class is going to feel more like your brothers and sisters, if they don’t already, and like siblings, they spend almost every waking hour with you and know how you tick. Very few are the instances of community this close knit, and it is vital that you seek the betterment of your class as a whole. Your actions must be thought about—especially the ones that you think only affect you—for the good of the class. Nobody expects teenagers to give their angry words a second thought or to apologize after misspeaking, but if only for your classmates, you must. To behave this way is the only way you and your class will grow. Gone are the days of third recesses and structured time to engage your peers. With upper school comes some freedom, and it can either tear your class apart or, if you work at it, bring you closer together.
Third, think about the future. You are going to be up here receiving your senior charge before you know it, so stop putting off things for then. What is it that you are waiting to do until you get older? It could be a virtue that you think will come easier later in life or a skill that you need to obtain at some point, but locate it now and work toward achieving it. I used to believe the big fat lie that my life would come together on its own and that virtues were accumulated without any effort as you grew up. Allow me to dispel that lie for you now: you will never feel like you have arrived at that long awaited destination of a virtuous and upright person until Christ comes back. In the meantime, we must strive to emulate Him in word, thought, and deed, but none of that will happen if we don’t think about how we want to reflect Christ now and in the future. Living with a perspective beyond the moment in front of you is not expected by our culture of any teenager, but I am charging you to defy the stereotype and think about what is to come.
With that, I would like to reiterate how excited we all are for a new group of seventh graders to join us. I would like to leave you with this charge from Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Welcome to upper school.