Whitefield Academy Blog
Senior Charge to the Seventh Grade Class 2019
Good morning everybody! My name is Caitie Dugan, and I am the Student Body President this year. I was asked to give the charge to the 7th graders, and I am so excited to be here!
Alright 7th graders, take a deep breath with me. Breathe in, breathe all those nerves out. Every single person in these pews has been in your shoes before. We were all nervous on our first day of upper school too. But know this, every single one of us in this room is rooting for you.
Today is day one of a six-year journey through the Whitefield Academy Upper School. This is a six-year journey that will take all of you up and down and all around. There will be great days and there will be really challenging ones. There will be laughter, but there will also be tears. This is day one of a journey that will fly by. You’re going to blink and one of you will be standing here giving a charge to the new 7th grade class. But although these six years will go by so fast, I’m going to share with you today three things that I believe will make this journey the best it can possibly be.
#1) Engage in your classwork. I know some of you might be rolling your eyes at this, but I promise you–it’s vital. In all your time at Whitefield, the majority of it will be spent with your class. For five days a week for six hours a day, you are learning math equations, writing notes about the laws of science, and working through some of the greatest books ever. You see, as a class you are going to go behind enemy lines in the Trojan Horse and journey home with Odysseus. You are going to discuss the pride of man through the examples of Oedipus and Creon. You’re going to laugh through the comedies of Shakespeare and the tales told on the way to Canterbury. You will also work through some of the most influential theological, philosophical, and scientific works that have ever been written. While some of these will make more sense than others, you will discuss each and every one of them to discover more about God and His character. You will have discussions with each other every day. Some discussions will be better than others, but you will grow the most as a class during your class discussions. These are the times you discover what is true. The goal of your classwork is not for you to an “A” on every assignment but to know more about who God is. If you love the Lord more at the end of this journey than you do right now, you will have succeeded in your classwork.
#2) Play a sport. Now I know some of you might be saying in your head right now, “Caitie, I don’t sport,” but hear me out. Playing sports at Whitefield is not about being the best athlete on the court or field but about growing in fellowship with your teammates. Sports at Whitefield give you a learning environment unlike any other. When you play a sport here, you become a better person. You learn to trust your teammates because no matter what happens, you are there for each other. You learn how to be Christ-like in the face of adversity. You learn to persevere when it would be easier to just give up. You learn a lot about life that you can’t learn in the classroom. I’m not saying you have to play all three sports, but just give one sport a try. If you do, you might just find yourself hooked.
#3) Finally, invest yourself in extracurricular activities. Study halls are great when you have a busy night, but make sure you don’t only take study halls. Join yearbook (#shamelessplug) or take an art class. I will tell you, and Mr. Appling is my witness, that I detested Art in elementary school. I didn’t like it, and I wasn’t good at it. But I gave it another try once I got to Upper School, and Art has become one of my favorite classes. Maybe Art and Shakespeare aren’t your thing; that’s okay. Take Debate or join Spirit Club. Whatever it is, find something you’re passionate about and have a blast with it.
Well, there you have it. Those are my three tips to make your journey in Upper School the best it possibly can. Engage in your classwork, play a sport, and get involved with extracurriculars. This six-year journey will be hard and challenging, but it will be worth it, I promise. So you can either let this journey pass you by or you can hop on the train and ride it for all its worth. It is my great honor to welcome you all to Upper School! Day One starts right now!