Four Life-Lessons Learned in Four Years
High school typically lasts four years; however, the lessons a boy takes away from the short time can extend out into his entire life. Students learn essential academic knowledge while they’re actively engaged in a relational and experiential classroom setting at Avon Old Farms, the private school for boys in New England. And equally, they gain life wisdom from the entire experience.
Every year, every high school welcomes in a class of nervous and hopeful freshmen: at our CT boarding school, we use that tender time as the photo landmark of their journey’s start. Then, as they step through the gateway of their final year, we return to the landmark to reflect. Aside from the obvious change in the boys' physical stature, there’s an evident change in the way they carry themselves—confident, relaxed, clear—that conveys they’ve learned a thing or two about themselves in the last four years.
We asked four of the seniors at Avon Old Farms to share one thing they’ll take away from their four years on our campus:
1. Find Time to Play
“The spring of my junior year, I learned that the phrase ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ is completely true. Between my rigorous course load, athletics and yearbook, Boy Scouts, college, and my social life, I felt incredibly overwhelmed because I had overextended myself. While I did succeed in my endeavors that spring, I would have been far happier and less stressed if I had not taken on so much. Unless you are pursuing a passion, I highly suggest you evaluate your decisions so that you can find a balance between hard work and much-deserved play. Avon has taught me the importance of the work hard, play hard mentality; but if we devote so much time to our efforts that we never have any room for fun, then we’re not fully living our lives.”
- Jack Eschert
2. Open Up to Others
“During my freshman year here, I was pretty closed off. It’s not like I didn’t have friends, but I did not open up to these friends in the same way that I did with my family. I was confident in my ability to stick to myself and do my work. I grew academically, but not emotionally. Instead, I just became stubborn and very good at complaining. As a result of this, I did not come close to taking advantage of what Avon has to offer.
In my sophomore and junior years, I believe I began to become more open with my peers. This happened because, naturally, after spending a lot of time with the same people, you begin to build a trust in them. It wasn’t until I started to open up to the people here that I was able to learn more about the other members of the community here. Once I realized how important it is to open up to others, I was able to grow emotionally. In order to learn about others, you must first put yourself out there and share parts of yourself with them. This can be intimidating at first for obvious reasons: will I face judgment/ embarrassment, etc. However, once you overcome these fears, the connections you will forge with your peers will be irreplaceable.”
- Jared Hunter
3. Try New Things
“Looking back on my time at Avon, I can say that my best years were those in which I took advantage of the opportunities given to me. That being said, I urge you to do something out of your comfort zone, because you may just end up loving it. I was very hesitant when trying new things here, but if there is a place to try new things and while being supported by your peers, it’s Avon."
- Stuart Carlisle
4. Be Kind
"As I reflect back on what made a difference in my first year at Avon it was just simple kindnesses. My hope is to do the same for anyone I can. Imagine if each of us took the time to do that with one person. The effects these little gestures could have on this latest generation of Avonians would be immense. Every smile, every genuine “how you doing?’ will set the tone for the new boys and their coming years."
- Trevor Wehner
Those golden high school years are pivotal in shaping the mindset of a teenage boy. Each experience—whether inside the classroom, out on the field, or any of the number of other opportunities a student is presented with at a boarding school—is a chance for him to expand outside of his comfort zone and gain valuable wisdom. We're grateful for what our students teach us here at Avon Old Farms, and know they'll only continue to grow and inspire others to greatness as well.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Associate Director of Marketing and Communications