New Year Resolutions

December 13th, 2019

Happy New Year! I hope your winter break has been restful, and that you have had a joyful time together with your loved ones. As I reflect on the year behind us, I look back with a deep appreciation of our accomplishments at Selwyn in 2019. We finished construction on the Early Childhood Center and opened to classes of joyful young children; we completed the Smith Family Commons which, through the philanthropy of generous families, has been a welcoming space for community fellowship and dining; our graduates attended the colleges of their choice with significant merit-based scholarships; our children learned, grew, competed, and excelled in so many ways. I am tremendously grateful for 2019—but I am eager to see what accomplishments 2020 holds. With the support of our faculty, families, and students, I am certain we will achieve great things.
When the students return next week, I want them to return with a sense of rest and readiness for the year ahead. Let’s begin the Spring semester with a purpose to live out the Selwyn mission and be learners, leaders, citizens, and advocates for good. As we begin 2020 together, I challenge all students at Selwyn to embrace these five resolutions for the new year:

Resolution #1: Be passionate learners.

Students who love learning inspire others around them. Be passionate about increasing your own knowledge and bettering yourself in every way you can. Find what inspires you and research it, learn about it, and share your knowledge with others—develop the skills that will allow you to be a lifelong learner, and be forever unafraid to embrace challenges with unclear solutions.
Resolution #2: Be courageous leaders.
Whether you know it or not, your attitude in and out of the classroom will affect your classmates. Everyone can be a leader at Selwyn, so be courageous and act like a leader. Stand up for justice, take care of our community, and dedicate yourself to doing the best work you can. Make leadership a habit and see how much your leadership improves the lives of the people around you.
Resolution #3: Be visionaries for the future.
Be a refreshing presence in the world by being optimistic about it. Envision a bright future for yourself and begin developing a plan that will lead you to the future you see for yourself and for the world around you. I am reminded of the words of Sir Ken Robinson, who said that “for most of us, the problem isn’t that we aim too high and fail. It’s just the opposite: we aim too low and succeed.” Aim high by developing a vision that improves upon the status quo, and then find the ways to make your vision a reality. Your community will be improved by your efforts.
Resolution #4: Be resilient in the face of obstacles.
Even the most excellent, high-achieving students sometimes fall short of their goals. You will inevitably face obstacles, setbacks, and—yes—failures. Do not let these setbacks define you: the strength of your character shines through in how you react to obstacles. Your resiliency and composure in the face of trouble will make you a better student and a stronger person.
Resolution #5: Be confident and challenge yourself.
Focus on your strengths—be confident in who you are and do not limit yourself. Challenge yourself to perform at your highest level in everything you do and prepare in ways that will be sufficient to reach success at any level. Take risks by participating in extra-curriculars, joining demanding classes, and embracing challenges. You will surprise yourself when you see how much you are truly capable of doing.

I know that the students at Selwyn are capable of incredible things. I know this because I have seen it time and again in our current students, and I see it in the accomplishments of our many alumni. I hope many students take up this challenge and embrace these resolutions with earnestness. I know our families and our faculty will hold them to a high standard and help them achieve these goals. There is no doubt that together we can do great things. I expect 2020 to be our best year yet.

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