Our founder, Frederick Winsor, spoke of Middlesex as a place where students could come to "find their promise." That idea means different things to different people. In her recent senior Chapel talk, senior Caroline House '13 discussed what it means to her:
Frederick Windsor started this school telling every student to find their promise. What if the promise wasn’t as tangible as we all seem to think it is— what if the promise was just that, a promise? A promise to yourself and to the world, a conviction that you are worthwhile, a call to see and hear and experience all the beauty and splendor of this small, glorious world of ours? Because, although there are some activities that I discovered here, I doubt if any senior would say that their promise has been “found” yet.
And yet, none of us are the same that we were freshman year. If we looked at it like that, it’s less of a promise and more of a question. It’s a matter of looking at the world and seeing it clearly, and intensely. It’s a matter of doing your English reading. It’s the feeling of sunshine on your legs when it’s spring on the circle. It’s when you don’t do your math homework because the new episode of The Vampire Diaries is on at 8pm on Thursdays. It’s watching the faculty children grow up. It’s eating dinner at 5:30 every night. It’s calling your mom before you go to bed. It’s the quiet of the dining hall when you’re the first one there in the morning. It’s the stars over the fields. It’s realizing that your own life is a tiny spark in the bonfire of humanity, and deciding to burn brighter than anything else. It’s about soaking up as much knowledge as you possibly can, because you can.
This doesn’t mean that you have to be the next Nobel Prize winner. It also doesn’t mean that you’re failing as a human if you don’t sit in contemplation of the beauty of sunshine every second of your life. It simply means that you have the power to change the world through your very existence. I promise you. The world is different because each of you is part of it. Or rather, the world could be different because each of you is part of it. That distinction is up to you. Find out who you truly are, what you truly care about, what things you truly love, and your spark will fizzle into life like a match being struck, and the whole world will shift, just a little.
The collective human spirit is a force to be reckoned with. We are a race of extremes, of passionate and violent tendencies, capable of great gentleness and great cruelty. We live today as no one has ever lived before, or will ever live again. Take pride in that, find sorrow in that, but most of all, realize that it is up to us to face the world with our own eyes, and with those eyes wide open.