One of Middlesex’s signature programs, “Community Life,” has been active since students first arrived on campus in September. Seniors have spent hours with a range of faculty perspectives in order to examine how they can be healthy, active, and able leaders throughout the school year. Class III students, meanwhile, explored identity, wellness, and community culture in their weekly program, Connections. Throughout the fall, students across all grades attended Community Life meetings by House began on with a keen focus on values. Spending time away from the classroom, athletic field, or music room is critical for the education of the whole student, and the Community Life program has been engaging with students since they stepped onto the Circle.
In Connections, groups of about ten students discuss issues of wellness, identity, and community living—to name a few recent topics. Students offer experiences and perspectives in confidence, fostering a space safe for personal thoughts and ideas. Faculty members facilitate discussions and happily share snacks and laughs with their groups. Each week focuses on a theme while maintaining a broader commitment to connecting with one another. In the first week, Class III students have explored identity and confidentiality, and next week they navigate wellness and relationships.
Class IV students also attend weekly wellness meetings in the fall. Just before 7 pm on Tuesday evenings, you’ll see clusters of freshmen migrating across the Circle to various faculty living rooms across campus. Once inside, small groups of students meet with two faculty members and a senior member of Peer Support to discuss everything and anything that is not covered in the classroom. This annual program is “Choices,” and it offers freshmen a relaxed atmosphere to discuss such topics as healthy living, coping with stress, friendship, relationships, and – most importantly – how to make good choices.
Community Life meetings, which typically occur on Wednesday nights throughout the year, are opportunities for Houses to learn, share, and bond with one another. While day students do not live on campus, they are split into four different “Day Houses” for these meetings. After some warm-up activities and logistics, students are asked to think deeply about the values they aspire to live by. Students then commit their goals to the page by filling out a worksheet that ultimately ends up in their advisors’ hands. By paying close attention to values, the first Community Life meeting seeks to connect students and ground them in ideals that they believe in.
The yearly Senior Leadership Training went off without a hitch and the energy of this year’s class was palpable. The Training, which runs for several days before classes begin in September, aims to prepare seniors to step into leadership roles through discussions, activities, and skits. Whether sharing stories about the difficulties that came with being a new student or taking part in bystander training, this year’s senior class was not only engaged and motivated but also positive and committed to playing a key role in the Middlesex community. In the first few weeks, the school has benefited from the hard work and passion of its seniors, who continue to support new students as they adjust to life at Middlesex.