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2019-2020 President and Vice President-Elect Chapel Talk

Abby Vieira and Macy Arsenault
President-elect Abby Vieira and Vice President-elect Macy Arsenault share their first speeches to the Holderness community
Macy Arsenault - Vice President-Elect
First off I’m just gonna say that I am extremely nervous since this is my first speech ever, and writing a speech and reading it to you all is way scarier than OB or Solo was ever. I considered walking up here today grabbing the mic standing silent for a second or two then saying Be Bold, doing a mic drop then just dipping. Only problem is the mic is connected to the podium so it was a no on the mic drop and now I guess I actually have to give you a speech, although most of you would have probably preferred the other option. But before I do I just want to say thanks to all of you for believing that I could actually do this job, and I will try my best not to disappoint y’all.

Anyway, so here we go. My parents always told me to do my best at whatever task is at hand and above all to be myself. Arriving at Holderness freshman year I kept these thoughts in mind. Yet I have to admit, that as a freshman I was a little timid. I soon found that the most interesting people are those who show their true self and are proud of it. Even though there are people with strong personalities while others not so much, it is important for everyone to be themselves and show it. Each individual is important to the whole community, and we need to give our personalities and our individualness to the community to build it and make it into what we want it to be. It is up to us. A community does not just happen, we need to decide that we will do our part in creating it.  

Ask yourself what do you want our community to be like? I don’t know about you, but I want next year to be different and better than the past. I always sat on the same side of Weld with my friends, and sometimes didn’t make a point to say hi to everyone on the path. I know why we all do these things, but next year let’s try to step out of our comfort zones, and even our friend groups sometimes. Be that person, the one who sits on the opposite side of Weld. Be that person, the one who shows up to weekend activities. Be that person, the one who says hi to people on the path. The more we all buy-in and do new things the more fun and enjoyable it will be and the stronger the community will grow. Although it's cheesy be yourselves and impact the community.

But honestly, guys just be bold and that's what will make our Community special.
 
Abby Vieira - President-Elect
I feel like the first thing that comes to everyone's mind when coming into a new school is making a good first impression. I’m sure everyone knows that one kid in middle school who is picked out of the class for being the chatty one, or a disturbance. In my middle school, from Pre-K to 8, that was me. Yet this time, I saw high school as a fresh start.

Coming to Holderness, I was determined to create a new image of myself, as I strolled in with my nicest flowy dress. Yet not soon after I was greeted with the news that I would be spending my first Holderness night…. in the woods. After a string of mishaps like going into my senior leader’s sleeping bag and dropping my quesadilla in the dirt and still eating it; I thought I had come to the conclusion that this school simply wasn’t for me. Honestly speaking, the first couple of nights with just the freshman class were extremely hard for me, as I begged my parents to be a day kid because I was too homesick.

It wasn’t until the returning students came back that I realized while I was trying so hard to make a good impression on the school, I forgot about how the school made an impression on me. Sure, O-Hike was a living nightmare, but the other qualities, the ones centered around community, are the defining reasons to why I saw Holderness as the school for me.

No, I didn’t have an instant liking as I stepped foot on this campus, but I did have one with the people. There is no better connection you feel with the people here than when people on the path take the time to look you in the eyes and say hi. And yes, I’m sure you have heard that 1000x time before and are probably thinking, “yeah literally everyone can say those two letters”, but to me, it is much more than that. It is putting yourself out there, being exposed to the idea that even though you might have said hi, you might not hear one back.

For me, those two letters were a game changer. The more I said hi to the seniors, to the juniors, and to the sophomores, the less reluctant and worried I became that people wouldn’t respond back. Because they did. They always did. Their two letters multiplied my reasonings for me being here, as I began to see the positives to every negative.

Who was there laughing at me after I awkwardly wiggled my way out of the wrong sleeping bag? Carolyn and Claire were, making a stressful situation more lighthearted. Who was there when I dropped my quesadilla? Senior leader Cat Mclaughlin was, offering me her quesadilla that I regrettably denied. Finally, who were the people who calmed me down as I freaked out about boarding life? Bridgit and Meg were, hugging me on the first day of school and telling me that they would be there if I had any worries. If this isn’t any reason enough, it is that a friend can come from literally anywhere.

Holderness should pride itself on our ability to create a friend through every level of the community with sit down dinners, the Barton Olympics and athletics. Yet I believe that we can and should do more to take the time to understand everyone’s story here, no matter how different. Like Macy said, be bold. Do things like going to school dances, dorm activities, or the opposite side of weld for a meal. A new view of Holderness can only come if you want it to happen. But if you really don't know where to start, say hi to me, and I promise I’ll say hi back.
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List of 3 news stories.

  • Emerald Pool Study

    The Emerald Pool Opens at the Edwards Art Gallery

    Andrew Herring
    Albert Bierstadt, the German-American painter renowned for his landscapes of the American West, came to the White Mountains to capture its simple yet overwhelming beauty. What came to life through nearly a decade’s worth of work was The Emerald Pool, a massive oil-on-canvas monument to the natural majesty of a hidden swimming hole along the Peabody River in the Pinkham Notch.  Recounting The Emerald Pool, Bierstadt said, “I never had so difficult a picture to paint, as this White Mountain subject the Emerald Pool; my artist friends think it my best picture and so do I.” 
    Read More
  • Being On Mission: Convocation 2019

    Phil Peck
    At Holderness we deliberately build community through the people we bring in and programs we support. Today I want to share one story about people who showed us what it means to be a mission-centered community and talk about one unique program that is hitting a milestone. 
    Read More
  • The Bulls are Back in Town! Holderness School Welcomes New Class of Students

    Andrew Herring
    Kicking off its 141st year, Holderness School welcomed new students to campus on September 5th.  Under blue skies and surrounded by the cheers of joyful Senior Leaders, 114 new students eagerly joined the Holderness School community.  The day was filled with smiles as new students and families unpacked their cars and turned dorm rooms into a home away from home.
    Read More
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Holderness School
33 Chapel Lane, Holderness NH, 03245
mail P.O Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264-1879
phone (603) 536-1257