Since my freshman year at Darlington School, there are endless lessons that I have learned throughout my short time here. I've learned how to cope and deal with situations that are challenging in life. I have been constantly learning during school and in the dorms here at Darlington.
1) How to adapt well.
The first thing that I learned when I came to Darlington was how to adapt well. Many new things were thrown my way, and I had to learn to cope and deal with them. Before my freshman year I never had to live in a dorm or share a room with someone else. Those were probably the hardest things I had to learn. It took me a while but with a little work and effort I learned to adapt to my new situation.
At Darlington, I have also learned how to interact with people from different cultures, countries and backgrounds. I learned how to interact with people that were different than me. I also learned how to communicate with my teachers outside of the classroom. I learned how to interact with my teachers and learned how to carry a conversation without being completely awkward.
3) Learning and dealing with failure.
Let’s face the truth: we have all had tests or quizzes that we have failed or done poorly on. I remember last year I had a quiz that devastated my grade, but instead of being completely discouraged and disheartened, I was even more motivated and driven to do well on the next quiz. I took a step back and figured out what I had done wrong.
4) How to show and not tell.
As my English teacher Mr. Marshall always says, if you want to improve your writing, “Show and don’t tell.” Not only has this improved my writing skills, but I have also realized that it is better if I show and not tell in everything I do. I have learned to not tell people about my ambitions and goals but rather to show them.
5) Time management.
Another crucial thing that I have learned is how to manage my time correctly. Before I came to Darlington I was always late, procrastinating or just wasting time. Unfortunately, I am still guilty of these bad habits but I’ve learned to break them a bit. I’ve developed good habits of starting projects earlier and planning out my time better.
At Darlington I have probably learned the most about myself. I’ve learned how I react to setbacks, how I deal with difficult situations in school and out of school. This is the most important thing that Darlington could have taught me because if I didn’t know myself well then I could never try and improve myself.
7) Play to your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
Learning my strengths and my weaknesses has been an ongoing process throughout my time at Darlington. Learning how to make my strengths stronger in the classroom and in sports
has made me become more vigorous in the areas in which I thrive. In addition to learning my strengths and making them stronger, I have likewise learned what my weaknesses are. I’ve learned to identify them well and work on them.
8) Being well-rounded.
There is not one person that I have met at Darlington that is not well-rounded in academics, sports and extracurricular activities. Students here are pushed and push themselves to to have as many skills and talents as possible. Being around such people has made me want to discover and explore areas that I would not try otherwise.
9) Block schedule.
Even though block periods can be rough and exhausting to live through, it is something that I would have had to face in college anyway. Being in a class for an hour and a half is the norm in college. That is why I am glad that Darlington has block periods to prepare me for long lectures in college. I will be more prepared to endure an hour and a half of class compared to kids coming from schools that do not have block periods.
Last, but not least, I have learned the art of doing my own laundry. Before I came to Darlington I had never done my laundry or stepped into my laundry room at home before. The first month boarding was pretty rough because I had no clue what to do and I just threw all my clothes in together. This resulted in ruining a couple of shirts and sweaters. I remember running around the dorm trying to find someone to help me. Thankfully, Mrs. Babb walked me step by step and taught me how to do my own laundry. For this I am eternally grateful!
These are just the most important things that I have learned since freshman year. I am sure there is more for me to learn from Darlington School in the years to come.