the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Alex Shao ’22
What is your first impression of Memorial? Is it people running up and down the staircase, or people chatting with each other in the common room? For me, it is not any of the above; instead, I imagine exit signs hanging from the ceiling, clinging with only two wires.
Sadly, this does not only exist in my imagination, but is there in reality. Sometimes, people will even headbutt them when they walk by, but they always hang on. I often see maintenance staff coming in and out, fixing them, since it is a hazard to have them hanging around. However, within a week, they will be hanging in the air again. The faculty in the dorm have been trying to hunt down these “exit sign destroyers” for over a month now, but nobody was caught. Because of that, everyone in the dorm is taking responsibility for destroying the signs.
After a couple weeks of observation, it seems to me that the exit signs are often pulled down after Saturday nights. Obviously, it would be the most logical time for everything to happen as students are finally free that night from a week of classes and sport commitments.
Especially under the veil of the night, people often feel and act differently from who they usually are. When we are hanging out with our friends, mob mentality can affect us easily and let us do things we would have never done consciously. Often, all the stress and anxiety compounded throughout the week can have hidden effects on all of us, and they can often be released through different ways. Most of the time, it might be on the sports fields, the student center, or on the quad, but if we don’t pay attention to it, this negativity can often lead us to make imprudent decisions.
Besides the effect of mob mentality, in my opinion, what’s more important is the duality of man existing in all of us. The idea of the duality of man has existed for a long time and is part of human nature. Everyone has another side within them. The most diligent students might want to waste the whole Sunday doing nothing, the kindest people might imagine themselves as thieves in their dreams, and even I sometimes think about all the mischievous things I want to do. However, what separates us from turning them into reality is our ego. Similar to the idea of duality of man is the belief of ego vs. id, of which ego symbolizes consciousness and id symbolizes the natural lust of our body. As Westminster students, we all try our best on the weekdays, whether it’s in the classroom or on the sports fields. However, the id part of us often shows itself on the weekends, under the darkness. That’s when people run around the dorm and decide to pull down the exit signs because they think it is fun. As a member of this shared community, however, we need to pay more attention to control the other side of us because we all want to make the community a better place.
As the winter approaches, the nights are going to be longer, and we will all spend more time staying indoors. Let us all remember to control the duality of man existing within us as we enjoy the warmth indoors.