the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Alice Liu ’23
This year, new students from around the world are joining Westminster. Here are glimpses into their lives during their first month on campus.
Before arriving, new students harbored a mixture of fear and excitement. Discussing the night before she came to campus, Annabel Brawn ’23 recalls feeling “anxious to the point that I felt like I could throw up.” While traveling from Nigeria to the United States, Chiamaka Kanu ’23 felt “excited and nervous” because she had “never been away from home or been a boarder.” This common feeling of nervousness is matched by its corollary. Many students, including Cindion Huang ’25, expressed eagerness to see Westminster in person. The Zoom tour Cindion took during her application process made her “fall in love with the school.”
As new students transitioned into Westminster, adjustments were necessary. Having attended New Canaan High School with 1,200 students the previous year, Annabel needed to acclimate to the small size of Westminster. Meiyin Ren ’25 and Cindion both experienced confusion with America’s small talk culture. “When people ask me ‘how was your day’ or ‘what are your plans for the weekend,’ I wasn’t sure what to say,” Meiyin told me. I personally resonate with the confusion over small talk. My freshman year at Westminster was my first time in America, and it took me four weeks to figure out the proper response to the ubiquitous “how are you” — “good, how are you?”
Uncertainties dissipated as new students progressed into October. After her first month at Westminster, Cindion feels “truly at home at Westy.” Cindion remarks that people “are incredibly nice and supportive and the sense of community is very strong.” Emma O’Connor ’23 notes that Westminster “has a great community with people who want you to succeed.” In a similar vein, Chiamaka comments that “Westminster is a wonderful school filled with nice and welcoming kids and faculty ready to assist you in any way.” Chiamaka especially enjoys “the discussions in U.S. history class where everyone is truly engaged in forging connections across historical concepts.” When asked if their pre-arrival anxieties were validated, both Emma and Annabel responded in the negative. To her surprise, Annabel found that the transition process was a lot easier than she expected. “If I could say one thing to myself from a month ago, I would tell myself ‘Don’t stress,’” she remarked. Emma agreed and noted, “I would tell myself to be outgoing.” Emma appreciates the “excellent bond” she has formed with her “amazing roommate Annabel.”
Thoughts diverge on the best spots on campus. Chiamaka and Meiyin both agree that their dorms are exemplary. Residing in Gund, Meiyin notes that, “The best thing about Gund is that everyone, especially the seniors, is very friendly.” Cindion appreciates the scenery behind Ms. White’s house. Annabel believes that Keyes Porch is an excellent place to relax and hang out with friends. Emma especially enjoys her time with friends in the Kelter common room. “Kelter is incredibly clean and well-cared for. The people in the dorm also create an inclusive atmosphere. Ms. Hall is outstanding.”
Ultimately, as Annabel sums it up, “Martlets soar together.” Whether it be living it up at the next stud, reuniting with families during parents’ weekend, or killing it at the next cross country meet, new students look forward to an outstanding fall term.