the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Sung Min Cho ‘22
In so many ways, the upcoming spring season will be unprecedented. As a Fifth Former who is well aware that his Sixth Form year is just several months away (time flies), it comes as a bit of an anomaly that the Class of 2022 has had the experience of just one spring term at Westminster. For the Fourth Form, who now approach upperclassmen age, and are at a point to begin considering “the next step” in their academic career, these upcoming months will be their first spring semester that remotely resembles the pre-pandemic era. A lot has certainly been lost, but what really? Is there a hole in our collective memories? What is spring at Westminster even like?
I’ve always found it endearing that the community holds a shared spirit towards each term. Fall is the season of beginnings, reunifications, rapture, and the annual assumption of roles and responsibilities. Winter is a more solemn one: we retreat inside from the piercing wind, the dark reigns tyrant, individual sorrows are felt. Yet, amongst the frozen landscape, Westminster stays glamorous. Candlelight and the Winter Musical come to mind. Always unforgettable, Winter Formal remains an endlessly romantic jewel, kindling kindred spirits in an otherwise unforgiving season.
The spring though? I am at a loss for words. The Fifth Form’s only recollection of spring comes from our freshmen year, some twenty-two months ago. I am aware that most students can draw up a laundry list of spring events – yes, the season starts with lacrosse, salmon shorts, and ends in Commencement; yet, I think the emotional ties to the spring term are lackluster when compared to its peer seasons.
But this amnesia should not deject the community. It should excite us. Our Forms can set the tone for future springs to come, and that is a remarkable opportunity. When in the past has there been such a clean slate to define the spirit of an entire term? I think we would have to go back to, I don’t know, the Second World War, perhaps.
To accomplish such a goal, I urge the community to entertain three possible approaches: preserve tradition and normality to the greatest extent possible; connect and leave a mark on a younger student; and, finally, show up to things. The United States is heading in a direction of renewal and rebirth. The nation, and Westminster, have lost so much; yet, like generations before, it is up to us to raise the bar and remake this special community.