I don’t know many schools that prioritize tradition to the same extent as Marlborough. As a new student last year, I had no idea what Ring Ceremony consisted of, why people were arguing over graduation dresses or if a class really needed their own banner. Though I eventually picked up on what these traditions were, I thought that the emphasis placed upon such rituals was strange. I felt this way until the end of my junior year, when I ran through a high-five tunnel created by the Class of 2022 after Ring Ceremony. In that moment, I gained an appreciation for the sense of community that school-wide events foster.
Though community events can breed competition and comparison, as students may find it stressful to pick the best dress or find a date for school dances, I feel as though they often bring people together. Since all students in the grade are invited to participate in events like prom, graduation, homecoming and ring, banner and pin ceremony, nobody gets left out of the experience. These events unite people from different groups, strengthen bonds between classmates and allow members of the community to create lifelong memories.
Marlborough’s community would not be the same without students who are willing to get to know one another. I integrated smoothly onto our campus last year, and I think that this would have been impossible without my wonderful friends taking me in and showing me the ropes. They would reminisce about camping trips and other community-building activities as if they had happened the day before, telling me stories that made me excited to be part of such a vibrant environment.
They were clearly grateful for the opportunities they had been given to connect with their classmates, just as I am grateful for the close-knit community that I have been immersed in. This sense of closeness would be impossible without the memories that Marlborough students make together. The moments we share are enduring, so I believe that community events allow us to come together and are crucial to our connectivity as a school.
Spending time with others in the community can also benefit mental well-being. Getting involved in events allows students to have fun while spending quality time with people they trust. Getting to know others, especially in a safe environment like Marlborough, allows students to open up and be vulnerable in a community that embraces them for who they are.
Community-wide events also provide opportunities for students to share moments that they are proud of and often bring levity to school culture. I remember the joy that permeated my own Ring Ceremony as my friends and I laughed at the tiny candles that kept blowing out and the cult-ish appearance of our grade sitting in a circle. It is community events like these, in all their peculiarity and joy, that bring our community together.
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