When people envision their home, they instinctively think of a place. They conjure an image of something physical, tangible, and of course, “real.” Yet for me, home is actually a state of mind and being - a place I can go to feel safe from the outside world, in a community I love and trust. In such a place, we can be vulnerable, we can approach challenges with both comfort and clarity, we can attempt the unthinkable. For me, Hewitt is this kind of place.
Home is not about where you are, but more so what you feel. It is about those around you, those with you, and those for you. Home speaks to who you are, and who you will be when faced with the noise of the outside world. It is what you do with what you have and the world you shape and ultimately change. At Hewitt, when you are immersed in and grounded by home, you understand the person you truly are. Here, you can reach your potential.
During my thirteen years at Hewitt, I have learned that home is not easy to define, and time does not keep it still. Home is in constant fluctuation, and I have witnessed this firsthand: as I left lower school at McKelvey for upper school at Big Hewitt, when the pandemic became our reality, when a member of our home, beloved Madame Arnod, was lost. I have seen individuals stray from home while reading Tara Westover’s memoir, Educated. I have seen the value of home be challenged, uncovered the meaning of home for immigrants in our country, in my Dangers of a Single Story course (my personal favorite). Following Patti Smith through her journey in Just Kids, I saw how inspiring individuals retain hope, never giving up on finding a version of home that may be less physical and more emotional.
I have realized that home is not universal, and belonging is a privilege earned by building trust in one another. Unconditional friendships, the culture of sisterhood, and enduring family are all assets of this educational and life journey which I feel eternally grateful for. Imagine a world where, for everyone born, there was a place at the table. In our bubble, in the Hewitt world, we receive a glimpse of this enticing possibility. Here, we thrive like plants in a well-architected greenhouse, relying on one another and working as a team with vision and purpose. Here, our possibilities become endless, no dream too far off, no horizon out of reach. This is our home. This is who we are.
Life teaches us that change is the one constant. Change is omnipresent, as is resistance to change. While today our home might be a castle, tomorrow it may be a war zone, and perhaps a playground next. As we leave our physical home and embark on our respective adventures ahead, one thing will remain the same. Our roots are here, in this home, at Hewitt. Where we go, we all go. And as our roots sprout, blossom, even tangle, and flourish, their origin will always be the same.
Interested in reading more 2022 commencement remarks?
Read May You Always Find a Home in Change-Making by Maya B., Class of 2022
Read Creating Your Own Path by Dr. Tara Christie Kinsey