“I’m able to be myself. I’m comfortable here, and I get to be– me,” said Nina in Roycemore’s new video, I am an IndividualThe video highlights our students and the ways they are able to be an individual at Roycemore. Providing an environment where young people can truly be themselves– has long been part of our culture. You might wonder how that works when we also have community as one of our core values? Well, we strive to make Roycemore a community of individuals. A place where students can be themselves. Where students respect and celebrate the diversity of their classmates.
There is great power in being able to be an individual. Frankly, most of us spend our whole lives on a path of discovery– to “find ourselves.” We learn who we are and what we are capable of by having opportunities to try new things in an accepting and safe environment. When we feel that we will be accepted regardless of our background, we step powerfully into ourselves, and we can, likewise, fully embrace and appreciate others.
Pema Chödrön, an American Tibetan Buddhist, said it eloquently in her book, Practicing Peace in Times of War, “When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, and aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And, you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.”
Doing things differently. It is something we admire in those trailblazing individuals who have had the confidence to do so. It is a trait that inspires creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. It is a necessary skill to solve complex problems, and troubleshoot when something isn’t working as we hoped it might. Roycemore is a place that helps cultivate individuality whether it is through our emphasis on differentiating in the curriculum, providing opportunities for students to study topics of personal interest through the Middle School P3 program or Upper School January Short Term, or even simply, by not insisting on a uniform–but rather, having a culturally inclusive and socially equitable dress code. There is no typical “Roycemore student,” just as there is no typical American! However, students who wish to be a part of a community that is respectful, accepting, curious, creative, engaged, and future-focused–where they can be well-known and appreciated for the person they are and the person they are becoming–feel at home at Roycemore.