My Advice to You…

“Johnson Family Tourists” – ODA Class of 2015 Spirit Week

ODA is a place like no other. It is not very often that you see an entire school community treat and cherish each other like family.

The support that the Out-of-Door community provides is incredible. As a student at Out-of-Door I am proud to say that I have been  surrounded by several compassionate, supportive, and intelligent individuals, especially teachers.

Teachers often go unappreciated because they are the ones who are constantly telling you what to do and how to do it. However, they are also the ones who care about your education and genuinely care about your well-being. Your teachers are insightful and are not only teaching you so you can get through his or her class, but to prepare you to be a critical thinker and be ready to take on any academic responsibility in your future. They help you understand the meaning behind doing things rather than simply doing them.

Having the opportunity to befriend you teachers and create a relationship that goes beyond the lesson being presented in the classroom is something that you as students should treasure. To have any single one of your teachers as a companion is something to be grateful for because the relationships you create with your teachers can be everlasting.

While going through day-to-day responsibilities, accomplishments, and struggles, as students it is easy for forget what an incredible environment you are immersed in at Out-of-Door. Your experiences, failures and accomplishments at ODA are all contributing to that path you are on to do extraordinary things.

My advice to you, the Out-of-Door upper school student body, is to appreciate ODA. I know that sentiment is so often repeated that it’s almost cliché, but it is a statement with such incredible value. It can be hard to appreciate all that you have while you’re busy going to practice and class and continuing through you day-today routine and dealing with ups and downs. But it is important that you value the resources and nurturing environment that are contributing to your path of success.

If there is anything I especially want all high school students at Out-of-Door to take away from reading this it is this:

Right now, all of the responsibilities you have and relationships you are making and work you are doing may seem simply circumstantial and day-today, but once your last few feels of high school sneak up on you, you will realize how grateful you are to have gone to such an amazing institution as Out-of-Door.

Your time will have flown by and the next thing you know you’re going to be leaving for college in a few months. I’m not saying that to instill any fear in you or say that you should start thinking deeply about your future. But, what I am saying is that there will be a moment where it all hits you. All of the memories and experiences you’ve had and relationships you’ve made will all of a sudden be things that are soon to be in your past, and also things you are more than happy you have found.

As a graduating senior, it is a feeling that is indescribable. At ODA, as students, you are not just there to be taught. You are there to become an intelligent, educated, mature young adult of genuine character, ready to take on the next stage of your life.

Know that The Out-of-Door Academy will always be a home for you– a place that you will always feel welcomed, as family.