Here at Groton, we attend Chapel four times a week in the morning before classes. Unlike regular religious services, this time consists of a prayer, a speech typically written by members of the community, and a hymn. Although some students resent having to wake up for a commitment before class, I love time spent in the Chapel; I can gather my thoughts and hear an insightful speech given by a friend or teacher before beginning a full day of classes and sports. Each week, I look forward to seeing a new face in the pulpit and listening to their stories and opinions.
Our three most recent speakers were two students and a faculty member who discussed topics ranging from love to how traffic sustains our sanity. We heard about how a relationship, whether friendly or romantic, relies on both parties in order to sustain itself, and listened to a personal experience about almost losing love. The next day, our self-confidence was boosted when a teacher dove into her past and eloquently described how every person has a story that deserves to be heard. The final talk we heard had the Chapel erupting in laughter as a peer spoke about her dad, classic rock, traffic, and middle school; although the mood was light, she finished her talk by emphasizing how the quiet, personal moments (that can be found while sitting in traffic) tend to be lost on campus, and encouraged us to create these moments for ourselves. Although these talks convey different messages, they all highlight the importance of self-reflection and care, which is what it takes to keep us sane throughout the chaos of school.
After the chapel talk is over and we’ve sung a hymn, there’s always a postlude either performed on the organ or by a student. As the entire school sits and listens and gains chills from the musical talent within our community, we have a moment to drift away from classes and take a breath. It’s moments like these, spent in the Chapel listening to our peers, their stories, and their talent, that expose the richest and most integral aspects of our community.