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Chadwick School - 26800 S Academy Drive, Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA - (310) 377-1543


Volume 66 Number 6

Someone Else’s Shoes: The things we have in common

by Allison Westley - 2016-04-27


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I recently stumbled upon the Chadwick yearbook from last year, and browsed through the pages of the Upper School, noting the drastic changes in appearances that can occur over just a year. My eyes drifted over pages crammed with faces, and it overwhelmed me to think that each and every student has a unique story. Beneath the perfectly adjusted hair, frozen smiles and ever-so-slight head tilts, there were miles and miles of life rolled tightly into each mind. Miles of happiness and miles of despair, miles of good times and miles of bad, miles of pain and miles of joy.

We come to school with our lives rolled up and tucked away, but this internalization prevents us from connecting with one another. I decided to survey 150 students in the Upper School to identify where our out-of-school lives intersect in order to try to reveal how much we actually share. Although it may be difficult to unravel our lives at school, I hope this survey encourages you to look beyond the faces you pass in the hallways into what people may be dealing with in their lives.

People often ask me why I chose to attend Chadwick School, and this survey serves as a holistic response. Through all of the challenges so many of us face related to body image, academic stress, relationships, family, loneliness and comparisons with others, the No. 1 thing we have in common is feeling supported by one another (142 out of 150 students surveyed believed they had been supported by another Chadwick student this year). I couldn’t be more grateful for the incredible community we have at Chadwick, and I hope these results encourage you to continue to reach out to others and connect with empathy.


Article Keywords:

chadwick, school, student, miles, lives

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