Welcome to this new chapter of your life. I am not here today to give you the classic “get out of your comfort zone” speech, but hear me out. Four years ago, I was in the same place as 130 of you. Homesick, even though I lived 30 minutes away. I hardly spoke English and I was scared. Scared of coming to a new school where I did not know a single soul except my Grade 12 brother who honestly did not care to hang out with me.
Welcome to Stanstead! Or welcome back to Stanstead!
If you are a day student or a boarding student, welcome! You are back on campus, and Stanstead life is going to become a reality! If this is your first fall on campus or your sixth, the start of the school year is always, let’s say, “interesting,” and it is ambiguous. Ambiguous meaning “being open to more than one interpretation” or “having double meaning.” On the one hand, I am sure you are excited, and on the other hand, you may dread this situation. Your heart and mind are still on vacation, and your body is in this little town in Canada.
Grade 12 student Laurence Frenette has won the Dugie Ross MVP Trophy for varsity girls hockey for an unprecedented third year in a row. It was one of a number of athletic prizes presented by Stanstead College sports teams over four nights this week.
Growing up as a goalie in Pickering, Ontario right across the city line from Toronto, my hockey idol outside my family was none other than Wayne Gretzky. I have vivid memories of watching #99 play for the Kings and the Rangers. (The Oilers were a little before my memory kicked in, and the Blues, well, that happened a little too fast.)
In many ways, the beginning of 2021 has started exactly as 2020 ended. Unfortunately, the flip of a calendar was not powerful enough to end the pandemic that has its grip on us. We continue to operate our lives, both inside and outside Stanstead College, with restrictions in place. Both adults and youth have had their lives altered, but we push on and look for better days while ensuring that we still take advantage of every moment to be active and learn.