On Wednesday, May 2, St. Andrew's students and faculty participated in the School's first Wellness Day. Classes were cancelled, and students signed up for morning and afternoon activity sessions led by faculty. The only requirement for the sessions was that the activity had to be something the leading faculty member enjoyed doing in his or her spare time. Students were allowed to sleep in that morning, and enjoyed a picnic lunch on the front lawn midday.
Activities included hiking and jogging the trails, road biking, journaling and vision boarding, survival camp stove-making and cooking, double-dutch, guided meditation, puzzles, knitting, tree planting, Frisbee golf, yoga, baking, calligraphy, canoeing yoga, listening to rap music, guitar jam sessions, and more.
"There were several motivating ideas behind Wellness Day," explained Dean of Wellness Whiz Hutchinson. "We want our students to be more than academically prepared for college; we want them to have lives full of meaning and purpose, and we want them to be equipped with a variety of healthy coping mechanisms for those times in life when they are struggling or suffering. Sadly, one of the loudest messages in the larger culture is to reach for a drink or a pill if you want to relax and feel better. We want our students to reach for a friend, a book, their running shoes, a paintbrush, a tennis racket. So one of our goals for Wellness Day was to give students the opportunity to explore different ways to be healthy, to flourish, to achieve a natural high without any substances other than sunshine and companionship."
"On Wellness Day, I was able to recharge, feel more connected with myself, and acknowledge what I need to do in the coming weeks and moving into my senior year," said Ryan Godfrey '19. "Also, being able to spend a full day outside on St. Andrew's campus is as good as it gets."
"I signed up for Mr. Hutchinson's workshop (wood splitting) in the morning and went on a canoe trip with Mr. O'Connell and Mr. Torrey in the afternoon," recalled Noelle Yoo '18. "I split wood with an axe, used a chainsaw, and canoed across the Appoquinimink River, and I found a sense of calm in the midst of these activities. Wellness Day encouraged me to be bold and curious, and I finished the day feeling satisfied, blissful, and appreciative for our community and environment."
"The students rose to the occasion and took advantage of what the faculty offered," said Hutchinson. "They expressed joy and gratitude, and I am grateful to the students and my colleagues for making it a wonderful Wellness Day."