Sitting in the welcoming Janet Root Theatre, relishing the experience of watching our student performers in the hilarious musical “Something Rotten!” I was struck not only by the talent of our students, but also by the famous Shakespeare quotation from “Hamlet,” appropriated in the story line by Nigel, which declares, “To thine own self be true.”
The theme of being true to oneself is a major plot point in “Something Rotten!” and, of course in “Hamlet.” And it’s at the core of so many stories that we tell. Perhaps it is because the importance of being authentic is, in fact, a universal theme.
Within our school’s Mission and Diversity & Inclusion statements, there is an underlying sentiment that it is essential for students to feel comfortable bringing their full selves to Shorecrest everyday. We are a better place when all community members feel secure and welcomed for who they are. Students excel academically when they feel understood and connected with their peers and teachers.
When I ponder on the phrase, “To thine own self be true,” I think about:
Being who you are, unapologetically and without fear of judgement.
Sticking up for what you think is right.
Refusing to go along when people are being unkind to others.
Respecting other people being true to themselves.
Working hard on your passion projects.
Standing up for a friend.
Learning about the world from someone else.
Not pretending to hate beets (or any other unpopular food) even though you secretly adore them.
Being friends with people you like and not worrying what others will think.
Wearing unicorn socks to express your love of the animal.
Choosing a college you think is a good fit for you, no matter where your friends are going to school.
Pursuing the activities you like to do.
Going away to summer camp for the first time, on your own, without knowing anyone.
Expressing your ideas and your thoughts with confidence.