Not Halves but Thirds: Trimesters Over Semesters

Billy Huger ’19

Recently, there has been some friendly debate among the students, and the faculty as well, over whether or not the school should change from trimesters to semesters. Trimesters divide the school year into three periods: fall, winter, and spring. The fall ends with The Game, exams, and thanksgiving break. The winter ends with exams and then spring break. Lastly, the spring ends with graduation, exams, and summer. On the other hand, semesters would divide the school year into halves. I can only assume semesters would call for two, instead of three, exam periods, which would probably be before Christmas Break and at the very end of the year. In my eyes, the idea of semesters should never even be brought to the table, as trimesters are obviously Woodberry’s better option.

When I think of an entire Woodberry school year, I think of it in three parts: fall, winter, and spring. I know that it makes sense for me to think this way since the school has had trimesters for all four of my years here, but there is a sound reasoning behind that logic. Each trimester carries its own significances that make the Woodberry experience what it is.

For many, the start of the fall is a new beginning and a time when a lot of guys are trying to figure who they are and where they fit at the school. Fall activities like football games, pep-rallies, and eventually the tie-cutting facilitate that process. The trimester ends by uniting all boys at The Bonfire and The Game, two events that set into stone the Woodberry brotherhood introduced at the beginning of the year.

The winter, on the other hand, is dark and dreary; the days feel long and cold. But these unfortunate conditions force boys not only to be persistent in their studies through rough circumstances, but also and more importantly to build relationships with their friends, as they are forced to spend more time inside with one another. While it is a harsh time for many, it only makes the next trimester better.

The spring ends the year with a bang. The majority of campus is outside participating in some activity under a clear sky and a shining sun. The Rapidan River, Robertson Lake, and the golf course become hot spots for weekend activities. Seniors are sliding, careening almost, towards graduation. Guys are active outside doing many things together. There is an overall happy feeling hanging around the campus, and there is very little to complain about.

I know that many people are thinking that seasons would not just disappear if trimesters did.   But the great value of each individual season is exposed by the way that trimesters divide the year, and together they make the Woodberry experience what it is. In other words, if the Woodberry school year were to be divided into halves and not thirds, then the Woodberry experience would not be the same.

Categories: Today