The Year After was created this past summer in response to all we learned about the sophomore experience last spring!
We’re so excited to journey through this year with you! Any question you want answered, let us know! For now, join us in The Sophomore Forum for conversations already in progress!
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With only two weeks left in the Fall Semester, it’s possible that the volume of assignments, projects, and goals you have on your plate can feel quite overwhelming. Thanksgiving Break, while full of food and family, was far less productive than you might have expected, and for some reason, many of your professors are requiring your finals be complete before finals week even begins. Suddenly, it’s practically getting dark outside shortly after lunchtime, and all of your favorite spaces to study and work are full of noisy people that you’ve never seen before. You might idle away on Facebook or Twitter, or take snow pictures and post them on the College’s Instagram page, rather than researching on JSTOR or searching Tripod. And that’s ok! It’s all about balance.
The last weeks of semester are full of objectives, deadlines, and yes, stress. As the days tick down and the work only increases, please remember Continue reading
Sitting in the upper tier of the Philips Wing, the stacks are lined with books several decades old– among them, perhaps, ones that belonged to former Haverford students and others, seminal texts in the early Haverford curriculum.
Maybe you’re pumping Lady Gaga through your headphones and curiosity gets the best of you. Maybe you just like to read. If you’ve taken some time to browse these books, have you wondered what it was like to read them as a Haverford student in the 1800s? Did you question if someone was sitting in this same spot cramming for a term paper 100 years ago and wonder if they left any inspiration for you?
This year, in preparation for a spring exhibit in Magill, we’ve been digging in the archives to explore the reading communities and rituals of Haverford students in the 1800s. Student literary societies were vibrant outlets for student-led events including debates about current topics (such as Suffrage or Lincoln’s Election). The literary societies located a space of extra-curricular reading and student leadership. Students even created their own libraries to complement those of Magill’s (at that time) selected holdings.
The front of invitation from a sophomore-led ceremony in 1883
The members of the sophomore class set the stage –literally. Each sophomore class had the daunting task of Continue reading
Many of you will be spending Thanksgiving at home or with relatives elsewhere. I suspect that many may be dreading being asked, “So, what are you going to major in?” To be followed in many cases by, “And what are you going to do with that?” What follows is a bit of thinking and writing I have been doing on the subject of the major that hopefully can provide you with some ammunition with which to answer with confidence!
What follows is much longer than the typical blogpost. Blogs came into existence long after I became a dean. Think of this as an ancient form of blogging, and feel free to spend as much or as little time with it as you wish.
Good luck with those inevitable questions, and have a great Thanksgiving!
**The following are the insights of a dean who has advised college students for the past 35 years about the question of advising for the major.
Declaring a major is an important undergraduate rite of passage. It is at this point that Continue reading
I’m Kelsey, a senior at Haverford. Last fall, as a junior, I spent my semester abroad in Belgium, at the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven, located about 20 minutes outside of Brussels.
It was incredible—the food (Chocolate! Frites! Waffles! Mussels!), the people, the language, being surrounded by centuries of history. And best of all, Belgium is located right in the middle of Western Europe, which meant I was able to travel cheaply! (Read more about my adventures at my travel blog, kelseyisabroad.tumblr.com/.)
Me, making new friends, on a trip to Ireland during study abroad! Helpful note: I’m the one on the right.
Eating Belgian waffles with my friend Claire Perry ’14 and Haverford Professor of Economics Shannon Mudd (who was visiting!)
Claire Perry ’14 and me, in front of the stadhuis (town hall) in Leuven! STUDYING ABROAD IS SO FUN
All that to say: studying abroad was one of my favorite decisions of college so far. It was so necessary for me, both academically and personally, to take time off from Haverford, and to see a different place. But deciding that I wanted to apply for study abroad through Haverford Continue reading
Dear Jane and Joe Sophomore:
I’m not too worried about you. I think you may have it figured out already.
True, freshman year was a little rocky. Yes, your dorm really *was* worse than the other dorms, it’s not subjective or something like everyone says. And whoops, that wasn’t the whole semester’s reading, it was just one week of Intro to Western Civ., don’t skim Tacitus, Linda Gerstein will know. The whole “knocking over 30 folding chairs while trying to sneak out of the anime club screening of My Neighbor Totoro” incident–we’ll just try to forget that happened (no we won’t).
But you soon caught on and came to understand the laws of the strange bio-dome in which you found yourself. You finally figured out which side of the Dining Center is the cool side (the left, duh). You tried every variant of pizza bagel in Lunt Cafe, and they even named one after your goofy Customs Week nickname (“The Dr. Moose II”). Your Go Boards posts were read, enjoyed, and grudgingly respected by the obscure, thesis-procrastinating seniors who only communicate with each other in a complex parrying of animated gifs.
But just when you think it’s safe, right when you’ve clawed your way into some vague position of campus authority (gallery assistant, Honor Code Orienteer, English major), you’re about to undergo yet another amazing Continue reading
As spring registration quickly approaches, the task of choosing a major, or at least narrowing your choices, is on the minds of most sophomores. But how does one choose? Since your arrival at Haverford, undoubtedly you’ve heard at least one advisor say, “Study what you love!” It’s just as likely you’ve heard someone else say something to the effect of, “choose a practical major, one that will help you get a job.” I’ve talked with many students, and parents, who fear those two considerations are mutually exclusive. The good news is there are countless stories of Haverford alumni who dove deeply into their favorite subject matter and went on to pursue meaningful, interesting, and rewarding careers– sometimes with close connections between their major and career, but quite often not.
The point is not that your major doesn’t matter, but rather Continue reading
Now that it’s late October, many things are wrapping up and winding down: half-semester courses, fall foliage, baseball season, and the number of days left to find that perfect Halloween costume.
This is also the time of year when the process of applying for most fellowships draws to an end. While that might not seem as exciting as the World Series or zombie make-up, fellowships can take you places you might never have imagined.
What is a fellowship?
Fellowships are opportunities for students funded by a particular organization. Fellowships allow students to expand their educational base, professional skills, and personal horizons. Whatever your interests or goals, you’ll almost certainly Continue reading
In a few days, Daniel H. Weiss will be formally sworn in as the 14th President of Haverford College. But in 1977, as a sophomore at the George Washington University (GWU) in Washington D.C., he had very different aspirations.
I’m Oscar Wang, a senior here at Haverford. Coincidentally, I am also a transfer student from GWU, having spent my freshman year there before making the move to join the Haverford community as a sophomore. As a matter of fact, President Weiss and I lived in the same dorm our respective freshman years in our nation’s capitol! A few days ago, I had the honor of speaking with our new President about his sophomore college experience. Our conversation, covering a range of topics from major selection to lessons for today’s sophomores, is below.
Oscar Wang: I just have to say, Mr. President, that is a great picture of you. You haven’t changed a single bit!
President Daniel H. Weiss: [laughs] Oh, shucks. Well, you’re very nice to say that. That was exactly Continue reading
I hope fall break has provided exceedingly abundant relaxation so far! You deserve every bit of it.
I also hope it’s provided you with an opportunity to evaluate and enrich your network. Whether you realize it or not, you’re entering a stage where networking will become increasingly important/relevant for you. I’m reminded of a few recent conversations we’ve been having with 22 of your fellow sophomores in 4S (Sophomore Summer Success Seminar) and thought I’d quickly share some relevant web content.
In the spirit of brevity, just two items for now: Continue reading