This post, which originally ran on October 1st, 2013, has been edited.
October? Fall break next week?? Wasn’t it just Labor Day? I still haven’t put away summer clothes and my mother’s already texting my brother and me about Thanksgiving. Sigh::: Time seems slightly more pushy this year and I’m not feeling it. At all.
But I guess it was the same in college. Even back then, I suspected time was conspiring against me and my yet to be realized interests. I suppose that’s why I woke up early this morning to write this post: Sophomore year can easily be a fleeting year where college sorta just happens to you. A year of “first, this happened, then that happened, and then the next thing.” Sure you’ll learn more about who your real friends are, the oh-so-young freshmen skipping around will boost your sense of importance and you’ll have that big moment where you officially declare a major…but what else?
A LOT — if you’re intentional. Rather than have your sophomore year just happen to you, wouldn’t it be better if you closed out this year reaching several tangible milestones? Like what you ask…
In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I work for the CPGC, and think that our programs are pretty great. In my opinion, it’s one of the resources that continues to make Haverford a unique place, capable of transforming your college education. Our offices and cafe (with dangerously low-priced treats) are located on the first floor of Stokes.
We don’t really run that many programs–rather, we have various funding/grantmaking streams that are available for students and faculty (but particularly for students!) That’s just a way to say that the ideas you bring us become our programs, and are our main means of achieving our mission. Take a look at this presentation to get a better look at our programs and see how the Center can support your ideas.
Here are some remaining deadlines for the Fall:
If you want to do something cool over Winter Break, November 2 is the big deadline for winter break student research and service learning projects. There will be an information session about designing your own research project on October 26.
Maybe you’re hoping to promote dialogue and provoke thoughts among your fellow students here on campus (you wee scamp!) November 2 is the day for that, too.
Last year, I wrote a blog post about feeling immobilized by too many options. The CPGC can help you narrow your broad interests down to a specific project, and I recommend that you take a look at that post as a starting point for searching for an internship.
The off-campus conferences and workshops funding stream is designed to help first and second year students dig deeper into your passions for academic and social justice issues. We recommended it for you, particularly as a prelude to an internship.
So get in touch! We are so excited to hear your ideas, and to meet you.
p.s. in terms of upcoming events, We’re really excited for (IR)Reverence, a massive tri-center, tri-College celebration of Chinua Achebe’s novel Arrow of God next week.
You’re a month and a year in to your time at HC – so at this point, you likely know the best way to keep your room cool, the most important spices in the DC, and the optimal time to get a treadmill in the GIAC and avoid the hordes. And that’s great! But what I’m interested in, and what I ask you to consider, is not just knowing the landscape, but improving it; how to make Haverford better for you and your fellow ‘Fords.
These days, pundits love painting the picture of the millenial, the competition-loving, frequent job-switching, internet-dependent networker (to describe us, friends). I’m somewhat skeptical of the sweeping generalizations associated with generational labels, but there is something about our modern environment that fascinates me, which in some fashion is connected to the idea of the millenial: personal content curation.
Today, we have the ability to select those voices, sources, and opinions that appeal to us, and the ability to excise those which irritate or run counter to our beliefs. Sick of a friend’s food photos? Unsubscribe. Tired of a particular website’s cat posts (is that possible?) or a biased and uninformative op-ed? Avoid the website. By withdrawing, we only consume that which we enjoy.
This applies easily to Haverford as well. It’s very easy to avoid classes, offices, meals, or activities that you don’t like, but what I ask you to do is a little harder. Instead of just curating your experience, seize upon the opportunity to design it. Haverford exists for you. But for this institution to improve and meet your needs, it requires your involvement. No issue or idea is too small or too big. Your voice on this campus is very important, and here are a few ways to make it heard:
Bring your ideas/concerns/suggestions to Students’ Council. These are actual elected students who represent you. There are specific officers and reps for topics and class years, and they meet weekly to discuss things. So give them something to discuss! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Talk to a mentor. Any faculty member or staff member that you know is a great resource, and I would highly recommend all of the staff contributors to this blog. They love brainstorming and helping to develop personal projects.
Meet with a senior administrator. Deans and Senior Staff members are always happy to meet with you and discuss an issue you’re thinking about.
Meet with the President. I’ll tell you from first-hand experience, working in the President’s Office…anyone is welcome to make an appointment and meet with Dan. Just come in to the office in Founders Hall and ask!
Talk to me. There’s nothing I love more than kicking around an idea and finding ways to make it work. Come talk to me anytime.
Here’s to a carefully curated and thoughtfully designed rest of the semester. Hoping you’ll seek me out so we can make things happen.
As you figured out last year, one of your Official Duties As a Haverford Student is to engage in the life of the mind. Really, it’s your main duty. From the institution’s perspective, your ability to learn stuff from books and professors is more important than going to your a capella rehearsal, getting into Philly once a month, falling in love for the first time, or even going to Plenary.*
Let me just take a moment to be thankful that there’s so much more to life than homework. I’ll say it again: there’s so much more to life than homework!! And so here’s here’s a sophomore challenge for you: Continue reading →
Hopefully you’ve had some time to unpack and settle into your new rooms! As you readjust to life at Haverford College, this time without the built-in support that the Customs Program provides, perhaps you’re wondering how to branch out, meet more of your peers, or find good advice on navigating sophomore year. There are three things that I suggest you do this month that will ease your transition: Continue reading →