Happy New Year!

Make Spring 2015 your BEST semester yet! (Start here.)


The Year After was created in the summer of 2013 in response to all we learned about the sophomore experience that spring!

We’re so excited to journey through this year with you! Any question you want answered, let us know! And be sure to review our “What Now?” section regularly. We’d hate for you to miss something!

Regular posts every MONDAY. And sometimes on Wednesday. Enjoy!




Goodbyes Can Be Tough

Posted on: April 27, 2015

The end of semester crunch is always insane with final projects, solidifying summer plans, looking forward to Haverfest, and the million other things on your mind. But the end of sophomore year also comes with some social challenges. If you’re going abroad the opposite semester as a friend, or you are going abroad for a year, it can be daunting to say goodbye for such a long time. Not to mention, now that you’ve had the chance to get to know some upperclassmen pretty well, you’ll have to say goodbye to your senior friends in the next few weeks.

Goodbyes are tough and added with the stress of the end of the year can cause quite a lot of anxiety. But here are a few things to keep in mind.

If you’re going abroad…

This part of the process is tough because you’re saying goodbye to one part of your life (Haverford) for now but it hasn’t been replaced yet (i.e. you haven’t gone abroad yet). But remember that once you go abroad, you’ll be wonderfully overwhelmed with all of the awesome “gains” you get from studying abroad even if right now it seems like the “losses” (e.g. time with friends) are more salient. Know that this is just part of the process and make sure to take advantage of the resources the Study Abroad Office has to offer.

If your friend is going abroad…

Junior year can be a bit disjointed and a little scary to think about with a good chunk of the class studying abroad at some point. But try to revel in all of the stories that you’ll get to share with your abroad friends about Haverford – you’ll be responsible for keeping them in the loop about the Ford. While it can be really hard to say goodbye to a friend who is leaving, look forward to getting to know other members of your class and community. Some of the best friendships are formed in unlikely circumstances. And keep in mind how epic the reunion will be when everyone is reunited!

If you’re saying goodbye to senior friends…

Just because your senior friends are graduating doesn’t mean that they’re not going to be your friends anymore. While you can’t go on late night Wawa runs with them next year, you’ll now be their main connection back to Haverford. So you’ll get to tell them about how silly foam party was since they won’t be there with you. Plus, you’ll now have a network of friends beyond the limits of Haverford. Utilize this! You can even try to visit some of your Haverford friends over fall or winter break.

Here are a few things you can do:

Let your friends know! Share your feelings. Have a conversation about ways to stay in touch. Consider trying some fun form of communication like snail mail. Don’t silently freak out without letting your friends know so they can support you. Also, consider going to CAPS if you think it’d help to talk it out and get some advice.

Depending on your finals load (if you are super overwhelmed and don’t have much wiggle room with your work, then definitely don’t worry about this), consider trying to finish up your work early. Even having the last Thursday and Friday to get a chance to find your friends and say goodbye is really helpful.

Above all, remember that even though a lot is changing, everything always works out. Do your best not to stress out, enjoy the last few weeks, and remember to reach out for help when you need it.

Wrapping it up (and reaching out!)

Posted on: April 20, 2015

It’s April – famously the most chaotic, demanding, and cram-it-all-in-before-Haverfest month at Haverford. Midterms may have just concluded, but finals are around the corner, and the stress of predicting the impending Pinwheel Day may understandably be weighing heavily on you.

With four weeks to go, it’s time to streamline your schedule, focusing on your top priorities and tuning out the rest. But even the best intentions hit roadblocks, and as the days tick down and the work only increases, please remember that there are an immense number of people at Haverford who are here to help you. That might include a faculty mentor, your Dean, a research librarian, CAPS counselor, or another member of the staff or faculty with whom you feel comfortable. You may want to talk over a challenging assignment, review your planned finals schedule, or prepare for your summer adventure. You should! So often, Haverford students say, “I didn’t want to bother you since I know you’re really really busy, and my stuff isn’t that important, so I didn’t email you/set up an appointment.” It’s not a bother at all – in fact, it’s their job and passion to help!

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I’m going to stop procrastinating… eventually

Posted on: April 13, 2015

It’s that time of year. Finals are quickly approaching, and the work is starting to pile up. At the same time time, the weather has finally come around, and the distractions are plentiful. It’s procrastination season. As someone unsurpassed in procrastinatory ability in college, I have really enjoyed learning a bit more about that habit and how to combat it since I began working here at Haverford – certainly my graduate school performance was better for it!

One thing that I quickly picked up on was the difference between time management and procrastination. Just because something gets done at the last possible minute doesn’t necessarily mean that it was the victim of procrastination. Sometimes, there’s just too much to do, and dedicated hard work just keeps you afloat, pumping water out of the metaphorical boat as fast as it comes in. In that case, you might need to reduce your load or work more efficiently, but procrastination isn’t your hobgoblin.

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Thinking Ahead to the Fall: Transitioning into New Student Leadership Positions

Posted on: April 6, 2015

Have you been tapped (officially or unofficially) to take over a club, organization, or position of leadership for next year? Perhaps you’re one of the newest members of Students’ Council or Honor Council? Or newly appointed, or elected, member of a committee, team, or student org?

If so – Congratulations!

Make sure you Continue reading

The Law School Application – Timeline and Checklist

Posted on: April 1, 2015

Hello Haverford Sophomores! If you are thinking about law school – and especially if you are thinking about attending law school immediately after Haverford – it is never too early to think about what the law school application cycle looks like, and what it will mean to you.

There are several things you can do now: build great relationships with your faculty; keep a strong GPA; experience law through networking, externships and internships, etc. Students wanting to attend law school right away will apply in the beginning of their Senior year, and so a conversation with the pre-law advisor at the end of this semester is a great idea. Continue reading

Why is a Jpeg?

Posted on: March 30, 2015

So, last semester, I asked the question: What’s a Jpeg?

(Again, it’s an image file)

This semester, I’d like to talk about why we should even care about what a jpeg is. I had the good fortune earlier this semester to chat with Dennis Hlynsky during his visit about the rather disturbing trend in computing to hide more and more information from its userbase. Do you even see the file extensions anymore? I imagine that as the years go on, that answer is going to be: “No.”

When you are on the web and encounter a picture, you are looking at a jpeg. When you encounter audio, you are listening to an mp3. When you watch a video, you are very likely watching and mp4. Did you know that the logo you see at the top of a site is actually a png, and not a jpeg? Do you know what the benefit is to making a logo into a png file over a jpeg? What I’m really getting at is that different file types have different uses, even if they all ultimately serve the same function. Continue reading

Hello, Failure

Posted on: March 23, 2015

If you’ve been following all the advice on this blog (and my, there’s an awful lot of distilled wisdom floating around this corner of the internet), then you’ve spent some of your sophomore year putting yourself “out there.”  The safe cocoon of your Customs Group is a musty, distant memory; perhaps you’ve even left the meal plan and you’ve fended for yourself at Main Line grocery stores for months.  On a deeper level, you’ve set yourself a more coherent academic plan: you’ve declared a major, or looked into off-campus opportunities that can focus your academic pursuits to a laser-specific set of research questions.

Maybe not, though.

Maybe others around you seem like they’re zooming off, getting accepted to competitive programs and landing fancy internships in exotic-sounding locales like “Phnom Penh” or “Philadelphia.”  Maybe you also applied to these programs, you also crafted and fine-tuned your essays, you also put your name in the hat and raised your hand in class and showed up to office hours and went to that one networking event and generally followed the advice that people gave you.

And maybe you didn’t stick the landing, maybe you failed and flopped a little. (Or a lot.)

There are two main strains of failing: the first is Continue reading

Mi Casa Su Casa

Posted on: March 16, 2015

April is right around the corner, and with it comes 2015 Spring Room Draw! I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some resources and tips to help you navigate the process.

1. Spring Room Draw will be held on Monday, April 13 – Friday, April 17th in Sharpless Auditorium. Room Draw consists of 5 rounds, with different housing offered during different rounds.

2. Read the guidelines! 2015 Spring Room Draw guidelines are currently posted online. The document is long but helpful. It has everything you need to know so read it!

3. Connect with the Residential Life Committee. The Committee has created a Facebook page for Spring Room Draw. They are available via email to answer any questions you might have. Email them at hc.reslifecommittee@gmail.com. The Residential Life Committee will also be tabling outside the Dining Center during dinner hours on Monday, March 30 – Thursday, April 2nd, so bring your questions!

4. Be mindful of deadlines. All deadlines are firm. No Havertime! Be sure to check out the 2015 Spring Room Draw Calendar on page 2 of the guidelines for important dates and upcoming deadlines.

5. Be eligible! Clear up any library or financial obligations before Friday, March 20th, in order to be eligible for Room Draw.

6. At the end of the day, do not panic! All eligible students who want campus housing and follow all the necessary steps/deadlines, will get housing. If you do not select housing during Spring Room Draw, you should submit a Deferred Housing Assignment form (available April 17), and you will be housed over the summer.

I encourage you all to be proactive during this process. If you are unsure or have questions, please reach out. The Office of Residential Life is available via email (hc-reslife@haverford.edu), or you are welcome to stop by our office on the 2nd floor of Chase Hall. Please use our office as a resource.

Be proactive. Read. Ask questions.

Good luck!



Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

Posted on: March 9, 2015

How often do you self-reflect? Maybe I need to rephrase the question for some of you: do you self-reflect? Being a huge advocate of introspection, during my senior year as an undergrad, I gave a presentation about the merits of self-reflection to a group of student leaders. My take-away was this: In order to lead others, we must know how to lead ourselves. In order to lead ourselves, we must know ourselves. In order to know ourselves, we must self-reflect.

What is introspection? It’s “an examination of one’s own conscious thoughts and feelings” (Schultz, D.P., & Schultz, S.E.).  Does that scare any of you? When I first read that definition, my body clenched; it could have been that the word “examination” was intimidating and somewhat daunting. Rather than looking at introspection as an “examination”, I’ve learned to view it in this way: introspection gives you an opportunity to look back in the past, examine the present, and dream towards the future.

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Sophomore Major Teas Begin on 3/17

Posted on: March 4, 2015

Happy Wednesday, sophomores!

In case you missed it, be sure to check out the list of this spring’s Major, Minor, and Concentration Advising Teas. If you’re still undecided about your major, the advising teas are a great opportunity to ask questions and speak with faculty.

The teas will begin as early as Tuesday, March 17th; be sure to mark your calendars now, so that you don’t forget over Spring Break!