And the Havenger Hunt Winners Are…



LUIGIE FEBRES of Orlando, FL in 3rd place with a total of 395 points. Congratulations, Luigie, on winning 30 dollars to spend at Trader Joe’s!


LI HERMOSILLO ROJAS of Fort Worth, TX in second place with a total of 465 points. Well done Li, and we hope you enjoy your 40 dollar CVS gift card!


And finally, our first place winner, with a grand total of 475 points (that’s the max possible, folks), is ANGELICA JOHNSON of Palmyra, NJ. Congratulations, Angelica, you’ve won yourself 50 dollars to spend on!


As promised, we took everyone else’s names and put them into a random generator for the three $15 Gift Card drawings… and…

Genevieve Uy, Theodore Bien, and Alissa Vandenbark were selected!! Each of you will be awarded a 15 dollar gift card to Wawa for your participation in the hunt.

Thank you to all who participated, we loved getting a photographic window into your worlds! To the winners, we’ll be in contact to let you know how to collect your prize when you get on campus.


We’ll have another post tomorrow, so stay tuned!! -Isabel & Blien

Affinity Groups

Hello everyone! Here is a post about some of the affinity groups and spaces on campus!

Some terminology: A closed group is a group whose meetings are open only to members of the identity the group is designed to support. Often these meeting times and locations are private and membership is confidential. An open group is a group whose meetings are open to members of the identity the group is designed to support, as well their allies. Some groups are partially closed, where the group is closed for a majority or sometimes all of the meetings, but then open up for specific discussions and events with allies.

For example: The Black Student’s League (BSL) is an open group, so it welcomes black students to its meetings as well as non-black students who want to know more about the black experience at Haverford, as well as how they can support their black peers. Queer Discussion Group (QDG) is a closed group, meaning that only those who self-identify as queer are welcome at their meetings, which focus on connecting queer students with each other and providing support.


Here are the affinity groups/spaces that we reached out to:

  • The Black Students’ League (BSL) – open group
  • Alliance of Latin American Students (ALAS) – partially closed group
  • Queer Discussion Group (QDG) – closed group
  • Existence as Resistance – partially closed space
  • The Pan Asian Resource Center (PARC) – closed space
  • Women*s Center – open space


The Black Students’ League (BSL) is an open affinity group which encourages all students to attend. Within this, BSL  focuses on bringing Black students on campus together in order to celebrate their blackness, and provides a place of support and safety for Haverford’s black students.

BSL members congregate weekly for meetings, in which they discuss various facets of black life at Haverford, national and global occurrences which influence black people, or simply kick back and find some peace among the various stressors at Haverford. BSL is also the host of several campus events over the course of the year. We coordinate smaller scale events on weekends, as well as larger events such as an annual fashion show, Black Love (an event in conjunction with Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore Colleges), and WeSpeak, an event for students of color to share their thoughts and experiences with the whole Haverford community. Come stop by, our door (at the Ira De A. Reid House) is always open and we’re always here!


The mission of the Alliance of Latin American Students (ALAS) is to create an intentional space where Latinx students can share their unique experiences at Haverford and celebrate their cultures. We hope to create an open, inclusive space that will allow ALAS members to grow, thrive, and be supported at Haverford.

Furthermore, we host dinners, discussions, and other events that help Latinx students find their space at a predominantly-white-institution. Acknowledging that the Latinx identity encompasses a vast array of students from so many different types of cultures and experiences which are all accepted and celebrated inside the ALAS community. Finally, ALAS members will continue to discuss and create action regarding Latin American issues within and outside the Haverford community.


Queer Discussion Group (QDG) is a closed safe space for students who identify anywhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum or are questioning. We hold private, weekly meetings, and we do not disclose the meeting time, location, members, or content to anyone outside of the group. QDG serves as a space for queer folx to get to know each other, support one another, eat yummy snacks, and revel in queer solidarity and goodness. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to the co-heads Ari Kim (they/them/theirs, ajkim@hc) and Eva Montgomery-Morrison (they/them/theirs, ejmorrison@hc)!


Existence as Resistance
Our community house centers around the intersectionality of identities and the acknowledgment that people consist of multiple identities. Our mission is for students from different identities to come together and create a space in which our identities are seen through a multidimensional perspective. At a predominantly-white-institution, spaces where we can explore what multidimensionality means are crucial.

Existence as Resistance House offers a variety of resources for Tri-Co students. Last year, we opened our space for poetry and karaoke nights to practice self-care. Additionally, we help bridge groups together to work towards common goals. We had the chance to advance this goal by hosting a dinner where members of ALAS, BSL, and PARC came together and actively thought of ways to collaborate. Furthermore, we intend to connect with neighboring communities by continuing field trips into Philly. One of our widest-reaching events was a conference which explored the intersectionality of migration, queerness, and indigenous rights. This 3-day conference brought together community members from across campuses, initiating more dialogue about intersectionality. We hope to continue events like these and are excited to come up with new ways in which we can engage with questions of identity with the community.


The Pan Asian Resource Center (PARC) is not a traditional affinity group, but rather a room located in the DC Basement 008 that is open to all Asian-identifying students. PARC serves to unite and mobilize Haverford’s Pan-Asian community. Historically the term “Asian” has been exclusionary to many identities, so we especially welcome people of South Asian, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, and multiracial/multiethnic backgrounds, as well as international students and adoptees.

Aside from physical resources such as books and class syllabi relating to Asian identity, PARC facilitates discussions about Asian identity several times per semester. In the past, these discussions have centered around themes such as:  What Does “Asian” Mean to You?, Mental Health in the Asian Community, Confronting Anti-Blackness in the Asian Community, and Reverse Culture Shock. In PARC, students can also relax, do homework, and just hang out with each other, among other things.

Alice, on what she values about PARC: As someone who grew up in an area where there were not many people of color, I was often outcasted for being Asian. As a result, PARC has provided me with the closest sense of community and acceptance I have ever felt in my life. Through PARC, I’ve learned and continue to learn about the implications of being Asian. The people I’ve met through PARC and the conversations I’ve had in that space will undoubtedly be what I miss the most after I leave Haverford.

Makoto, on what he values about PARC: Being multiracial, I felt isolated from my Asian and white peers because I never really felt like I could connect with either group.  PARC has helped me develop some of my closest friends, provided me with a niche in the community where I feel incredibly welcome, and gave me a broader understanding of the world as I explore the Pan-Asian experience through our discussions and casual conversations and use what I learn to better understand my own life and the experiences I had.

Don’t hesitate to contact either one of us at ahu1@hc or mmanheim@hc  if you ever want to learn more about PARC or just want to chat!


Women*s Center
The Women*s Center provides resources, education, outreach and programming that have to do with gender and sexuality for folks of all genders at Haverford. We seek to build solidarity among women, feminineidentified folks, and all marginalized communities. Like our page on facebook for more information:  


And that’s not all! Here’s a list of over 100 completely student-run clubs, organizations, and even more affinity groups at Haverford! You can meet and sign up for a bunch of them during our Club Fair in the fall!

Have any questions? Email Blien and Isabel at Also, follow us on Snapchat @FYsquirrel or on Instagram @hc_studentlifeoffice for fun posts and important updates/reminders!

International Student Support Office (ISSO): Getting Involved on Campus

Finding community on campus can look different for international students, particularly for exchange students who are only at Haverford for a semester. You have so many different options based on what you want out of your time at Haverford. There was a post on this blog earlier in the summer (May 31) about different communities on campus, describing ways to participate in Haverford’s vibrant student community. Here are some additional options for international students:

International Student Orientation (ISO)

ISO itself is a great opportunity to build a support network. You get to meet most of Haverford’s international student population in one place, and then you all spend five days together. We are the strongest form of support for each other; we’ve got each other’s back through the chaos of the semester. I was especially fortunate that my Peer Awareness Facilitator (PAF) on my Customs team was an international student, and it was very helpful to know that someone else understood and validated my experiences here. (Thanks, Kevin!) Additionally, the panels during ISO will describe ways for international students to build support networks on campus.

Later in the year, your International Student Resource People (ISRP’s) will continue to act as a resource. Your ISRP’s will check-in with you through the year and can guide you with their lived experience as upper class international students at Haverford. I’m certain they have lots of important and helpful advice to assist you in navigating challenge through the year.

ISSO Programming

You can also meet other international students by attending International Student Support Office (ISSO) events through the year. To get information about international student life related events on campus, add this link to your Google Calendar. If you create an affinity group event that you think would fit well on the Calendar, let Natasha Weisz and Denise Allison know, and they’d be happy to add it.

The ISSO is also going to start hosting a new monthly event during the year called ELF, which is an acronym for Every Last Friday. As the name suggests, it’s scheduled 2-4 pm in the MCC on the last Friday of every month of the semester. Rather than being a meeting or event, ELF is intended to be an informal space for international students to meet, and form stronger community ties. The space can really be whatever students would like it to be, so feel free to stop in as little or often as you would like.

Club Fair

The Club Fair can be a great opportunity to find campus groups that you’d like to join. It’s totally fine to be unsure of which clubs you’d like to join, the Fair is a fantastic opportunity to explore potential interests. You can sign up to get information, even if you’re not necessarily invested enough to be a regular participant in a group’s activities. It can be hard to collate information about clubs since we have around 150 of them, but this way you’re less likely to miss a group that you’d be interested in.

Make the Best of the Quaker Consortium

If the affinity group or space you need doesn’t exist at Haverford, odds are, you’ll be able to find something at Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore or the University of Pennsylvania. Around 30% of Bryn Mawr’s student population, 13% of Swarthmore’s student body and around 49% of the University of Pennsylvania undergraduates are international students.

The University of Pennsylvania (colloquially called UPenn) has a massive and diverse international student population (at least compared to Haverford), so they offer a range of events related to international student life. One such event is the Penn Museum’s Festival for International Students is a great opportunity to network with other international students in the Philly area. I’ve never been myself, but my friends have only had good things to say! The event will be held on October 19, 2018. The ISSO will be emailing out more details of this event in early October.

Apart from taking classes at Bryn Mawr and Swat, you can participate in their student life if you’re looking for something closer to campus. They offer a range of great events and meetings. Their master calendars can be accessed here and here respectively.

Student Governance

Haverford has many student government positions, due to the immersive involvement of students in campus activities and the emphasis placed on student voice. This can be another way to get involved in shaping the Haverford community. The campus benefits from the involvement of international students, since we enrich discussions with our unique perspectives. There are positions on Student Council, Honor Council, and a plethora of committees. Student Council has an International Student Representative position, which was created a couple of years ago by international students for themselves. For a list of positions, you can look here, here and here.

At the end of the day though, part of the work of being an international student is creating friendships across difference. I’ve found friends in unexpected places, which is pretty common at a small, tight-knit community like Haverford. There are plenty of brilliant and kind people at Haverford, so it’s just a matter of finding people who are genuinely curious about you and your culture.

This is my last post for the summer. I hope the rest of your summers are lovely, and that your journey to Haverford is smooth! Over the last few months, I’ve witnessed first hand all the work and enthusiasm that is going into preparing for your arrival here at Haverford. I look forward to meeting you on campus, and am so excited that you’re joining our community!

P.S.: Have post suggestions? Here’s the form to submit them! I’m also more than happy to answer any questions, and speak about my experience as an international student at Haverford! I’d love to know more about you as well. Feel free to email me at, or find me on Facebook.

Look Under Your Chair ;)

Houses GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY


Housing Assignments Are Out!!!

Wait what?!?!

You heard us! Check your email to find out your room assignment, who you’ll be living with, and other important info.

This summer, Isabel and I (Blien) spent a lot of time creating the first year halls and roommate pairings with the hope to build strong hall communities of people who are likely to mesh well together. You’ll hear from your customs team in the next week or two, but in the meantime, feel free to reach out to your future roomates/suitemates/hallmates on the Class of ’22 Facebook page or via direct message / emails!

Pronunciation guide: (thought about doing this in IPA but this hopefully easier)
Barclay = often pronounced Bar-klee
Gummere = often pronounced Gum-ree or Gum-urr-ee
Tritton = often pronounced Trit-in or Trit’n
Haverford College Apartments = often abbreviated HCA (saying each letter out loud)

Here are some resources that can help you make Haverford your home away from home!

Out On The ‘Burbs (AKA We Explore Ardmore)

Hey everyone! For this post, Isabel and I (Blien) walked around in the threat of rain (no actual rain occurred, but it was humid and the clouds were ominous) just to show you what’s here in Ardmore! From convenience to grocery to clothing stores, we have a bit of everything located just a few miles off campus. Here are the places we traveled to:

Isabel and I started our adventure by walking down College Lane (that loooong road by the duck pond) and made our way to, what we like to call the💥LATE NIGHT DOUBLE💥.

Imagine with us….

It’s 1am, and you are hungry….or you like need a toothbrush or something. Where could you possibly go at this hour of the night to get your needs met? CVS and Wawa! A winning combo of two 24-hr convenient lifesavers. I (Blien) didn’t realize how useful a CVS card would be until this summer! t’s no cost to you, but it saves you a couple of cents for each item! #NotSponsored

But that’s just a taste of our adventures. To learn more about the wonderous businesses throughout Ardmore, check out this map we created that lays this whole trip out for you! You can really see just how close all of these locations are, and you can also start exploring on your own!

Also, here’s a list of local Ardmore businesses and restaurants that offer all Haverford students and employees discounts at local! Thanks to the Ardmore Initiative, all you have to do is look out for a black squirrel sticker in the window of a business and/or restaurant and simply show your Haverford ID at the register! Hopefully, over time, this list will grow!

Naturally, because we went out on the burbs, we had to make some gifs. So, here’s us in the Gap, wearing many hats as we do:

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

And here’s a reminder to treat yourself, like we did at Delice et Chocolat (featured on our map):

Yum! Wow! GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY


LAST HAVENGER HUNT UPDATE!! Submit all photos by 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday (Aug 1) so we can tally it all up and reveal the winners on Thursday’s blog post! 

Your objectives for this (final) week are…
36) Picture of your favorite candy
37) Picture of you hugging a tree
38) Picture of your favorite kitchen appliance (+5 bonus if it’s a blender… haha cause my name is Blien..  get it??)
39) This might be time sensitive, but once you have your dorm assignments, send us a picture of you in your dorm colors! (Barclay = Blue, Gummere = Green, and HCA and Tritton = Red)
40) BIIIG BONUS (Appropriately, #40 is worth FORTY POINTS!!!): Build a shrine, make a piece of art, or otherwise show your love in a grandiose fashion for the First Year Dean’s Office Interns 

Since you can submit items from previous weeks, we’ve created a document with a compiled list (which we will update every week!) and the rules of the game. Email us with photos of these things to win sweet 🤑💸 gift cards 💸🤑 to Haverford area hotspots. 


Have any questions? Email Blien and Isabel at Also, follow us on Snapchat @FYsquirrel or on Instagram @hc_studentlifeoffice for fun posts and important updates/reminders!

Packing List – Winter Edition

Hey there! Are you from New England? Step aside, you probably already know of these things. Are you from somewhere with comparatively warm and temperate climate, and are you terrified of Pennsylvania winters? If so, you’re in the right place! I’m Isabel, a hardy Maine girl, thoroughly accustomed to the bitter chill of cold wind and heavy snow. And I’m Blien, a relatively warm Marylander, and I’m not a fan of buying a lot of new things. Together, we are joining our forces to help you survive winter at HC!

Theme of the post: Layers are your friend. Don’t have a heavy jacket? Where a sweatshirt and a mid weight jacket. No wool socks? Layer, layer, layer!


You’ll probably need these:

  • Mid-weight gloves or mittens to keep your lil’ fingies warm
  • Some way to keep your ears warm – a hat, a coat with a hood, funny looking earmuffs
  • Water resistant shoes with good traction so you don’t slip in the ice and snow. Rain boots could work for this, though when it gets cold you’ll need to layer up on the socks to keep your lil’ feetsies warm.
  • Jackets (either a thick one or maybe two thinner ones… usually a mid-weight jacket and a warm layer underneath works fine)
  • A water-resistant jacket (raincoat?? This may be the same as your warm jacket… that’s fine!)
  • Sweaters / hoodies / cardigans (if that’s your style)
  • Sweatpants

You’ll probably want these:

  • A couple pairs of warm socks (wool is best if you can get it). That said, you could just layer two (or more???) pairs of socks on top of each other on a cold day
  • A good scarf
  • Warm, waterPROOF shoes (these would be instead of the water resistant ones, mentioned above). It’s nice to have the option of playing in the snow without soaking and/or freezing your feet. Overall, winter boots are a good thing to have, though not 100% necessary.
  • A heavy coat/down or faux down jacket. That said, this can be replaced by a mid-weight jacket and some layers.
  • Warm blankets (plural), or one REALLY warm blanket

You may want these, but can probably do without them:

  • A pet reindeer to ride to class
  • Snowshoes, skis, a sled, and a snowmobile
  • Lots of instant hot chocolate
  • A portal to Hawaii
  • A sense of wonder at the beauty of a perfectly formed snowflake
  • A good mug for hot beverages
  • Hand warmers (most people won’t need these… but if you are an athlete who spends a lot of time outdoors, you may want them)
  • Some coals stolen from the depths of Hades to keep you warm
    (Omg but don’t bring candles!! They are very much not allowed in dorms!)


We know this list may sound daunting, particularly if you’re not sure if all this stuff fits in your budget. Like we’ve mentioned, layering up is a great way to maximize use out of what you already have, without spending a ton on new winter gear. Also, if you are a low-income student, you may be able to get some funds from LIFTFAR to help you with the purchase of winter gear, such as a good winter coat or boots.

Me (Isabel) and my buddies from my freshman hall in apartment 42 built a snow-idol to our beloved home


My (Blien’s) buddies out in the snow. Even if you asked them today, they don’t believe they did anything wrong.

Ultimately, if you want to navigate out in the snow, we recommend covering up. So, don’t be like Kaito (number 3). Or be like Shreya (number 2), except with full-length pants. But the real winner of that photo is Margaret (number 1), no bare feet, long pants, a jacket, and a warm head!

Also keep in mind that fall break is in the middle of October, so if you envision yourself going home for that week, you can leave your heavy coats and snow boots at home. You can save space in your suitcase by just bringing a mid-weight jacket and maybe gloves, and then bringing more when you return from fall break. Just remember that whatever you bring to college, you’re ultimately going to need to pack up again at the end of the year. The winters are cold, but classrooms tend to be warm. So you might find that layering what you already have is sufficient enough.


Have any questions? Email Blien and Isabel at Also, follow us on Snapchat @FYsquirrel or on Instagram @hc_studentlifeoffice for fun posts and important updates/reminders!


International Student Support Office (ISSO): Paperwork Advice

Paperwork is a big part of the lived experience of being an international student. It is very important to be able to stay on top of your paperwork in order to maintain your status. Here are some tips on filling out forms and completing paperwork:

Read instructions carefully

Most forms come with instructions at the back, and it’s a good rule of thumb to read them through completely. You can also most likely find additional information on the website where you found the form.

In general, please read all the emails you receive from the ISSO, particularly about changes in processes for paperwork or American immigration policy.

Correctly finding your passport name

Always make sure to write your legal name. Even if your legacy or preferred name is different from your legal name (for example, if you prefer a nickname or use an English name), please still use only your legal name on official paperwork.

Your passport name should be exactly as it appears in your passport. If your passport formats your name as last name, first name, please do that. For the safest bet, look at the bottom of your photo page; copy your name as it appears in the serial number lines.

(As a side note, please check when your passport expires, so you’re ready to renew it when it’s time!)

Check what documents you may need to enclose with your form

There’s no feeling worse than getting to an office to submit your forms, and realising that you’re missing a required supporting document. Make sure to double check that you have correctly filled the application out, and that you have everything you need.

There are often conditions for what qualifies as an acceptable piece of identity proof. It’s often better to have more documents with you, rather than less. Please bring all your documents with you to Haverford, particularly for your initial meeting with the Designated School Official (DSO) Denise Allison.

Check whether the document/form can be submitted online, or has to be mailed

While some forms can be submitted online, others have to be mailed, or submitted in person at a government office. Check what method of submission a piece of paperwork requires. If the document has to be mailed, account for this in your timeline by adding a couple of days.

If you need to mail something to the ISSO while you’re away from the US, you can use eShip Global.

Addressing an envelope

Please make sure to address your envelopes properly! If you make a mistake here, your paperwork will not reach the government office in question, seriously delaying your paperwork or leaving the process incomplete. Here’s a handy infographic I found on the internet on how to address your envelopes:

(Image taken from:

You’ll need to buy stamps to send mail. You could either get them at the Haverford College bookstore in a book of twenty, or you can buy some at the Haverford Post Office (which is a ten minute walk away from campus).

Ask questions if you’re confused

If you have any concerns, or don’t understand the process for finishing paperwork, it’s always better to ask questions. A small error can change the processing time, and can make things more difficult than they have to be. You can contact the ISSO, or directly contact the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)/the appropriate government office.

Type out documents when you can

It’s better to fill out documents by typing them, than to fill them in by hand. Handwriting can be difficult to decipher, this can also make paperwork easier for you.

You can look at the ISSO website for links to forms. There’s also information available in the ISSO Office, which is located in Stokes 111B.

P.S.: Have post suggestions? Here’s the form to submit them! I’m also more than happy to answer any questions, and speak about my experience as an international student at Haverford! I’d love to know more about you as well. Feel free to email me at, or find me on Facebook.

Advice from the Office of Academic Resources (Part 3)

ATTENTION: All things related to the Haverford Health Portal must be completed by Saturday, July 21st! This includes choosing to enroll in or waive the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and submitting your Health Records!!! (Also don’t forget about the Pre-Major Advisor Questionnaire which is also due July 21st!)

Hello everyone! This is the final part of our interview with members of the Office of Academic Resources. Here we have some studying tips and words of wisdom. For part 1,  click here! And for part 2,  click here! 

Who we interviewed:
Peter Granville, Program Coordinator-Office of Academic Resources
Brian Cuzzolina, Director of Office of Academic Resources
Raquel Esteves Joyce, Assistant Director for Academic Resources

You can check out their full profiles on what they specialize in through the Academic Coaching page of the OAR’s Website!

Some answers are edited or paraphrased for brevity and clarity.


What are your top two/three study tips for incoming first years?

Peter’s Answer: My first tip is to utilize the power of friendship. Think about how you can better study by finding some classmates and getting together. This system is fantastic for accountability buddies, where you tell them what you need to do and by when, and set up time to check in. This really helps with burden of challenging week. Do the same for them: alert them to bad habits, and check up on them.

My second tip is that with any content you’re trying to learn, focus on moving from the stage of absorption (this includes reading the text or lecture notes) to practice (this comprises writing down reactions to ideas, reciting understanding, explaining things to a friend/stuffed animal, problem sets/practice exams) as quickly as you can. Practice requires you to hone your knowledge and learn how to present it.

My third tip is to not use a highlighter when writing down notes or reading a text. Instead, write your thoughts down in full sentences. Highlighted text just signifies what you thought was important, but not how, which is more valuable. Also, people tend to over-highlight things.

Brian’s Answer: My first tip is to get rid of distractions, particularly your phone (especially when reading). Try to read for 30 minutes straight, without using any technology. You can use the Pomodoro Method; break study periods into intense smaller chunks, take a break, and then go back. Working in a distraction-free space doesn’t necessarily mean finding a quiet space, people need different things, depends on you. If don’t know what you need yet, there’s no harm in trying a couple of different things.

Promote space for self-reflection to think about what’s working, or isn’t. Sit back at the end of a study session, and ask yourself: ‘What did I read, and what did I learn from it? Did the space work out for me?’ Being at a space of honesty with yourself, and being able to reflect on what’s working is crucial. We’re here for coaching if you are not sure what to do, or how to create/break habits.

Raquel’s Answer: Know yourself! Find your rhythm and what works best for you, and then use this to your advantage. If you’re a student who is social and needs a lot of people, then work with study groups, and use the part of you that needs social outlet. If sitting by a window is distracting, work outside and be immersed in nature. If you have a short attention span, don’t plan 3 hour chunks of study time. It’s okay to do short blocks with breaks. Make your characteristics work for you, instead of aspiring towards things that don’t work for you.

Alongside finding rhythm, there’s pace. Setting an appropriate pace helps people get big things done by working towards bite-sized goals every single day.

I notice that because students don’t pace themselves, they end up submitting their first drafts and do themselves a disservice. Rewriting, and having a process of separation from your writing is really helpful and powerful. That first draft is the foundation, it gets you started. But if you give yourself time to work on it, your work will be a better reflection of what you know and of your writing skill. Give yourself the space and time to have the ‘aha!’ moment towards the end of the writing process, and then bring that perspective to the rest of the paper. I often hear students say that they could’ve done better. Part of fixing that is pacing and rewriting.


So that’s all folks! Here are some final words of wisdom about utilizing resources:

From Peter: When thinking about tools to use, the ones that I would point to first would be whatever got you through high school. There are lots of options out there, you may actually find that tweaking what you’ve done before is more effective than trying something new. If you need to start over completely, that’s also okay!

From Raquel: At the OAR, we have a holistic approach: we see the academic, social, personal as intermeshed. We’re here to walk with you and support you in different facets of your life, by semester or year. This can be focusing on balance or being sabotaged by your insecurities when you’re doing well. We want you to learn from that, and use that to see where you want to go and what you want to do.

From Brian: Everyone here can succeed (regardless of how you define success) at Haverford. It’s just a matter of figuring out how this isn’t a matter of intellect, it’s one of process. You’re going to be challenged. That’s why all this support exists, in the Dean’s Office, the OAR, and office hours. We’re here to help you learn from missteps.


Have any questions? Email Blien and Isabel at Also, follow us on Snapchat @FYsquirrel for fun snaps and important updates/reminders!

Advice from the Office of Academic Resources (Part 2)

ATTENTION: All things related to the Haverford Health Portal must be completed by Saturday, July 21st! This includes choosing to enroll in or waive the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and submitting your Health Records!!! (Also don’t forget about the Pre-Major Advisor Questionnaire which is also due July 21st!)

Hello everyone! This is Part 2 of the interview with members of the Office of Academic Resources. Here we have even more advice about transitioning into college and tips on how to thrive academically at Haverford. For part 1, click here!

Who we interviewed:
Peter Granville, Program Coordinator-Office of Academic Resources
Brian Cuzzolina, Director of Office of Academic Resources
Raquel Esteves Joyce, Assistant Director for Academic Resources

You can check out their full profiles on what they specialize in through the Academic Coaching page of the OAR’s Website!

Some answers are edited or paraphrased for brevity and clarity.


What are some tools (websites, apps) that you recommend for students to organize their lives?

Peter’s Answer – Google Suite and a Reflection Notebook:
In terms of tried and true tools, Google Suite is more commonly used. That said, you can do anything you please. A tool that is most often underutilized by students is a notebook where you write reflections about the day, answering questions like: ‘Am I happy?’ ‘Is my time devoted to things I care about?’. You can go back and read it to record your progress through college. This could take any form (you could even use a small whiteboard) as long as it involves the act of reflecting and learning more about yourself. We fall into habits without being aware of it, and only address our behaviors when they turn into a problem. This exercise instead focuses on catching our habits as they form.

Brian’s Answer – Calendars, Wunderlist (organizing time app), Moment (balance app):
Google Calendar is good, but any kind of calendar that makes time visual works. A micro and macro view of the semester is helpful. Shameless plug: the OAR offers paper copies of a semester calendar. For to-do lists, I recommend the app Wunderlist. Think about what you want and need, and look for it. There are a plethora of options available, you just need something to organize your time. This can even be post-it notes or a whiteboard, if not an app. I also like Moment, which is an app for balance. It tracks how long you’re on your phone. Get outside! Studies are showing the connection between nature and happiness. In fact, Dean Wilcox’s pick for Reading Rainbow looked at the science behind how we react to nature.

Raquel’s Answer – The OAR’s Free Resources!
The OAR website, and the OAR podcast, Compass. I think the podcast gives student language to talk about the challenges they’re facing, makes them realize that their experiences are normal, and encourages them to seek support.


What’s your go-to time management strategy when things get hectic in your life?

Peter’s Answer: Personally, since I’m a visualiser, I put everything up on on a board and think about how realistic my expectations are, and find what might be better done later.

My go-to is to draw a grid with 4 quadrants and on top write ‘Is this urgent?’, and on the side ‘Is this important?’ So often we do things that are not urgent/important to procrastinate on things that are important/urgent. This tool functions as a way to monitor yourself and set priorities. Ideally, you would maximise time on the items that fall underneath the important category, and create balance between things that are urgent and not urgent. While it seems counterintuitive to work on items that are less urgent, this allows you to always be making progress on things that are important down the line.

Brian’s Answer: I don’t handle stress well. For me, music is a go-to, I’ll put on a song during the day to calm down or to clear my mind. At the end of a busy day/week, I make time to listen to my favorite album. This creates a space for me to be in the moment, and not worry about whatever is causing the stress. I carve out family time, to energize, and create joy; I make sure to put my phone away. I think setting boundaries is very important as well. This can be hard for Haverford, since we’re such a tight knit community. It’s not selfish to take time for yourself. Every morning, carve out first 5-10 minutes on your schedule to look at your calendar and to-do list. Note your hopes for the day versus what needs to get done, and prioritize what needs to get done before the next day.

Raquel’s Answer: I think two main things, they’re symbiotic: to pull away, and writing. If things are super hectic, it’s helpful to pull back and get a more panoramic perspective of what’s going on. I ask someone else to look at it, for fresh perspective. When I’m really stuck, I just shut it off. This could be for several hours/days, and then I come at it with fresh eyes.

It could be in the form of journal entry or a letter, I don’t even have to post it, but writing is a pathway out of chaos. Life can get so fast that it feels like a luxury to stop, but we don’t realise cost of not stopping. It can hurt us more than it helps us. When things are really chaotic, we don’t have to time to process things and figure out how we can manage things better, but that can be very costly. Even if the circumstances haven’t changed, I’ve changed. My perspective and sense of grounding has changed. The path out of storm is visible, or I’m working on crafting it.


Stay tuned for the third and final part, posted tomorrow! 


Your objectives for this week are…
31) Picture of some art you made when you were ≤ 10 years old
32) Picture of you being overdressed
33) Picture of you sitting on something that isn’t furniture
34) Picture of a family recipe (if you’re allowed to share?)
35) BONUS (worth 30 points!): Picture of three things: one which begins with the letter ‘A’, the 2nd of which begins with ‘B’, and the third beginning with ‘C’

Since you can submit items from previous weeks, we’ve created a document with a compiled list (which we will update every week!) and the rules of the game. Email us with photos of these things to win sweet 🤑💸 gift cards 💸🤑 to Haverford area hotspots.

Have any questions? Email Blien and Isabel at Also, follow us on Snapchat @FYsquirrel for fun snaps and important updates/reminders!

Advice from the Office of Academic Resources (Part 1)

ATTENTION: The Pre-Major Advisor Questionnaire must be completed by Saturday, July 21st!

Hello everyone! For this post, we reached out to three members of the Office of Academic Resources for some advice about transitioning into college and tips on how to thrive academically at Haverford. These interviews will be continued in Part 2 on Thursday!

Who we interviewed:

Peter Granville, Program Coordinator-Office of Academic Resources
Brian Cuzzolina, Director of the Office of Academic Resources
Raquel Esteves Joyce, Assistant Director for Academic Resources

You can check out their full profiles on what they specialize in through the Academic Coaching page of the OAR’s Website!

Some answers are edited or paraphrased for brevity and clarity.

What’s not in your profile on the academic coaching website that you would like first years to know about your role?

Peter’s Answer: My role is very open-ended. I’m super blessed to have this role where there are certain fixed pieces, like supervising interns and organizing OAR events. If you have a big idea, you could turn to me with ideas about student support. My work is more flexible, I can set other things aside to address your needs and devote what I can to it. I’m happy to get tea/coffee and chat about ideas.

Brian’s Answer: My door is always open. We want the OAR to be as close to home as possible. It should feel like a comfortable space to relax and hang out.

Also, our goal is to work more with you. We’re not experts: we’re trained and good at asking questions. The purpose of coaching is for us to learn about you so you can use your strengths towards whatever challenge you’re facing.

Raquel’s Answer: I want students to know that I’m here for them. I’m here to be an academic coach, listening ear, advocate, and sometimes liaison. But basically in terms of academic and socio-emotional needs, I’m here to be what students need, to the best of my abilities.


What are some common academic challenges students face as they transition to life at college?

Peter’s Answer – The Newness of It All and Self-Doubt: 

Being alone at college can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure if you feel welcome, and are second guessing if Haverford is the right place. It helps to find a cohort of friends you can go through this process with. Some incoming students have this through Pre-Customs or their athletic teams, but many will find a social network here themselves. Making the most of Customs is important from an academic point of view. Classes will push you in ways you can’t anticipate, so it’s critical to create a support network in the first several weeks.

Also, students experience a lot of self-doubt through first classes. They may think that other students are way better prepared. It’s important not to jump to the conclusion that you’re a worse student or less Haverfordian in any sense. Everyone here is coming with strengths and weaknesses; you can see some people’s strengths more in some classes than in others. Learning where your strengths lie is a process.

Brian’s Answer- Bigger Reading Load and Different Expectations:

The texts are unlike anything students have seen before, both difficulty and content wise. There will be lots of primary sources and seminal texts; this will be reading that graduate students in the social science and humanities are also reading. You’re no longer reading someone’s interpretation, but the text itself. Since Haverford is the typical small liberal arts college experience, you’re going to have small group discussions, sitting around a table with your professor and peers. You’re expected to bring something to the table and contribute, regardless of prior experience. You’ve got to make mistakes, and that’s okay, courses are designed that way. You’re going to be challenged right out of the gate.

Raquel’s Answer – Time Management and Identity:

Time management, in terms of workload. Even if you’re not going to class every day, or doing daily assignments, there are still larger assignments due towards the middle or end of the semester. Sometimes students know the due date of a large paper or project, but don’t know where to start.

Another major challenge is identity crisis. Most students at Haverford were at the top of their classes in high school, but they get here and there isn’t space for everyone to be number one. Students are then really questioning who they are since achievement was part of their identity at high school. I also see a lot of students questioning whether they belong here and whether Admissions made a mistake. It can be difficult to name these feelings; the first step is always the hardest if you’ve never asked for help before. Make that first appointment, no stigma. We’ll ask some questions to get a real sense of who you are and to make connections to your life at Haverford both inside and outside the classroom. Haverford can be fast-paced, which leaves no space for reflection.


What does a healthy balance between academic work and social life look like?

Peter’s Answer: Ideally, neither detracts from the other, but this can be an unrealistic expectation. A healthy balance is one where they are symbiotically making each other better. You are engaged socially with your peers such that you feel happy, supported and confident in yourself. Hopefully, that can feed into classroom interactions so you can meet new people and form deep connections.

It’s important to know when balance doesn’t exist anymore, which is when you’re just not happy. You don’t have to shoot for a 4.0; if you do, you will miss out on crucial social experiences. Academic and social life should work in tandem and each should be feeding into the other.

Brian’s Answer: It can depend on who you are, what you value, and what your goals are. In general, sleep is good, even at expense of finishing problem set on time. Food is energy….take care of yourself in terms of basic needs like sleep, and eating. Then, have a social network people around you, that can lift you up through hanging out, checking in, or getting coffee. Don’t isolate yourself.

Raquel’s Answer: This depends on the student’s needs and personality. It’s important to take time to reflect on what you need, and what nourishes you. If you’re an extrovert you’ll be socially emaciated if your social life is stifled by your academic priorities. You need to make sure you get nourishment on one part, to help you with the other part. We can help figure out this balance through one on one OAR coaching and talking with students. We provide tools or use tools to find what works for you. It’s okay if something didn’t work for you, you can come back for another appointment, and we can discuss that. We offer a super personalized experience, so one on one time is critical.


What’s your favourite OAR event?

All around, the answer was: Reading Rainbow! In this, the OAR decides a theme and invite presenters (many who are faculty and staff) who feed off of each others’ energy in unscripted conversation, challenge and support each other. You get to learn about professors/staff members in a different light and can have a conversation with them. And as Peter says, “it demonstrates shared experience and humanity through books.”

Peter’s Answer: Reading Rainbow! And I’m also looking forward to an event I’ll be organizing in the fall semester. It’s going to be a panel discussion on joy, centered around the question: how do you cultivate joy given the circumstances of the world we live in? Hopefully, we’ll get to issues of resilience, motivation, love such that an audience member can think about what makes them happy, and how best to shape their experience at Haverford in a way that will sustain them. The discussion will also be recorded for the OAR’s podcast, Compass.

Brian’s Answer: Reading Rainbow! As Ben (Benjamin Hughes) says, it’s something magical!

Raquel’s Answer: Reading Rainbow! And, it will be soon joined with Haverstories, our new writing retreat.


Have any questions? Email Blien and Isabel at Also, follow us on Snapchat @FYsquirrel for fun snaps and important updates/reminders!