One of the things that Haverford students value the most is the time we spend together as a community. The many bonds that students form attest to the brotherhood that runs through our student body—a brotherhood that is most clearly seen during advisory time.
Advisory is the regularly scheduled interval where students meet in a space with a teacher and other advisees to discuss in-school and out-of-school matters. Last year, this block would last only thirty to forty minutes and would meet only once or twice a week, but this year, advisory is seventy-five minutes every day.
This change in advisory is one part of the administration’s pandemic response. The school has taken as much precaution as possible to ensure the safety of all students and faculty on campus. All must wear masks and stay six feet apart from one another.
As a part of the COVID-19 safety precautions, the administration implemented radical schedule changes. Now that students have an hour-and-a-half-long classes, one might think that there would be insufficient time for advisory—a non-essential part of our curriculum. Yet advisory now adds up to six hours and fifteen minutes per week, an 837.5% increase from last year.
This may feel unusual for some students, but others have embraced the increased advisory time.
“Advisory is a good time to get together and do things where we can be ourselves and not have to really worry about problems caused by the pandemic,” Sixth Former Taejon Williams said. “Advisory is also a good time to relax and get some work done.”
All advisories are different in their own way, but each of them reaches the same goal: to ensure students are in the right state of mind going forward in the academic year. There are many things that an advisory may do with their time together to reach this goal. For some, it may be having meaningful discussions, while for others it may be spending much of the time relaxing and not talking.
In fact, the students of Ms. Surdel’s advisory watch movies during their time together. Fourth Former Connor Rall was more than happy to tell of his time in advisory.
“I love it,” Rall said. “So much more time to relax and talk to friends.”
Students may have to follow tedious rules for safety during advisory, but the feeling of community earned from spending time together makes up for this. After months of virtual socializing, it is refreshing to actually be there, eating lunch with a group of peers.
Throughout all of this, each student is growing from the social interaction in advisory. New traditions are forming, new friendships are being made, and most importantly, new ideas are being shared. No matter what happens this year, students will always have advisory.