This past Thursday, the Class Dean’s Office hosted the first Sophomore Reorientation. In partnership with Career Education, the Class Dean’s Office created an event to reacquaint sophomores with the resources Wellesley has to offer to all its students.
According to Dean O’Keefe, dean for the class of 2020, the administration has noticed that the sophomore year in particular tends to be a difficult transition for students.
“We’ve known for a long time that sophomores often feel as they come back to campus a little left out. I mean we have all this stuff for first years and we celebrate seniors at convocation, and a lot of juniors are away, so they are excited about their study abroad. But the sophomores are faced with a lot of choices, and it’s not being very welcoming to them. So we wanted to create an event where we celebrated the sophomore class, welcome them back to campus after being away for the summer (most of them), and make sure they had some information about some of the things that they’ll do this year like choosing a major/major adviser,” commented Dean O’Keefe.
Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life Tiffany Steinwert echoed these statements and highlighted the change in student outlook from first year to sophomore year.
“When you first come to Wellesley, there is an excitement and energy that carries you through your first year. Everything is new, everything is exciting, you are curious about everything. But, when you become a sophomore, you feel like you know everything about campus, which most students don’t. There are still always things to discover about Wellesley. The stakes are a little bit higher for sophomores. You have to declare your major, you have decide if you want to study abroad, and so the pressure comes in different ways,” reflected Dean Steinwert.
Susanna Gianola ’20 feels differently, and says that she thinks she’s more prepared for Wellesley.
“I’m figuring it out more and this is more familiar to me, and I was very confused all the time freshman year,” she stated.
Although Gianola feels more comfortable with life at Wellesley, she feels the event is beneficial because it reminds students about important services they may have forgotten.
“Sophomore Reorientation is important because you get reoriented with all the services available at Wellesley and you are going to need throughout your college career,” remarked Gianola.
According to Tracey Cameron, assistant dean of Intercultural Education, director of Harambee House and advisor for Students of African Descent, sophomore reorientation gives second-year students a chance to learn about resources and opportunities they did not have a chance to look into first year.
“I think this is a great opportunity to reintroduce them to the services and programs that they can take advantage of. In that first year there’s so much stuff that’s being thrown at them. Maybe they miss it, maybe they didn’t take it all then in that particular moment, so this is an opportunity to give it a second go,” said Assistant Dean Cameron.
Ethos President Kamaria DeRamus ’18 is glad that sophomores are getting another opportunity to look at organizations and societies with fresh eyes because their interests have narrowed since first year.
“I think sophomore year is a better to reintroduce these types of societies and organizations that you can be a part of. I feel like your sophomore year you also know more of what your interests are so you do more things with one certain organization,” DeRamus said.
Dean Steinwert is hopeful that students who attended sophomore reorientation will look at Wellesley with more excitement going into their second year because this is the time to explore yourself.
“Sophomore reorientation is very important for students because your first year goes in such a blur. Often times you don’t know what you are interested in until you have time to settle in and to think about what you need and want as a student. What was important to you when you first arrived may no longer be what’s important to you when you come back after over a year at Wellesley and a summer away. You might find there are new and emerging interests you want to explore. Sophomore Reorientation offers students an opportunity to look at Wellesley with new eyes.”
Dean O’Keefe hopes to hold an event similar to this in the spring celebrating the Red Class of 2020 and all that sophomore year has to offer.
“This one is really for the beginning of the school year, and it seems to be going well, so we might have some ideas for other events that we can do,” said Dean O’Keefe.