Freshmen class of 2024 participates in virtual orientation


Provided by Daniel Lin

APEX Adventures Director Shaw Dunton explains the rules of a breakout room activity. During the virtual orientation on Thursday, freshman advisory groups participated in team-bonding activities.

by Lucy Ge, Winged Post News Editor

Members of the class of 2024 participated in various advisory bonding activities during their freshman Zoom orientation on Thursday, marking the start of their transition to virtual learning. 

Link Crew, Apex Adventures and various faculty members organized the orientation. The freshmen met their advisory for the first time in breakout rooms and played icebreakers, such as Hangman and Mafia. Each advisory was then split up into two groups to play a point-based “escape room” activity consisting of 10 challenges — including solving puzzles and deciphering Morse codes — and a bonus questionnaire. 

Link Crew member Ian Williamson (12), who led half of upper school vocal music teacher Susan Nace’s advisory, found the orientation engaging. 

“I definitely thought that by the end, at least my half of the advisory felt more connected, which is great just over the period of one day,” he said. 

For the members of the Class of 2024, especially those new to Harker, the event was a valuable opportunity to bond with their classmates. 

“Getting to know our other advisory members and our advisors was really nice,” Gordy Sun (9) said. “As a new student, I’m a lot more comforted by these events, which shows me there is a welcoming community at Harker. I already feel like a Harker eagle.”

Still, many freshmen expressed disappointment with reduced social interaction due to a remote start. 

“I was from a really small school and we had a really small campus,” Sydney Ling, a freshman new to Harker, said. “I was looking forward to a different campus and meeting a lot of new people [in person]. The fact that we didn’t get that was definitely a bummer.”

Aeliya Grover (9), who graduated from the Harker middle school with the rest of her class through an online ceremony, felt similarly about not being able to see classmates in person. 

“Most of my friends don’t have the same classes as me, and we mostly hang out during break periods, but now we can’t do that,” she said. 

Additional reporting by Aditya Singhvi.