The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Freshmen participate in advisory bonding activities during orientation


Lucy Ge

Link Crew members cheer as freshmen walk towards Nichols auditorium to meet with their advisors. Freshman advisory groups gathered for the first time yesterday and played bonding games.

by Lucy Ge, Aquila Co-Managing Editor

The Class of 2025 attended freshman orientation yesterday, participating in advisory bonding activities with their Link Crew members.

Freshman dean and upper school theater teacher Jeffrey Draper, Link Crew and Apex Adventures led the day’s activities for the freshmen. 

“There hasn’t been the stress of anything like the last year and a half [in organizing orientation], which has been beautiful,” Draper said. “I keep using the word joy, because I’ve been feeling so much happiness being here on campus.”

Apex Adventures, an organization dedicated to “experiential and adventure based learning,led freshmen through rotations of different challenges on Davis Field, where advisories competed against each other in a series of challenges, ranging from balancing an advisory member on a wooden stilt or filling up a hole-filled tube with water from a nearby bucket to swimming in the pool.

Freshman Vedant Balachandran found the filling a tube with water activity especially entertaining.

“We were struggling to keep the holes plugged up, and it just kept spraying onto us,” Vedant said. “And at some points, we’d get tired and it’d just spray everywhere and everybody would get wet.”

While freshman Saanvi Bhargava found the activities “really fun and creative,” she also wished for more time with friends outside of her advisory. 

“One thing I wish they would do is maybe do half of it with advisories,” Saanvi said. “But then the other half you could do with different groups that you could choose, because some of my friends weren’t in my advisory, so it would have been a bit more fun if we could do some of those activities together.”

Freshman Fern Biswas, who is new to Harker, made friends in advisory and enjoyed the bonding activities on Davis Field. 

“We were able to work together a lot,” Fern said. “[Having] to get along for something really helped for us to get to know each other, and planning who would do what and who would coordinate what.”

Members of Link Crew joined their assigned freshmen advisories and helped facilitate advisory activities. Link Crew Leader Lucas Chen (12) compared participating in last year’s virtual freshmen orientation to this year’s in-person event. 

“For the freshmen, what’s important about orientation is getting to know their advisories, their friends, their class,” Lucas said. “And that’s really hard to do over Zoom, because everyone’s muted. Given that we can be in person where everyone can freely interact with each other for a day, that’s going to benefit the freshmen a lot.”

Each advisory was paired with one junior Link Crew member and one senior Link Crew member. Link Crew member Kavita Murphy (12) worked with new upper school biology teacher Eric Johnson’s advisory. Like other Link Crew members, she met with her assigned advisor over lunch at the upper school on Wednesday during Link Crew training, and she interacted with her assigned advisory for the first time yesterday. 

“Meeting the advisory is a little nerve wracking at first, which is weird, because I haven’t met new people in a while, but they were all super open,” Kavita said. “And especially, I felt like we were able to kind of really work together as a group.”

Sophomores participated in activities at the Blackford campus yesterday, while the junior rafting trip scheduled for yesterday was cancelled. Freshmen will be attending their first matriculation today and having their pictures taken.

Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified the location of the sophomore activities yesterday as the Union campus instead of the Blackford campus. The article has been updated to reflect this error.

About the Contributor
Photo of Lucy Ge
Lucy Ge, Aquila Co-Managing Editor

Lucy Ge (12) is the co-managing editor of Harker Aquila with a focus on equity and outreach, and this is her fourth year on staff. Through journalism,...

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