Last year, a new program called “Senior Wellness Week” was implemented by the upper school administration and counseling team to take the place of senior exams. While the general program will continue for the second year, it has been renamed “Adulting 101,” to show a new emphasis in the course selection. From Dec.12-17 seniors will participate in a wide range of courses — from learning how to tie a tie to learning how to make things on a rice cooker — to equip them with important skills that will help them in their transition from high school in to college.
Upon receiving feedback from last year’s seniors and from TAS alumni on what they wish they had known before going off to college, college counseling made new changes to the programming to put a greater emphasis on the transition from high school into college.
Similar to last year, seniors will be required to take two mandatory classes over the course of those six days. One of the required courses is about consent, sexuality, alcohol and drugs on college campuses.
“I think that we would be doing students a disservice if we did not address [this],” director of ollege counseling Mrs. Melanie Hamre said. “We talk a lot about TAS being a bubble. It is a nurturing community, and people are so warm and supportive, but that is not always how college campuses are.”
The second mandatory class will cover third culture identity. Since many faculty members at TAS have lived abroad, they will be sharing their own struggles and experiences with their third culture identity. Understanding the various elements in students’ identities is important before traveling to a new country so that they can recognize and appreciate where they have come from while adjusting to a new culture.
Aside from the two mandatory classes, students will also be able to choose two or three additional classes to take. Some of these include a class on how to vote, a class on how to make things on a rice cooker and a class talking about how to deal with college rejection.
“It [will be] such a stressful time [as] a lot of our Grade 12 students are going to be getting news [from colleges], good and bad,” Mrs. Hamre said. “We really want to help them understand that it does not define their lives, that it is okay to be upset and sad, but then how to get through that and focus on the next thing.”
Personal and academic counselors will also have open hours for students to drop by and talk to them, which is a change from last year.
Mrs. Hamre ultimately hopes that seniors will view this week with a “positive attitude”. Current senior Julia Kim (‘20), believes that participating in classes during Adulting 101 will be more beneficial than completing an exam. “[Having] important life skills is more important than taking an exam,” she said. “When I go to college, I will be away from home and by myself. Going to school and studying for an exam, won’t teach me how to change the tires of my car, this is why [Adulting 101] will be useful.”