Upper School News

Seniors Set the Tone for Communication around Postsecondary Plans
Rachel Freeman, Editorial Manager

Photo by Willow T.C.Y., ’21

As a follow-up to the work they did during their senior class camping trip at the beginning of the year, students worked in their Science of Mind class to create a set of postsecondary communication norms as they embarked on this emotional part of the process. 

“It’s hard to describe the emotions experienced by a close-knit community of high school students as they receive news of such perceived importance,” said Gavin Bradley, director of college counseling. “To that end, seniors discussed the ways they as a class wish their transition to their post-Nueva destinations be discussed and honored.”

“We are here to support one another,” said senior Audrey H. “These norms help provide the framework for us to create our own set of norms within our friend groups, and celebrate our peers.”

Some examples of the norms set out by the seniors include:

  • Conversation consent is crucial. Ask before talking about postsecondary stuff and show respect if someone says no.

  • Be supportive, emotionally and of the choices your friends and peers are making.

  • Help keep each other accountable to these norms in kind ways. Don’t get angry if they are broken; just remind each other and hold each other accountable.

  • Be conscious of context: Does it need to be said? Need to be said by me? Need to be said by me now?

  • Don’t give unsolicited advice.

    • If you are not the college counselor, don’t act like one.

    • Be aware of things you might say that would make others feel worse.

    • You can ask if someone wants advice or help, but don’t assume they need it.

  • And, to the adults (parents and faculty) in our community: Don’t tell students they are stressed; we know we’re stressed.

“For, as stressful as this process is, our seniors know they will get through this,” explained Brian Cropper, twelfth-grade dean. “I’m really excited that we made space for a conversation around these norms. Our students don’t have to accept the pervasive culture around college and postsecondary plans; they can name it themselves and we trust them to know what they need.” 


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  • Upper School News

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