Twice a week during the fall trimester, freshmen engage in “Thacher 101,” an orientation program that fosters open dialogue about living and learning at the School. They grapple with tough questions about what kind of friend, student, and community member they want to be; how they will define success for themselves; and what challenges they each expect to face along the way. They discuss the integral role of the Honor Code in our community, and how to balance the independence and responsibility it requires. They talk about getting involved in clubs, sustainability projects, community service, drama performances, sports, and other initiatives on campus. And they get to know each other on a deeper level.
While these important conversations with classmates and advisors are happening throughout the school year, freshmen are finding their own way into every aspect of the dynamic Thacher community. Four times a week they’re sitting down to an all-School formal dinner, making new friends and engaging on a personal level with faculty members. Evenings and weekends there are musical performances, film screenings, foursquare tournaments, guest speakers, dances, camping trips, bike rides, and surf sessions to take in.
And down time? Students figure out a way to fill it—waking up before dawn to catch sunrise at Twin Peaks with new friends, grabbing whoever’s around the dorm to play a game of Ultimate down at the Upper Field, working on a personal project in the art studio, or just hanging out with and connecting to classmates-cum-best-friends at the preferred freshman hangout spot, “the grassy knoll” across from the freshmen girls’ dorm.