On the first Friday of the school year, the senior class loaded into their cars and drove for forty minutes to Cedar Wood, the women’s Opus Dei center in Newton. They were greeted by the college guidance officers Mrs. Foley and Mrs. Peters, their GLM and writer extraordinaire Mrs. Kris, and Head of School Dr. Bohlin. At the center, they listened to presentations and participated in workshops to guide them through various aspects of the college application process. The seniors also had time to meet with Mrs. Kris or Dr. Bohlin, read each other’s essay drafts, and have a few opinionated conversations over pizza.
Courtney Aicardi ’20 said: “I thought it was really fun because it was a day off from school and a chance to focus on something else. Dr. Bohlin’s talk about demonstrated interest was really great, and it was really cool that she came to be with us. It was also great to sit down and talk to a bunch of people about my essay. It helped me to know exactly what I need to do to get where I want to go.”
Mrs. Kris, one of the leaders of the event, said: “The college process can feel stressful, and so we want to be as supportive as possible as students take on this daunting and necessary task. By going offsite, and hosting it in a more retreat-like setting, we want to infuse a little bit of camaraderie and fun into the day. We also want to kick off senior year with a common experience, which will hopefully take some of the anxiety out of the college writing process.”
Although I did improve the intro to my essay and learned some fantastic ways to show interest to a college while at Cedar Wood, I — more importantly — experienced an overwhelming sense of support from the faculty members and other seniors present. We all knew that these women understood and endorsed our aspirations, and we knew that they would do all they could to help us achieve our goals.