The start of the Tabor experience for the freshman class, and all new students, begins with a big welcome in the form of orientation and guidance, including nurturing support from faculty, staff, coaches, dorm parents, proctors, navigators, and upperclassmen. It is a lot to come to a new school and sometimes the adjustment can be hard. To succeed, we ask each of our students to lean into discomfort and learn from it, striving to be their best. On our end, we keep up the support all year while working right away in the fall with the freshman class on two of our most formative mission tenets: care for others and committed citizenship and personal responsibility.
Whether it is in the form of experiencing what it is like to live with a roommate, learn a new class schedule, clean one’s dorm room, utilize an advisor or upperclassman as a mentor, figure out how to manage and balance homework and other commitments, personal responsibility is at the heart of each of these tasks and many more. Kelly Walker, the freshman class dean, said, “The outcome of these experiences starts to form each student’s unique Tabor experience. As they find their stride and gain more success, they gain the confidence to reach out to others and learn that they can handle more and more, allowing them to begin to open up to even more new experiences and ideas.”
When we talk with our freshmen, and all our students, about how to treat others, including how to treat our campus home, we focus on taking the initiative to be a committed citizen and help others in a broad sense. Every day our students enjoy an opportunity to show concern for others and to be committed citizens in our community. If they are leaning into the experience in a well-intentioned way, they seize this opportunity and step up without being asked to lend a hand to others, clear their plate, say thank you, pick up the piece of paper in the hallway, listen with empathy to a friend. Walker remarked, “We witness our students’ positive choices daily within our community across campus and with their peers. It is exciting to see them transform into committed citizens as they contribute to others and the community in a broad sense.”
All of us at Tabor are proud of the effort each of our new students has displayed so far this year. We hope each has enjoyed the feeling of personal growth and has begun to form a better understanding of their individual role in the community. We hope their sense of independence has grown, and that they have a better understanding of who they are and what their Tabor experience might ultimately look like in the years ahead.
As classes resume and we forge ahead into 2020, we hope all our students have returned from the winter break refreshed and ready for all that is to come. For sure, there are many possibilities and so much opportunity for growth and personal development going forward here at Tabor, together. We welcome a new year and a chance to recommit ourselves to reaching for the best possible versions of ourselves, our community, and our school...habits we practice each and every day. Happy New Year!