Norah Copenhaver ’24
Wayfinder is a class intended to educate sophomores, students like me, and directed towards teaching us scarcely taught life lessons, like sex-education. Before entering the program, the information I received made me expect to learn about myself and be involved in a Mercersburg-styled health class; instead, I found my time there wasteful and tedious.
Despite being presumably designed for sex-ed, the class bears a close resemblance to your typical first day of middle school: icebreakers, uncomfortable groups with unfamiliar people, as well as being strongly pressed to give answers about yourself that you don’t necessarily feel comfortable sharing. The atmosphere in the classroom was always awkward and silent. I constantly resisted the urge to check my phone or take a 20-minute bathroom break.
You’d think that two years into high school, a required appointment would consist of questions more complicated than, “What’s your favorite color?” and “What’s your spirit animal?” At the end of the day, blowing condom balloons is an addition to sex-ed that some might find unnecessary. It came to the point where this commitment in my schedule fed into my mindset that all required appointments were constructed as intentionally tiresome and designed to take away our free time and pack our schedules on the most stressful of days.
After giving Wayfinder a couple of tries, I noticed that my grades had been affected. Typically, Tuesdays provide time to catch up on work when I need it. But with Wayfinder cutting it close with lunch and then my PGA, I felt that I could use that time to better myself and my education.
To deal with that growing issue, I began taking behavior points so that I could get my work done. Sometimes on your typical lousy Tuesday, you want nothing more than to shower and take a nap. That was the case a couple of times, but mostly I excused myself from Wayfinder to relieve some of the overwhelming stress of homework.
The very nature of Wayfinder makes one question the point of other similar required appointments, such as Peer Group and Inbound. These appointments are just more wasteful hours dedicated towards an elementary-style expression of our feelings, and the exhausting use of icebreakers to keep students busy. Perhaps that was always the point of the Wayfinder, and sex-ed was merely an afterthought.
Overall, Wayfinder should consist of more thought-provoking questions to make our time there worthwhile and engage everyone from all different perspectives – otherwise, why have it at all?