Advisory is more than 15 minutes

Time spent in advisories should be cherished and used effectively.


by Anna Hafner, Staff Photographer

Walking into school on any given day means trudging up two flights of Donnelly stairs and turning in the first door on the left to one of my favorite places at STA: advisory. Upon entering the room, Mrs. White smiles with a warm “good morning”, I check on our fish Lil’ Sebastian, put my lunch on the shelf in the corner and move my magnet to the check-in board. Essentially, I complete the same ritual every day, but in reality, the most meaningful part of this five minute experience is the little conversations and smiles shared with the other girls walking in and out, completing the same routine as me. Advisories are one of the most unique and influential opportunities available at STA, and time given in advisories should be cherished and used effectively.

Somehow, a few minutes every day have added up and equated meaningful friendships. At STA, controversy exists behind the idea of advisories feeling forced or unnecessary. While at first some advisories might not feel natural, time invested will pay off. My advisory experience has been comfortable, but this is the result of effort to form a cohesive group. Instead of dreading the idea of an advisory party where time spent together may feel forced, make the most of the time you are given to form connections. Talk to someone new and take advantage of the opportunity to get to know girls from other grades.  Instead of racing to check in and rushing to check out, take the time to have a short conversation with advisory sisters or your adviser. The most meaningful thing an advisory can share is time.

Four classes later I’m back. After grabbing my lunch, the debriefing of the first half of the day begins. With overheard voices discussing Teresian dresses and girls practicing math problems on the dry erase board, the noise level gradually increases with the sounds of laughter and enthusiasm. I’m surrounded by girls from other grade levels who I wouldn’t have known otherwise. I see them forming connections and friendships with each other regardless of interests but through this common bond we share.

Advisory friendships extend to taking pictures together at dances or walking in between classes and striking up a conversation. Start a bulletin board with these photos or make an effort to celebrate birthdays with advisory parties. The little things are what make an advisory work well, and they make a difference in making everyone feel more comfortable. The 10 given minutes are only the beginning of friendships.  

It is now 3 p.m. and I am on my way back to D206. With a backpack full of homework, the stairs up are even more difficult than in the morning. I move my magnet to the check-out board, take a quick peek at Lil’ Sebastian and say goodbye to Mrs. White.  As I walk out the door and down the stairs with a smile, I am thankful to have a system which cultivates friendships and offers the opportunity for strong relationships. With the advisory system, as with most other things, you get value out of what you put effort into.