Sophomore Retreat 2016

Your sophomore year at Mudd can be very challenging. You are no longer a frosh on pass/fail, but you also are not an upperclassmen who is closer to graduation than orientation. In the fall semester you are finishing the core, which includes Stems and E&M, while in the spring semester, the majority of your classes are for your major. To give sophomores the tools to have a great rest of their sophomore year, the Division of Student Affairs hosts the Sophomore Retreat.

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Sophomore Retreat Class of 2018 attendees.

I went on the fourth annual retreat, which was held over the last days of this winter break in the San Bernardino Mountains, a couple of hours from campus. Compared to the environment at Mudd, the location was quite cold with temperatures at night in the twenties. It did not snow while we were there, but there was two feet of snow on the ground, which resulted in many snowball fights. We also had outdoor activities at a high ropes course for an afternoon but went inside after past dark as the temperature dropped.

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The Vice President of Student Affairs participating in one of the many snowball fights.

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James Palmer (’18) reaches for a hanging bell mid-jump on the Leap of Faith.

Since it was much colder than some of us were used to, we did not spend too much time outside aside from climbing the high ropes course and walking between buildings. While indoors, we talked about various aspects of wellness, such as our values and strengths, and created our own personal mission statements based on our guiding life philosophies. We also spent time making s’mores, playing cards, and getting to know each other better since many of us had not had a chance to interact due to our busy schedules during the school year.

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Students talk in peer groups during an activity at the retreat.

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Sophomores gather around in a snow circle to discuss the obstacles in the high ropes course.

I really enjoyed the sophomore retreat, especially getting to know other sophomores better. It is easy to think that everyone at Mudd is so similar when you are in all of the same classes together, but I realized that there is so much diversity in my class. All in all, it was a great experience, and I would recommend it to any Mudd student in the future.