A Reflection on Winter Gathering

Shloka Chodhari ’26 in News | February 17, 2023

Winter Gathering is the most awaited long weekend during the Winter Term and is when parents come to campus to meet their students’ advisors, as well as attend sessions hosted by Lawrenceville students and faculty. Winter Gathering is a time for the community to bond, parents to meet, and students to have a relaxing long weekend. The most significant aspect of Winter Gathering is for advisors to connect with parents and discuss students’ needs and expectations that they have set for the nearing Spring Term ahead. That’s what we all need sometimes to catch up on our sleep! 
After interviewing some students and a teacher, I received the inside scoop on what teachers and students think about Winter Gathering, what they would change in the future, and what they enjoyed this long weekend. Sahas Chodhari ’24 mentioned that Winter Gathering was a time to get away, relax, and most importantly, catch up on sleep. Winter Gathering was also an incredible time for him to enjoy himself with his close friends and reflect on the preceding couple of weeks. Chodhari mentioned that those few days involved more listening than talking; enjoying his free time was an ideal way for him to understand aspects of himself he needed to work on both academically and mentally. He understood what he needed to work on for the next few weeks after having a conversation with his advisors, especially considering that winter finals week is coming up shortly. Reflecting was a keyword for Chodhari, as was the ability to understand himself better and change some of the bad habits that he had become accustomed to in the past few months. 
Our previous Winter Gatherings were interrupted by the presence of Covid-19, so after this dilemma, what was it like having a one-on-one conversation with parents? For a teacher's perspective, I talked to Math Teacher Hollister Olson; she mentioned what she enjoyed, but also some of what she wants to change about Winter Gatherings. Olson said that she enjoys getting to check in with and further connect with the parents of her students. She also added that a few extra days of downtime for her to recharge for the month ahead was lovely. Moreover, Olson loved coming back to duty on Tuesday night and seeing all the girls in the Dawes House embracing each other, even after a few short days. Regarding what she would like to change, she believed it would be beneficial to have "some big community gathering event upon the return from the weekend" to get everyone excited to be back on campus and motivated for the rest of the Winter Term. Last but not least, she added, "Winter Gathering's current iteration this year is special because it allows us to balance important conversations with a little time off." 
All in all, Winter Gathering is an extraordinary time for parents to connect with their advisors. Students can improve not only from their teachers but also from their advisors and parents. This is truly a time of reflection, a time to talk about letting go of bad habits and inviting good habits as the Winter Term ends. Good luck to all for the last few weeks of the Winter Term. We have almost reached Spring Break!