By Charlie ’23
With over 600 sign ups this year alone, Peer Support is one of the largest clubs at the Upper School, and for good reason. The club is composed of 10 to 15 groups of approximately 30 members, each group with two or three senior leaders and junior leaders in training.
Within one’s group that they are randomly assigned at the beginning of the year, students voluntarily share issues that have been troubling them while allowing their fellow peers to respond and support them. Any given share can cover a wide range of topics, both small and large, but the most important aspect of the program is confidentiality. Every single participant in Peer Support must maintain confidentiality with anything that is shared during group to help maintain the safe and comfortable environment that the club provides for students. The beauty of the program lies in the fact that it relies completely on trust bestowed in its participants and leaders to function, also meaning that what a student gets out of going to a group can be different for any given member.
Another important aspect of Peer Support is that it can serve a multitude of purposes and is usually different for each of its members, yet everyone that participates enjoys going just as much as the next person. For example, for sophomores, the club provides them a great opportunity to socialize and better get to know classmates they may not be well acquainted with, as well as form connections with older students they may not have known otherwise. Because each group’s members are randomized at the beginning of the year, the experience each student will have with their group is completely different, another aspect of the beauty of the club. For other students, coming to a group each Monday provides them with a close-knit support system of classmates that maybe they don’t know so well, but they come to trust and form connections with by the end of the year. For me, Peer Support has helped me form some of my closest relationships with classmates, especially because of the random aspect of it all. I went into my first group during my sophomore year not really knowing what to expect, and while I was initially hesitant because of the uncertainty, I ended up loving everything about the club, returning to every single subsequent meeting for the rest of the year. Peer Support provides endless opportunities to connect with classmates on a much deeper level than just school would provide you, and that’s why I think it plays a crucial role in the school’s community.