The Scene of Senior Sentimentality

As I sat around my house sick over break I had an episode of senior sentimentality. I was looking for a video to watch and came across my Art-100 video, which I promptly popped into my VCR. As I watched the younger versions of myself and my triad classmates running around, I was struck with how different we all looked. It had never occurred to me that Andover is not a single block of time in students’ lives thus far- we all change immensely as we go through, for the better, because of every chance we are given. From those moments of triad art to times now in advanced classes amid college apps and SAT’s, we often forget all that has changed from when we first arrived to when we are about to leave. I thought back on all the articles I’ve written criticizing and moaning and I realized that very not often did I look in the Commentary section and see an article that praises Andover. I feel that this is due. What we have is an immense gift. Yes, Commons could have better food, schedules and pace of life could make more sense, grades could be fairer, parietal hours could allow more freedom and all-school meetings could be planned with more substance, but these are all such minute complaints within a larger picture. It’s astonishing what we have. We get to go to class every day and sit with approximately ten to twelve other students and learn in a forum where everyone is interested, the teachers are engaging and we are all allowed to be active participants. It has always made me a proud student when an English class gets into a discussion so heated that the students take it personally or when a history class debates over the implications of time or moment. I’ve had teachers who take time out of their lives to sit with me and go over a math problem in their homes, or who have made a class dinner for no reason other than their love for their students. I have such appreciation for the faculty who have taken their time to get to know me outside of class, and I have often found myself in a house counselor or teacher’s apartment just talking about my own life instead of class. It’s a testament to the nature of our school that these relationships exist, and all students and faculty alike have such an opportunity to be close because of the nature of the school. Outside of class our campus is a vibrant community with so many opportunities to shine. Curiosity can lead to new loves for anyone open to trying. Our school has its share of problems, but students have never hesitated to vocalize their concerns, and we aren’t encouraged to! The administration obviously is often hard to get to and hard to make listen, but when they do, the changes have been immense and numerous. Obviously there are flaws. For every great teacher who a student can talk to and hang out with outside of class they might have one who they just don’t click with. For every achievement in one arena, there might be a disappointment in another. No high school is without its problems, social schemes and stressful moments. Maybe I’m just feeling this because I’m a Senior who’s beginning to feel the end approaching. Perhaps I’m tuning out all of my memories of rough adjustment freshman year or the extreme frustrations of Upper Spring. However, sometimes it’s important to remember why we’re here. I’m not trying to ignore the problems that exist on our campus, but the goodness and enrichment so often outweighs the stress and anxieties. We may not realize it, but on looking back at my peers and my Art-100 video I realized that our changes are all immense, and we could not possibly be who we are now without all the experiences we’ve had in our time at Andover. Maybe we can’t stop and smell the roses in the dead cold snow of winter, but we can still try to keep in mind how lucky we are to have learned all that we now know.