An Andover Sacrifice

This week’s disciplinary decisions remind us that coming to Andover means sacrificing much of the normal high school experience. Though teenage “party” culture has become a fundamental part of the American high school, PA students never have an opportunity to partake in it, at least while at Andover. Those who try almost always fail. Yet, we must realize the significance of this sacrifice. We may remorse having missed the romanticism of teenage rebellion; the nights we could have been out with our friends playing “beirut,” being silly and not worrying about the troubles of the adult world. We may wish we pulled a few less all-nighters to study, and a few more to see the sun rise after an exciting night. We may never forget those times we could have spent happy just to be alive, but were instead spent distraught over some insignificant test grade. Indeed, there is something ironically wholesome about the teenage “party” culture that can be as nurturing as it can be physically detrimental. Sometimes we need a good party to bring us together; to “collect” us, as John Steinbeck might suggest (Cannery Row). Yet our forfeit reflects our purpose. We should never question the worth of the Andover sacrifice. We could have coasted through high school, gotten into good colleges and still made lots of money; if that were our goal, we didn’t need to experience Upper Spring or Senior fall. We came here because we believe that by working hard we can improve ourselves and our world. Perhaps, if the motto “non sibi” defines Andover at all, it defines Andover because no one would ever come here unless they, at least in some deep or hidden way, believe they can be a force for good in the world. Anyone who has ever pulled an all-nighter studying knows that there is a certain point in the night when the grade stops mattering; there is something else that drives us. Therefore, we should appreciate the significance of the Andover sacrifice as a reflection of our most altruistic motivations. This editorial represents the views of The Phillipian Editorial Board.