Commentary

Step Up And Open Up

There are many wonderful people that I have met since matriculating at Andover. These people have a variety of unique qualities, many of which would be best shared and shown through friendship. Though many students at Andover are social, there is still a considerable number of people who do not have the confidence to meet new people. These people need to realize that there are many ways to make friends at Andover. On the other hand, those that have more social confidence need to be more accepting. High school is a time in your life where you learn to make friends for the adult world. Thus, people should become more social right now. I hear people constantly telling me that they want more friends. “I like this one guy/girl, but he/she doesn’t know who I am” and “I don’t know anyone at this school and I feel as if it is awkward to meet new people” are both complaints that I hear from a surprising number of people. Together, as a community, I believe that we can become more open and accepting of other people. Rarely does anything negative come from new friends; rather, the chance of a good relationship far outweighs the chance of a bad one. There are groups in this school that are either elitist or anti-social. These groups often keep to themselves and they never talk to anyone outside their circle of friends. It is from these kinds of groups that I hear the most complaints of loneliness. It is true the other way around, as well. An individual likes someone in this “elitist” group, but he cannot associate themselves with this person because it is difficult for him to enter the group. If we want to have more meaningful relationships in our school and continue to have the same amount of “class” as we have now, we need to be more open, social and accepting of other people. We need to be an open community. There is no reason to reject other people. Several questions that I will not be able to understand about others are, “Why do people continue to spend time with other people, even after a considerable amount of drama?” and “Why do people feel miserable when they have no friends, when they, themselves, make no effort to find other people to be with?” These questions should not exist, yet they do. They should disappear if people become more social and open. We need to recognize that if we treat people like ourselves and become friends with a large range of people, then we can reduce drama and become happier people. Throughout this article, I have stressed openness to the student body, but I feel as though I should stress openness to the candidates of student body president. I urge the candidates, as part of their platform, to have events that encourage people to meet others. I don’t want more events like dances or movies, but perhaps something similar to orientation, that will allow people to meet others. It is in this fashion that people will really be able to discover how much the Andover student body has to offer. We should not be miserable or upset because we do not know enough people or so shy that we can never approach new people. If we are social, we will eliminate drama and create more meaningful relationships that could last a lifetime. Awareness of others around us is important and we need to recognize that one of the most important needs of any human being is human interaction. The ideal that this school instills in us, that “goodness without knowledge is dangerous, yet knowledge without goodness is weak,” is not sufficient. We need to recognize that we are nothing if we have no one with which to share our knowledge and goodness.