Recent Asian Alumni Visit to Counsel and Chat

Phillips Academy welcomed back three alumni who were active in the Asian community at Andover this past Wednesday. Helen Ho ’01, Eric Liu ’02, and Dan Shue ’99 came to talk about life after Andover during an Asian Society meeting held in CAMD. When asked if they felt if Andover was different today, Ho said that PA is very similar. “[It was a] nice feeling coming back. You remember good memories. It’s actually hard to think of any bad memories.” Liu said that Andover seems more intense and that people “need to focus more to do well.” All three agreed that even though college applications are really important, many students make them seem more stressful than they actually are. Shue said, “Don’t stress too much if you don’t get into your dream school, because you’ll still do well, and your life is definitely not over.” Liu, who attended Yale, said that even though he didn’t get into Harvard, he thought to himself, “Does it really matter?” The group also advised taking risks early in an academic career. Otherwise, some people find they are unable to take many interesting classes because they are working to finish their graduation requirements. “If you start going down a low-risk path now, you’ll be scared of risks later on,” said Liu. Shue added, “Take a class you could never get the chance to do again.” Shue also recommended that Andover students get to know their teachers. He said the relationships he formed here with teachers were some of his most memorable experiences at PA. “The teachers here are not just your teachers, they’re your coaches, your house counselors. They’re like your surrogate parents,” said Shue. All three stressed the habits of time-management and working independently that they learned at Andover because it made the transition to college much easier. Liu even said that many other PA alumni found college particularly easy after three or four years at Andover. All three alums were involved in different Asian groups on campus. Ho was president of Chinese Taiwanese Student Association, Liu was president of Asian Society, and Shue frequently attended Asian Society meetings. Liu, however, said that he wished he had explored different clubs and encouraged others to explore different options, especially in college. Ho said that due to a college’s large size, there will always be people who are interested in an idea for a club. Ho said that because of Andover’s limited student body size, it can be hard finding other people interested in something very unique, but that “for a high school, Andover does a really good job.”