Look Mom, No Sleep!

This weekend, parents from all over the world flock to Andover hill. Students hastily vacuum and make their beds for the first time in weeks, remove questionable wall decor and maybe do a load of laundry. There is a buzz of excitement and anticipation. Naturally, as a school, we want to put our best foot forward, to give an honest, yet positive, depiction. We proudly invite parents to get a glimpse into our lives at Andover. Parents meet their children’s teachers, walk the daily route between brick buildings, eat in Paresky Commons and visit the library. The scenario plays out like a Spring revisit day; visitors stick like glue to their tourguides, trying to ingest a massive amount of information, but registering very little of it. Understandably, we skim over the less savory aspect of our school and highlight the best. The Commons food tastes a little bit better than usual, “cool” teachers watch their language in the classroom and even the weather is improving. But the irony lies in the fact that it’s impossible to show our parents the best parts of Andover, because the real ups and downs of Andover can’t be crammed onto the official Parents’ Weekend schedule. We cannot schedule a heart-to-heart with a dormmate for our parents to witness so that they can understand the depth of the friendships we make here; We cannot ask them to pull an all-nighter with us or fail a chemistry test; We cannot invite them to see a cluster munch, a movie marathon in the dorm or a spontaneous dinner debate that escalates into a full-blown shouting match. There is no way for our big successes and failures, as well as those little moments of misery or joy, to be on display this weekend. Nevertheless, we try to fit the Andover experience into a series of time slots on this weekend’s agenda. Try as they may, parents cannot be “flies on the wall,” because their very presence on campus alters our dynamic. Parents Weekend is an excellent way of showing parents a slice of Andover, but that’s all it’s possible to show– a tiny portion. If they are to have a deeper understanding of our time here, it will require us, as the students, picking up the phone a little more often and keeping them up to date. A once-a-year Parents’ Weekend crash-course in the Andover experience is great, but the Andover experience will always be better. This Editorial represents the views of The Phillipian Editorial Board CXXXIII.