The Reality of Non Sibi

We all tell our own favorite stories about the day we were admitted to Andover. My story began a little over a year ago when a FedEx truck delivered a large white envelope from the Andover Admission Office to my blue house in Miami. I wasn’t home when my envelope came, but my parents left a message for me at school that read, “The Federal Express envelope has landed.” When I came home later that day, the FedEx envelope was waiting for me just as I had waited for it. I had been filled with expectation about that envelope for weeks. But, it took just a moment for my expectations to be fulfilled. I opened the envelope and there it was: a white folder containing my admission letter. The unspoken anxiety I had carried for weeks no longer weighed me down. Like hundreds of my fellow admits, I was ecstatic. The Andover Spring Visit Program sealed the deal for me as it did for many other admitted students last year. It was then and there that we tried the campus on for size. We attended classes. We sat in Cochran Chapel. We ate lunch in Paresky Commons. We walked the Quads. We lived the life of an Andover student for a few hours. And each in our own way, we decided that Andover was the right place for us. For me, that decision was a no-brainer. Many of this year’s newly admitted applicants have attended one of Andover’s Spring Visit Programs. If this year follows the trends of the last, 83 percent of these admits will decide to attend Andover. On their Visit Day, they will get to join in on class discussions, tour the lab facilities in Gelb Science Center and sample “Big Blue Pizza.” Little do they know, Andover will be greater than the sum total of their revisit experiences. It is also a community of caring people who give students a helping hand when they need it. I experienced this community in action when I separated my shoulder last term in the final hockey game of the season against Exeter. At first, I was in too much pain to be concerned about school. But it didn’t take long for reality to sink in. It was a little over a week before finals. My arm was in a sling. I couldn’t sleep because of the pain. I couldn’t even write. I was up the proverbial creek, and my shoulder hurt too much to paddle. I wondered how I was going to prepare for finals, let alone take them. I spent that weekend in Isham in a private room. But I wasn’t alone. The nurses and doctors at Isham took excellent care of me. My friends were supportive. My dorm counselors walked the extra mile for me. My Cluster Dean couldn’t have been nicer. My coaches had my back. My advisor and college counselor were there for me. My teachers showed phenomenal kindness and understanding. Public Safety courteously transported me to doctor appointments. And the Academic Support Center was fantastic–the staff helped me coordinate everything I needed to survive finals. When I think about how helpful everyone has been to me, my thoughts turn to the new admits who will matriculate to Andover after attending one of the revisits this year. If I could, I would tell each of them how a student from Miami learned first-hand that Andover, above all, is a caring community where Non Sibi is a lived reality, not an empty platitude. Eric Meyers is a new Upper from Miami, FL.