Andover’s campus bustled with activity on each Monday and Friday of the past two weeks as newly admitted Andover students toured campus during revisit days. Behind all the activity, admissions officers and student hosts arranged activities and planned out the day for the visitors.
According to Vivien Mallick, Director of Admissions Operations, one main goal of the revisit day was to allow invited visitors to experience a day in the life of an Andover student.
Mallick said, “Revisit days are important because we want newly admitted students to choose Andover, just as we have chosen them. The campus tour only covers so much, but a revisit day allows a newly admitted student to observe actual classes in session and spend a ‘typical day’ in the life of an Andover student. We hope that this experience gives them a better idea of what it might be like for them next year.”
Revisit days are planned with consideration of a family’s schedule and convenience. According to Natalie Wombwell, Associate Director of Admissions, admissions officers make sure to select revisit days that work with Andover’s academic calendar but give revisiting students time to decide whether to matriculate or not before April 10, the final date to accept an offer of admission,
“The revisit program has been pretty much the same for at least the past seven years, but we start planning by looking at the calendar for next year and try to select four days that straddle the weekend so that traveling for families is easier. We like to space them out so they work within our school’s time frame, and a family’s schedule. We schedule them once students return from Spring Break, and before April 10,” said Wombwell.
Current students also play a large role in the revisit experience. Students choose to be a host for a visiting student and are then matched in accordance with shared interests they may have. Some students, like Lucas Stowe ’20, enjoy the process of bringing newly admitted students into their lives for a day.
Stowe said, “Honestly it’s really rewarding, I find it really fun that I get to show my day, which sometimes seems mundane to me, to someone else who gets really excited about it.”
New Lower Mathis Weber ’20 shared a similar sentiment when explaining why he decided to sign up to host a revisiting student.
Weber said, “I [revisited] last year, and I thought it was pretty cool, and I wanted to help the community at Andover.”
Ramsey Elder, a revisiting student, enjoyed his revisit and expressed that he already felt as though he was a part of the Andover community.
Elder said, “My favorite part about the revisit was that you really got to be a part of the school for a day. It was very inclusive, and I felt like I was already a student at Andover.”
Revisit hosts make sure to emphasize their experiences with community and inclusion on campus, which translates into enjoyable revisits for the newly admitted students, according to Ashley Vensel, a member of the incoming Class of 2022.
Vensel said, “By the end of dinner, [my host] Abby and her friends made me feel like I was already a part of the Andover community. Everyone who passed by our table stopped to say hello to me. Being surrounded by people who had so much pride in their school was amazing. They made sure I was a part of it.”
According to Wombwell, the purpose of the revisits is really to allow newly admitted students to see if the Andover community would be a good fit for them.
“Revisits benefit the admitted students because if gives them a chance to feel like an Andover student — get the feel of campus, our student body, our opportunities, our faculty, and the vibe on campus — so they know whether this feels like ‘home’ to them before making a final decision to attend. It’s the absolute best way to get a real sense of whether this is the best fit,” said Wombwell.