Harrison Wilson ’20 is a Proctor in Fuess House from Wenham, Mass. On campus, Wilson runs on Andover Boys Track & Field and Andover Boys Cross Country, and sings for the Fidelio Society and Yorkies. Last year, Wilson studied in Rennes, France, as part of a School Year Abroad (SYA) program.
1. What is it like running track?
Track is so fun. I love all my teammates. They really push me every single day. Maybe there’s times I can remember where it’s zero degrees outside [or] ten degrees and we have to go out for our run and I’m regretting it for the entire day or even leading up to practice, and as soon as I’m surrounded by my teammates and my amazing coaches, I get outside and I just forget about the cold and we just talk about [our] days. A bad day can be turned into a good one.
2. What track events do you participate in?
I run the 400-Meter. I also run the 800-Meter and the mile. My favorite event, it’s hard, but I do love the 4 by 400-Meter relay, which is at the end of the meet, and the whole crowd lines up along the final stretch. I’ve been the last leg before, so you’re the last runner on the track and you hopefully put the cherry on top at the end of the meet.
3. How was your school year abroad in France?
I’d say it was a net positive experience, not to say that there wasn’t a ton of struggle and difficulty along the way…When I talk about my experience, I say that everything is unfamiliar. Being even at home with your host family, it’s not like your real family. You have to talk to them in French; you have to build connections with them. You have to kind of start your life over in a sense. That definitely comes with various bumps along the way, but I’m so happy that with my French level, I got to travel in Europe with friends of mine. I connected with even more students across the country, and so it’s definitely a rewarding experience, but I don’t think everyone can do it.
4. What has been your favorite thing about your time at Andover?
It’s kind of a stereotypical response to give the people and your classmates as kind of the highlight of your experience, but coming back to Andover after being a year away I’d say the thing that warmly welcomed me was the sense of community… You get to create a ton of meaningful connections. I definitely love the whole idea of community, not just a limited idea of the people that you meet… It’s the students who you connect to, connect with, who you’re friends with, but it’s not only them, but also the other students you don’t connect with, the teachers that you have or you don’t have, that compose the entire warm, welcoming, exciting community of Andover.
5. What is one thing you could not live without?
Ignoring material objects, I would probably say my family and friends. I think I learned this through my year abroad: no matter where you are, no matter where you live, no matter what you’re doing, it’s always my family and my friends. The people close to me…who can really impact my everyday life and everyday thoughts and beliefs and challenge or support or help me grow… Of course I love food and clothes and various objects that I have, but it’s my family and friends.
6. What will you miss most about Andover after you graduate?
One of my oddly favorite things is the running routes around Andover. [I] can run on nice trails that I’ve gotten to know, and I’m happy that I’ve been on a team where I get to explore the area… There’s a lot of places in Andover that probably the majority of Andover students haven’t seen. I’m not too far away, so I can come back and run there, but its not [the same] being there [without] your teammates and your coach and having the experience of going out on a completely new trail and seeing the beautiful scenery around campus.
7. What is your favorite food?
I really love chocolate. Whenever I travel I always try to sample chocolate.
8. What is one of your favorite things to do when you’re not on campus?
When I’m not on campus, I enjoy walking my dogs [at] home. There [are] tons of woods near my house, so if I have the opportunity to go through the woods with my dogs or with my parents or with one of my siblings, that’s always fun.
9. What is one thing you love about chorus?
I’m in both chorus and Fidelio, and I’d say that in general with those two ensembles, I enjoy tackling difficult music and continuing to learn… and that’s definitely how I can explore music.
10. What do you miss about home when you’re at Andover?
My answer has changed over my time here at Andover. I’d say that my [Junior] year I would—because I have the privilege of being so close—I would return home more often, so I think I used to miss the physical place much more, but as I’ve gone through Andover, I think I’ve grown to appreciate the time that I have with my friends, so when I’m not at Andover, I definitely miss my friends.