Students React to On-Campus Quarantine

Junior, Senior, and Post-Graduate boarders in addition to Prefects and Proctors in Andover’s “Cohort One” have returned to campus and are nearing the end of their mandatory, dorm-contained two-week quarantine. While around 370 students have returned to campus, the campus still remains relatively empty: Classes are being held remotely, meals are delivered to dorms through Paresky Commons, and students may only leave their dorms when supervised by a faculty or staff member. Andover has implemented universal masking and social distancing policies for the whole community. Here are some students’ reactions to their quarantine experience.

Liz Zhao ’24
“We have a lot of dorm activities during the day. Usually we have an outdoor period where everybody is required to go outside to a field from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. For the rest of the day, we’re given free rein to do whatever we want. I have a group of friends, and whenever some of us are free, we just do a Zoom call with each other. I was pretty nervous about making friends, but the Class of 2024 made a huge Discord with 300 people in it, and I’ve been connecting with people there. Even though we can’t really talk in person, it’s fine because there are still other ways to connect.”

Saffron Agrawal ’21
“The first day of classes, my dorm did the Vista Walk, the Senior tradition where we all wear our senior shirts and walk up to [Samuel Phillips Hall] for photos, so that was really fun. Last night, because it was our Saturday night, [Deborah] Chase, our complement, brought a projector [and] we watched ‘Legally Blonde’ on the ceiling of one of the tents outside.”

Andrew Ohn ’24
“My quarantine experience has been going well so far. Though the breakfast and lunch menus are not my favorite, dinners are usually hot meals that I greatly enjoy. We also get to participate in fun outdoor activities that are organized by our prefects during afternoons, which has strengthened the bond between Rockwell dormmates. It is a bit sad that I don’t get to meet anyone outside my dorm, but I can hopefully do that once quarantine is over.”

Avin Ramratnam ’24
“This was definitely an interesting way to start my [Junior] year. When I first heard that I would be taking classes from my dorm room, I was quite skeptical. But one week in, it is much better than I thought. During our free time, we go on walks around campus, a great way to socialize and engage with friends. I am looking forward to the rest of the term.”

Summer Seward ’21
“Dorm life has been really awesome. I think because we are so restricted, the dorm community has gotten really close and I really love everyone here. I also think the schedule gives us time to breathe, and we’re able to go outside and have some fun and meet other people, social[ly] distanced of course.”

Victoria Ortiz ’23
“I have been lucky enough to live [in] Stimson [House] and…meet some of the best upperclassmen who have made the transition back to campus feel a lot more normal. There has been a good amount of set outdoor times to make sure that we are able to get outside and have some fresh air while wearing masks and socially distancing. Of course, there are restrictions on what we can and can’t do, a basic one being that we can’t be outside without adult supervision. We get lots of emails throughout the day and week about what is going on, how scheduling for things is going to work, and even the return of The Weekender. People have been doing their part to keep campus safe and instill some sense of normalcy.”

Sofia Garcia ’21
“So far quarantine has been way better than I expected it to be. Everyone that I’ve come into contact with has been responsible, and I’m really grateful to my dorm for taking social distancing really seriously and finding ways around it to still have a lot of fun and spend time with each other during our first week on campus. Because of that, we’ve been rewarded with way more freedoms than I thought we would. ”

Pia Glover ’24
“Andover so far has been fairly strict, for good reason, about social distancing and not sharing personal equipment and food. However, I have been quite lucky, since my dorm takes frequent walks, eats outside together, and socializes with other dorms during tent time. Overall, it’s much smoother and sociable than [Andover] made it out to be in the earlier emails.