David Zhu ’21 is a four-year Senior from Shanghai, China. On campus, he lives in the Bishop House, and he has previously lived in Rockwell House and Fuess House. Zhu is part of Andover Handbell Choir, a former Photo Editor for The Phillipian, and an active participant in Mahjong Club. In his free time, he enjoys trying out new restaurants downtown in Andover with his friends.
I’ve been using TikTok for a while, just for fun, and last term I made this really funny video of my friend [Ross Vieira ’21] pretending I had a crush on him and that I didn’t know him. That video got 100,000 likes or something, and now I have 8,000 followers on TikTok. I don’t know, I just have a lot of fun on social media like TikTok and Instagram. And so, it kind of comes naturally being a student influencer.
2. Are your eyebrows all natural?
Yes, they are. A lot of people always ask me how my eyebrows are so dark. My sister, my mother, and my dad do not have such dark eyebrows, but I obviously have very dark eyebrows. And, yes, they are all natural. My friend [Jeanette Zhang ’21] actually does my eyebrows, and she is really good at it.
3. What are some of your favorite memories at Andover?
Of my favorite memories—I think it was Upper Fall—my friends and I, we all went to Kennedy Lake Park on a Saturday, and it was definitely one of the most fun days of my life. I don’t know, it was just a really fun time spending time together, going on roller coasters and stuff. A second one was when I became a Rockwell prefect, like just the whole thing of getting the news that I was a Rockwell prefect, but also like the first day in Rockwell as an upperclassman, just meeting my kids, that was really fun. Also, a third one was just this spring, coming back from being remote in the fall. When I came back in the winter and the spring, I hadn’t seen a lot of people for a whole year. It was really fun to be back.
4. How was your experience being a remote student?
It was difficult because of the time difference, so for a lot of my commitments, like my club commitments, I couldn’t really attend. But in terms of classes, I think the school did a really good job. I was in Shanghai so there was a 12-hour difference. I still had morning and night classes. But back home in Shanghai, Covid-19 was pretty under control, so I didn’t have to wear masks outside since there were only a few cases every week. That was really nice, being able to go outside and hang out with friends normally in Shanghai.
5. What do you like to do for fun?
This term, I’ve been spending more time with friends. I usually watch a lot of Netflix shows and tv, but this term, I’ve been trying to spend more time with everyone outside and I’ve been spending more and more time playing cards in the library. You guys could probably see us as a huge group, and I became friends with a lot of new people through those card games. One is called fish, and another one, which we just started, is called Monopoly Deal. I guess that’s one of the most fun things in Spring Term so far.
6. Where do you see yourself in twenty years?
Oh, Jesus. To be honest, I don’t really know. I’ve been interested in biology and pre-med stuff for college, but that sounds really hard, so we’ll see how that goes. I’ll do a funny answer. In 20 years, hopefully we’ll be back for a reunion at Andover, seeing everyone in my grade all grown up. I think that’d be really funny, to see where everyone is.
7. How has the pandemic or being in quarantine influenced you?
I had to quarantine when I went back home in March. I did a Phillipian article on this too, but when I went back in March, I didn’t bring any of my clothes, because I didn’t know I’d go for a whole year. So during the quarantine, I got to buy new clothes and look for new clothes that I wanted. That’s one thing—I changed my fashion sense, and I think I got better clothes from that. Quarantine here—nothing really changed. Well, in the winter, I got to room with my day student best friend, so that was a really cool opportunity, to be able to spend time with him more. This quarantine was pretty normal.
8. What is your favorite food?
Chipotle. I eat that religiously. I used to hate Chipotle, because when I was in elementary school, my dad would order me Chipotle, and he ordered me the spiciest thing. So, my sister and I literally couldn’t eat it. We waited until fourth grade until our friends were like, “Chipotle’s really good,” and we started eating it. I ate it so much, because I live right next to one. Now, it’s kind of a habit. I mean, it’s easy, it’s cheap, and it’s very yummy. I can list my order right now. I get a burrito bowl with a tortilla on the side. I get chicken, white rice, black beans, mild salsa, corn, sour cream, cheese, guac, lettuce, and chips sometimes. And hot sauce.
9. What is your favorite thing about Andover?
It’s cheesy, but I’d definitely say the people. The friends you make here are just different from any of the other friends you will make. You get so close, maybe because you live next to each other every day, but I’m so comfortable telling my best friend everything that happens to me. At Andover, do you know when classes end, or the beginning of move in day? Those few days are the most fun, because you have no classes and everyone is kind of together. Also, on the weekends when everyone’s on the lawn, especially as a Senior, you notice just how little time you have with everyone, and you start to realize how important your connections are, how much you’ve grown from being with your friends and hanging out with your friends and how much your friendships have grown. I think my favorite part about Andover are the people.
10. Who do you look up to?
My [Junior] year and Lower year, I looked up a lot to the upperclassmen, like my prefects, and also my sister, who was two year above me. So I think as a [Junior] in high school or college, a lot of the people I will look up to are the people in the grades above me, because they kind of go through the same experiences that I do at that school. Definitely my [Junior] year, my prefects encouraged me to join The Phillipian, to become a Rockwell prefect. Also, my sister told me about the good things on campus, and I learned a lot from her about her time at Andover. Yeah, my role models are often the older brothers and sisters I find in the grades above me at school.