After closing its indoor dining services in March of 2020, Paresky Commons finally reopened on September 19th and students were welcomed by a Sunday brunch. The majority of Andover students had never eaten in Paresky, and thus the shift was a new experience for much of the community. For returning students, a return to Paresky marked a return to normal dining after two years. However, the green box meal pick up at Susie’s still allows community members an alternative to dining at Commons.
Frank Zhou ’22
Since [Paresky] Commons has opened, I’ve eaten every meal there except for one. The experience was really cathartic… Everywhere you looked there were little nuggets of nostalgia that stood out so much as things from my Lower year that I had seen that I really, really appreciated that were critical parts of my memories at Andover.
Camila McGinley ’23
I think something I took for granted my ninth grade year was being able to just be there without a mask and having conversations without masks. I think it shows that Covid-19 is getting better at [Andover] and we are being safe. I am nervous that there might be an increase in Covid-19 cases, but I am excited about things hopefully going back to normal. I don’t think it is back to normal. I think a big part of laughter and fun is missing from [Paresky] Commons. I always remember there being events in [Paresky] Commons and I think that aspect of [Paresky] Commons is still missing.
Justin Hardy ’23
I definitely like eating in [Paresky] Commons better. It’s much better than the grab-and-go meals to sit down in [Paresky] Commons and eat with your friends. Compared to freshman year, it’s pretty similar. The food is pretty similar. I do eat all my meals in [Paresky] Commons, because I feel like it’s a great place to hang out.
Julia Rocha ’25
I feel good about eating at [Paresky] Commons. I didn’t know what to expect at first but I definitely feel like there are more options for me now and more opportunities to meet new people. I think this means that [Andover] is doing a good job of monitoring Covid-19 cases and keeping everyone safe and healthy, most likely because of how many people are fully vaccinated and their approach towards people who aren’t.
McKenzie Williams ’24
“I know it’d be hard to change the entire schedule so people aren’t converging at the lunch lines all at once. So I think there’d need to be some change in how the food is prepared. Like there should be two lines for pizza instead of one so that everyone isn’t crowding and converging and hungry and just trying to rush to one place to get food… If not greenboxes at some point I will just bring tupperware… but I can definitely see Commons transitioning from greenbox hybrid to completely in person.”
Leon Calleja, Instructor in English
I kind of have mixed feelings about it. To be honest, I’m a little nervous still, I think to eat. I generally will still eat in the tents and grab a green container. But I have eaten a couple times, and you know it seems pretty safe, so I think in general my level of anxiety is waning a bit… to be honest I did enjoy eating in Commons primarily pre-pandemic. But often times I also need to work while I eat, and so in those cases it’s obviously kind of better to be solo so that you don’t spend too much time… I think it’ll be a little while before I get really comfortable with it but I think I’m sort of slowly warming up to it. And depending on how things go over the next few months, we’ll see… If I were to eat anywhere indoors, it would be there. You won’t catch me eating in a restaurant indoors in town and then all of a sudden like not going to [Paresky] Commons. It just feels the safest I’ve ever felt eating indoors. So I think that has been really helpful for me. I think if testing was done a little more regularly I would also feel a little bit more confident, but that’s a decision that’s out of my range.