1. Where and how are you finding a sense of meaning, purpose, and joy?
Evalyn: Nothing brings me more meaning, purpose, and joy than helping freshmen with their math homework. They just come up to me asking for help. I’m no math tutor, but I’m also not terrible at math. It’s just weird how they think I look like a math tutor–I guess wearing contacts and bleaching my hair wasn’t enough. I feel truly non sibi in helping freshmen overcome their struggles in math. The look of relief on their pubescent faces makes me feel like I can do more than write dumb word plays in a paper no one reads.
Nicky: Andover itself brings me joy. Every time I wake up from a dream and realize I am at Andover I become overcome with joy and happiness. When I look out my window at the beautiful hill leading to my dorm and the back of GW, I finally achieve inner peace. The walk to class is my second favourite part of the day. The cold wind on my face, the mud seeping into my shoes, and the impromptu black ice, wake me up for my favourite class, Chemistry. When I walk up three flights of stairs in Gelb, it hits me. I love this school. I would kill for this school. This school is my real family, sorry Stacey. I have never loved anything as much as I love Andover.
2. Andover is an intentionally diverse school that aims for justice, equity, and inclusion. In which spaces have you had opportunities to explore your own sense of identity?
Evalyn: I’ll be sitting in Morse which is how freshmen approach me for math help. I’m in Morse because I can’t be funny in the library. I get shushed by librarians so often, I feel like I’ve been unofficially exiled from the OWHL. Our library is named after a self-proclaimed poet, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (he didn’t have the creativity to come up with a different name for his son). His poetry sucked:
“Ah, truest soul of womankind!
Without thee what were life ?
One bliss I cannot leave behind:
I’ll take– my– precious– wife!”
I’m sorry Ollie, but your wife was definitely icked by those wispy sideburns. God, what is it with white men and their facial hair? Plus, Oliver was racist. Wait…Samuel Morse defended slavery… and he led anti-immigration movements (against Catholics though…maybe he would’ve been into some bulgogi instead of sacramental bread?) Is there any building on campus that isn’t named after an old white racist man?
But don’t overthink the names, Andover says they prioritize Equity and Inclusion! In these spaces, I can really feel empowered in delving into my own identity. Like haha suck that, Oliver and Samuel, how does it feel to have an Asian girl defecating in your building’s bathrooms!?!
3. What steps do you take to stay healthy?
Evalyn: On average, 9,309–oh it said ‘what’ not ‘how many.’ (I know, this was a weak attempt at deflection.)
Nicky: The JV hockey showers are a place where I can stay healthy and fit. After a gruelling practice of rubbing each other, we all hop into the shower. Fully exposed, as the human body should be. Once we have cleaned ourselves, we love to hit an after-practice workout. Pushups, situps, squats are all done while the hot water slaps our faces. The thing that makes this so special is the bond we create. Nothing says community like unconventional shower rituals. We are suffering, but we push each other and force each other to get better. I am so grateful for my teammates who force me to get bigger and better.