Fred Javier ’23 is a Senior from the Bronx, N.Y. When he is not cheering at games as a Blue Key Head, helping to organize events for Alianza Latina, or stargazing with Astronomy Club, Javier resides in Morton House.
I wanted to join the Andover community mostly because of the amount of opportunities and reserves that are out here, especially coming from a public school in New York City. There weren’t a lot of resources there, and it was frustrating to not be able to get involved with anything. There are more communities here and many different ways to meet people besides just classes. I think the best parts of the school are not just the school itself, but the people that are layered here with you when you’re struggling, the people that are with you when you’re doing well, and those who are always there to support you.
In freshman year, I always wanted to become a Blue Key Head because of the people performing. The people are what inspired me to become one, and it is the lineage that I’m a part of right now. The Blue Key Heads who came before me inspired me to have school spirit, to be a very energetic person, to dance around, be social and bring up the energy wherever I am. And looking at it, it’s the perfect job to be able to be at different sports events and be able to have an excuse to yell.
There’s definitely been a lot of small changes that have happened here and there. Because my middle years at Andover were through Covid-19, there’s also a kind of skip. I think the fact that we’re seniors and in leadership roles without really getting much time to be the people who are being led was the main thing that changed for me. Having to adapt was difficult but I think I definitely have a different outlook on it, rather than the school being drastically different. I think there’s just a different perspective, especially after Covid-19.
To lowerclassmen, I’d say enjoy your time here. Do things for yourself especially as you’re coming in. Give yourself the liberty to explore the things you want to do, and explore yourself. Rather than hopping right into things, which is the culture at Andover, it’s better to work towards your own self-growth. For upperclassmen, patience will be a good skill to have, especially these past few years. Upper year was obviously a very hard year for everyone, and it was definitely hard for me. There were points in time where I wasn’t sure if I was gonna make it through the week. I was feeling really down and feeling really unmotivated, and that’s gonna happen to everybody regardless. But I think hanging on and hanging in there, and focusing on the positive parts of your time here, at least for me, have kept me going through every year.
I’m always at the library. I think it’s like my default place to be because it’s the perfect place to pretend to be doing work but also just try to be social. I just love being around other people, so I feel like the library is a good place where everyone congregates in but sometimes does work. And when you get work done in the library, it feels even better.
I really like pepperoni pizza. I would get in line for as long as it takes for a few slices, so it’s definitely in my top three. When they have Mexi-rice with pulled pork and plantains, that is probably my favorite combo. Whenever they have those, I just go for seconds.
Giving yourself time to do things. Freshman year, I jumped into a lot of things because there’s so many opportunities that you have and so many things you can go into. It’s obviously a good experience, getting into a lot of different activities and meeting a lot of different people to those groups. Being involved in things isn’t necessarily bad. But I think the most important part after that is being able to manage and prioritize different things. I think sometimes you can get a little carried away with your commitments, and then academic work sort of trails behind. It’s a particularly good skill to have to be able to know what it is that you want to spend most of your energy and time on.
On the weekends, I really love going to whatever big events that are going on. Even if it’s something a little silly or strange, I think as long as you have a fun group of people with you, there’s always something you can make out of it. And if not, there’s always the backup plan of going downtown. Just being there with other friends and being with any company that you enjoy.
One challenge I faced is probably managing commitments as well as my free time properly. Coming from a school where there’s not much independence, it feels like so much of your schedule is managed by you. There’s so many different things, so many meetings to go to, and so many events to plan. It can be a little stressful and you can get very carried away very easily, but you don’t really want to miss out on anything. I remind myself that it’s okay to miss out on something and what’s helped me is prioritizing things that are gonna help me out the most. Every once in a while you have to step back and try to organize yourself.
The main people that inspire me are probably just like the older students who came before me, especially in the leadership positions that I hold. I think it’s seeing their passion for doing those activities and things they do outside of that. They really inspire me to do better and to really commit to my positions as well. I saw all these genuinely good people who came before me and I’m a part of their lineage. Just seeing their wisdom, seeing them grow has helped me grow as well. They’re never truly gone. I’m always thinking “how would my prefect from freshman year do this?” “How would [the previous] co-head of the club I’m in do this?” I take the lessons from what I learned and apply it to how I live my own life.