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10 Questions with Nick Liu ’23

Nick Liu ’23 is a Senior from Long Island, New York. Currently living in Morton House, Liu is a 2022-2023 CaMD Scholar and Co-President of the Philomathean Society (Philo). Along with Owen Cheng ’23, Liu is also one half of the standup comedy duo Good Confucian Values, which recently performed in this year’s Grasshopper.

  1. Why did you decide to join the Andover community?

I knew [Andover] was a place with a lot of opportunities and an intentionally diverse community. I liked how it was a community with people that are really passionate about things, and I thought that if I came to it, I would be surrounded by a bunch of really inspiring people who would teach me more about myself, and that’s the kind of people I want to be with.

  1. How has your Andover experience shaped who you are?

It’s definitely opened me up to a bunch of new aspects of my identity. At Andover, there’s so many different people and so many different opportunities. Much of it has really opened me up to a bunch of other things, like all the club[s] here. I think I really had a good idea of who I could be here. I looked at all the different things I could do, with Philo and CaMD stuff, and I just think that’s really cool.

  1. What’s the biggest change you think you’ve undergone since you’ve joined the Andover community?

I don’t think I can really boil it down to one. I feel like I’m intentionally more community-minded because of my time here. That’s a weird way of putting it, but I see a lot more intent and being present and making an impact in the communities that I’m in, so I would say being more community-minded.

  1. What inspired you to become a CaMD scholar?

Frank Zhou [’22]. He was a CaMD scholar last year, he was really cool. He’s a pretty great role model for me. All of the other scholars too, they’re really cool people. I knew I had my own ideas for research. But mainly Frank. I love Frank. Frank’s cool.

  1. What was the focus of your CaMD scholar project?

My CaMD project is about how the growth of China’s hip hop industry has strengthened notions of international Asian-Black solidarity. Specifically, it explores how hip-hop has been adapted and localized by youth in the Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Chongqing as a form of resistance and cultural expression. My paper covers themes of shared humanity, solidarity activism, and challenges norms of authenticity, appropriation and “insider”-ship in the hip-hop industry. It’s a cool paper, I promise. 

  1. What inspired your comedy act, Good Confucian Values?

Owen Cheng. Owen’s a really funny guy, and one day he approached me and he was like, “Hey, we can start doing two-man comedy?” and I was like, “That sounds fire.”

  1. Can you tell me about Philo and why you’re so passionate about it?

It’s because I had a lot of really great debate mentors when I was younger, like when I was in a class with Victor Tong [’22]; I just had so many great mentors throughout my debate journey. I think debate is really important to foster communication and connection throughout different communities of people. I just felt really fortunate to be able to do that with the next generation as Co-President, sort of passing on all the important lessons and important memories.

  1. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as an Andover student and how did you overcome it?

In terms of challenges, I feel like there is always something to be gone through. Parts of my Lower year and my Upper year were really challenging because there’s so much to balance at one time. Between schoolwork, extracurriculars, and also maintaining a healthy social life, it’s a lot. I think it’s important to be cognizant of all things going on around our communities. Yet it’s impossible to balance everything, so I feel like you have to make sacrifices. I think figuring out which sacrifices [to make] is the biggest challenge.

  1. What’s the most meaningful thing you think you’ve done at Andover?

I don’t know. I have no idea. I think it’s less about the formalized things I do and work but instead just existing on a day-to-day basis, just chilling with my friends and stuff, being there for people and building more authentic connections with people in the absence of a phone or screen.

  1. What advice would you give to some of your fellow students or new students?

Talk to people. Reach out to people. One thing I’ve learned recently is that people want to talk to you, right? I hope that’s true for everyone. People want to talk to each other because people are so deep and interesting, and as long as you reach out you can learn interesting things about people and I think that’s really cool, so that would be my advice.