The rhythm of each term remains constant from year to year. Students start the term rejuvenated and ready to work, which steadily progresses to lethargy. Finals week proves to be an Andover student’s last hurdle before they can throw themselves into vacation and turn open the pressure valve that’s been shut tight all term long.
This is where Student Activities come in. Student Activities exist to create events where students can let the pressure off during the term, allowing themselves to work better as a result. In turn, relaxing and blowing off steam throughout the term can be considered the diligence of a responsible student. In an interview with The Phillipian, Director of Student Activities Christopher Capano echoed this statement, saying, “We know that our students are super busy. You all have a lot going on in your life. Not just class, but being in a dorm or being a student. [With] the other events you do, sports you play, you just want a nice outlet to just do something fun and not have to worry about it too much.”
The Blue and Silver Dance and Andover Exeter (AE) stands as highlights of the Winter Term for students and the prime opportunity to do just this. However, its proximity to finals week stains the intended fun of those events. While attending them, many students neither fully destress, nor do they finish their last assignments of their courses, work that had been put off to attend the dance perpetuating stress afterwards. Furthermore, these opportunities to relax often turn to obligation under peer pressure. This effect expands the fear of missing out inherent to large student events like Blue and Silver, detracting from the work efficacy of non-attendees as well.
Traditionally, Blue and Silver has always been in the last full week of the term, but that does not necessarily need to stay that way. Moving the dates of significant end-of-term events is a simple and straightforward method to eliminate dilemmas caused by the combination of Finals and major student events. By moving the dance just a week back, it creates a separation between the two, allowing students to enjoy the event more and also be ready for their assessments.
In a broader consideration of event planning, circumstantial awareness is important. To create more events conducive towards the goal of the Student Activities Board, deliberation on suitable events for suitable times are required. When viewing Blue and Silver in context with the current campus climate, it makes sense to schedule dances earlier in the term. There are going to be times when stress is elevated and other times when stress is lower. Fittingly, planning should mirror the tone of the student body, accomplishing their goal of providing an outlet for students to just do something fun.