For many teenagers, the idea of living away from home is daunting. As a prospective student, I too wondered what it would be like to live among my peers after years of living with my parents. After a couple of months at Phillips Academy, I can attest to what many upperclassmen will tell you: boarding is one of the most enjoyable aspects of Andover.
On campus, I live in Double Brick House, a 9th grade girls dorm located across the street from the chapel. Double Brick consists solely of one room doubles, which is probably my favorite facet of the dorm. In addition to fourteen freshman, the DB community includes two prefects, Molly and Thomi, and two house counselors, Mrs.Munoz and Ms. Strong.
In a way, Mrs. Munoz and Ms. Strong serve as surrogate parents. They see to our academic well being, but they also support us emotionally. Often, they will invite us into their apartments for a quick munch, usually consisting of brownies, cookies, fruit, or grilled cheese. We also have two house complements, Mrs. Abel and Ms. Cooper. They are like our aunts; they don’t live with us, but they check in with us each week, and “complement” the work of our house counselors. (They also bring us cookies and brownies.)
Thomi and Molly are like our older sisters; they provide insight and share the dos and don’ts of Andover. When we need advice on who to ask to the Sadie Hawkins dance, or what to do to improve our grade in a specific class, we know that they are only a few doors down and are eager to help.
The other girls who live in double brick are like my sisters. Though we fight and complain about each other from time to time, we know that there is nowhere else on campus we’d rather live. After a difficult day of classes or a tough afternoon of sports, it is reassuring to know that some of your best friends will be waiting for you when you make it home.
For me, the best part of Andover is that after doing poorly on a french quiz or feeling homesick after a particularly tough day or week, I can remind myself to keep calm and DB on, and then know that everything will be more than okay.