Huddled in the Freshman Center and creeping into the Commons for lunch, the freshman class may seem hidden. But amidst the quiet hum of G block, I recently sat down with Aanika Patel to talk about her transition to BB&N and why she loves it.
Aanika was new to the school at the beginning of this year. As you know, the transition to high school isn’t easy. Navigating friend groups, harder classes, and just keeping your head above water is a lot. Thankfully, we all had Bivouac to help. Aanika in particular loved Biv and, reminiscing about hiking Mount Monadnock and digging latrines, called it one of her favorite things she has been a part of this year. Nothing brings kids closer together than digging a hole to pee in.
“My favorite thing was roasting marshmallows with my squad the last night, for sure,” Aanika said.
Since Biv, Aanika has been involved in many activities across campus. From JV track to Chorale, she has a good grasp on what BB&N offers.
That said, she does wish that the school would reinstate the homecoming dance, which has been a hot topic of discussion (looking at you, Dr. Price!). She also said she wishes the school could offer more vegetarian options, as she is a die-hard vegetarian and has been for her entire life.
“I just don’t like the thought of animals being killed,” especially not for her dietary plan she said. So more vegetarian choices would definitely round out her lunch.
Aanika has found her people here at school, no matter how cliché that sounds. “I’m really grateful for the friends and relationships I’ve made here,” she said. “I’ve moved schools a lot, and it’s been hard to have a concrete friend group until now because of that.” One point to BB&N! Aanika has lived in Massachusetts her whole life, but last year her family shipped out to Sweden for her dad’s job in lung medicine. Having returned in August, Aanika, her 11-year-old sister, and her parents now live in Needham, a much shorter way-away from Boston than Sweden.
On the academic side of things, the freshmen just got through their first set of Upper School exams! Congratulations everyone! The freshmen, as you know, don’t have to take a history exam, due to their first research paper, a mere memory for the juniors and sophomores who have completed their own big papers this year. Aanika wrote her essay on the 1936 Berlin Olympics and how the Nazis used it for propaganda. Despite describing herself as more of a science person, she’s learned to love history “probably because of Mr. Boyd,” one of her favorite teachers. Mr. Boyd has made Global History 1 fun, she said.
So, if you know some Swedish or just want test her knowledge on the 1936 Olympics, give her a wave!
—Kathryn Goebel ’19