Finding Balance

Andrew Farrier '17

Hockey Captain, Student Leader

I don’t think I understood the extent to which coming to Taft from my home in Montreal, Canada, would change my life. Hockey was the only reason for me to leave Montreal, and I never thought it would become anything more. In reality, Taft has redefined what being a member of a community is to me, and has made clear the importance of living a balanced life.

Taft has forever changed the way I see the people around me. I came from a much larger school, where teacher-student relationships were nonexistent, and students felt like they were simply one among 1,300. Everyone was pushed to do the same things, and to aspire to become the same person. Coming to Taft was a big change for me; there is a feeling of community. Here, everyone has a different role and is aspiring to different dreams. There is room for individuality in the community, and every person is accepted. My own perspective on those around me has changed. I used to be fairly critical of others: if I identified differences between their values and mine, or if they said something I didn’t agree with, I would rule them out of my friend-zone. Taft’s acceptance and inclusivity has helped me understand how everyone has something positive and valuable to bring to the table.

Taft has also brought balance to my life. Hockey used to be how I defined myself. My mood was based solely on the previous night’s win or loss. My goals were focused on the championship, or the next varsity letter. I felt like nothing else mattered. The diversity of the Taft community made me realize that there is so much more to life; that having multiple layers to my personality isn’t just an asset, but a necessity for a healthy lifestyle. I have learned to give more importance to other areas of my life, due largely to the Taft’s focus a complete education, and on being an engaged member of the broader community.

Taft’s importance in my life is beyond what I could ever have imagined. Living with my friends in the dorms has allowed me forge some of the strongest relationships in my life. I cannot imagine living in a community that cares more about one another.