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It's All About Community for Nia O. '23

Moving onto campus her freshman year, Nia O. '23 got to experience the Hun community in small ways. But it wasn’t until the Covid-19 pandemic briefly changed our boarding policy that she really felt the impact of the Hun community. 

“I think it’s one of the things that was the turning point,” Nia explains. In the fall of 2020, all boarding students stayed on campus every weekend, creating plenty of time for students and dorm parents to bond. “Honestly it’s one of the things that makes me love Hun so much. Something that was such a negative experience for so many people was able to become a positive experience for me.” 

Some of her fondest memories are the laid back weekends around a bonfire, when someone would break out a guitar and everyone would sing along to throwback songs until the fire eventually died out. 

“Those kinds of events are nice opportunities for people from the community to come out, be together, and have a good time; Just laugh and sing and put aside whatever happened in the week,” Nia says. It’s the same reason she loves to be in the student section at homecoming games. No matter if you’re a sports fan or not, she thinks it’s fun when a bunch of students come together with a common goal.

But Nia also likes to celebrate things that she doesn’t have in common with her friends. 

“One of the really special things about Hun is that everybody has their thing or their niche of something that's specific, but that they love. And people aren't afraid to share that,” she says. The Gender Equity Matters (GEM) Summit and this year’s first-ever Comic-Con are just  some of the events she’s attended to support her friends.

“It’s nice to go and get a sense of what other people are interested in. I don’t have to be interested in comics or anime, but I can see what it is that makes other people happy,” Nia says.

In fact, she says that’s one of the best things about the School: That it’s so inviting of diversity and inclusion. Next year, Nia will begin studying political science at Tufts University, where she is excited to get involved with their Africana Center. She’s also excited about Tufts’ language requirement: She wants to study American Sign Language and Latin, which she thinks will help her prepare for law school.

And while starting new things can be scary, Nia knows she has her experience of boarding at Hun to fall back on. 

“I feel like I have the tools I need to move on,” she says. “I’m nervous but excited about the prospect of getting to bring some things I’ve learned here to a new space.”