Growing up on a family farm in Santa Cruz meant Annie Everett ‘17 was certain to get an interesting birthday gift each year—  ones that she usually wouldn’t need to unwrap. On her twelfth birthday, Annie remembers adding Athena the Goat to her growing collection of animal friends. Her family breeds a small herd of goats every year, and so Athena was one of the baby goats. Annie fondly remembers the spring full of baby goats. Annie reflected that since they had so many kids that year, they “tied pieces of different colored yarn around each goat’s neck to keep track of who was who. Athena had a purple string around her neck.” However, before deciding on the name ‘Athena’, Annie called her baby goat ‘Lavender,’ as determined by her colored string.  Annie shared one of Athena’s more unique traits. “If you say her name in a certain high pitched tone she recognizes it and calls back, it’s very cute.” Athena is still at home on the family farm.

Summers on the farm were marked by an abundance of colorful fruits and vegetables. It was common to “walk outside and pick some tomatoes” as a refreshing midday snack. The wide outdoors gave Annie a lot of space to roam. Her childhood was marked by spending time outdoors—  something she continues at Thacher. Being the youngest of three daughters, Annie says that she is “much more of a goofball than [her] older sisters”. When asked to mention something important to her, an immediate response was: family. “My two older sisters are the most important people in my life.” Annie credits her siblings as being incredible mentors and influences.

The transition from Santa Cruz to Thacher was not too drastic. Both are known for their “all-organic and hippie” vibes. With similar liberal ideologies and an emphasis on spending time in the outdoors, Annie fit into Thacher’s unique environment with comfort. Unlike Santa Cruz’s pressure of being the ‘rebellious teenager’, Annie has appreciated Thacher’s social scene as she believes it promotes students to learn how to “interact and socialize in a fun way without those influences.”

Although Annie is no longer living on her family farm, her quirky and outgoing personality remains intact. In Thacher’s community, Annie plays the vital role of a freshmen prefect, something she holds very near and dear to her heart. She noted that living in Casa is like seeing ‘behind-the- scenes’ of being a first-year student at Thacher. Annie credits her family as being something she can always lean on, and the steadiest part of her life. Because of this deep appreciation for a close family dynamic, she is able to mimic this for her prefectees. One of her main goals of being a Casa prefect is “being a source of support that is steady and reliable when other things in life are not.”

When reflecting on her freshman year, Annie remembers being “too young and too full of herself.” She wisely suggests to “learn sooner rather than later to not care what people are thinking; it makes a huge difference.” During her time here, she has learned more about herself and her values. “It’s one of the best places to learn to become an adult and discover your self-identity.” Annie was hesitant to share something that she would change at the school: “you can change something but it will always impact someone else’s life,” she said. However, she wishes the stigma around mental health would change. “You assume everyone is happy, but that’s not the reality, even at a great place like Thacher”.

Looking into the future, Annie is hopeful she will figure out what to pursue for the rest of her life. Additionally, Annie shared that she is extremely excited to come back in four years and see where the freshmen end up by the end of their Thacher careers.

 

Posted by:Defne Egbo

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