Letters From the Class of 2020: Hannah Davis


I keep seeing seniors thank their schools for 3.75 or 7.75 or 13.75 years. For a while, I treated my senior year like a fraction, too, as if the whole year ended before project week. Sometimes, I still do. But my classmates and teachers have turned parts of this tragically unforgettable time into a beautifully and comically memorable one. These relationships are the reason I’ve loved, even if not always, my 14 years at Latin. 

Almost every time I led a tour, someone asked what I thought of Latin’s small size. Although there are some phases of my childhood I’d rather everyone forget (like my excessive Harry Potter obsession or my tone deaf rendition of Singing in the Rain in Ms. Durairaj’s 4th grade music class), Latin’s small size—and everything that comes with it—is what makes Latin so incredible. 

When you spend so much time with the same people, you change alongside one another, and your friendships adapt, too. My friends in lower school weren’t my friends in middle school, and my high school friendships look nothing like my middle school ones, even if they’re with the same people. I love that Latin is a place where my fifth grade mortal nemesis can become one of my best friends. Each year, my classes and extracurriculars, like Am Civ and JV Tennis, help me form surprising connections. For instance, after too many years in different homerooms, one of my closest friends from first grade and I stopped talking. At most other schools, that would’ve been the end. Instead, she and I reconnected sophomore year over our fear and admiration of Mr. Fript in Nazi Mind. We bonded over hours in the library preparing perfect prosecutions— minus my cross examination, of course. Now, she’s one of my closest friends. 

Despite my despair over losing traditional senior celebrations, like ditch day, prom, and graduation, I miss those little moments with my teachers and classmates the most. Nowhere else would the head of the upper school share his exotic truffles with two of his students on a random Thursday and then joke with them about the five step “guided tasting.” I love that a supposedly quick meeting with Mr. Phipps and my friend turned into an hour long discussion about metaphysics, rationality, and philosophy. I miss running to get coffee one minute before class. I miss getting frustrated in Stat and Econ and yelling at Kendrick for all the times the two disciplines over-simplify human nature or other variables, even though it isn’t his fault. I miss laughing at inconvenient times during history class. I hate that I won’t spend another free period sprawled over the blue chair by the mini fridge in Mr. Edwards’ office with my friends, listening to funk music and discussing everything from Canadian ant colonies to the future of American political parties to the benefits of swearing (though Mr. Edwards disappointed looks when I swore suggested otherwise). 

My advice to you, underclassmen, is get to know your teachers, talk to all your classmates, and try everything you can from testing the new kiosk cold brew recipe to starting a club. Whether you spend four years here or fourteen or somewhere in between, make the most of it. Don’t drift through your classes just to make it to the weekend or get so caught up on a certain test that you forget to breathe and enjoy yourself. I promise that your time at Latin, regardless of how you feel about the school, will pass faster than you want.

Thank you, Latin, for reminding me that the challenging moments will pass but that, sadly, the good ones do, too. If I’m fortunate though, my friendships and memories and the communities I’ve built will stay with me even beyond Latin’s walls and my 14 years within them.

Hannah Davis ’20