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Expand the Notion of ‘Buying In’
Tony He '21 Associate Editor
February 26, 2020

Few of us remember the first time that we heard it — perhaps it was through our Green Keys during orientation, during a sit-down table discussion, or at a dorm feed. One way or another, virtually every member of the Deerfield community comes to know of this idea of ‘buying in.’ 

‘Buying in’ can loosely be defined as embracing the Deerfield experience, showing up and experiencing the opportunity of a Deerfield career to the fullest, and ultimately figuring out what said experience means to you. In a community as tightly knit as ours, it is an idea that is inseparable from everyday Deerfield. 

An intuitive example of ‘buying in’ is Choate Week, one of the first events that we associate with the idea of ‘buying in.’ From bonfires to crowd chants, Choate Day is an incredibly fun experience that unites the community. Events like Choate Day celebrate not only the athletic games, but have also become celebrations of Deerfield as a whole. Although not all of us play on varsity teams or understand the sport, everyone showing up and cheering for games on Choate Day is what makes it a unifying event. The nature of ‘buying in’ to the idea of Choate Week empowers the activities and spirit displayed.  

At the same time, I urge us to consider the possibilities of extending our definition of ‘buying in’ and channeling the same energy into other activities. While it is important to get rowdy and show up to games, it is also equally important to remember that there are other ways to buy into the Deerfield community aside from athletics. And while it is impossible to show up to every event on campus, there are certainly a wide range of activities to support. 

For example, other ways to ‘buy in’ include attending the orchestra or chorus concerts. To name a few other examples, one could choose to: watch the dance showcase or the season’s theatre production, all of which were made possible through hundreds of hours of audition and rehearsal; attend events such as TEDx which are organized and run by student-led teams; read independent publications such as Albany Road, The Greenlight, and Focal Point which feature a wide array of material; participate in clubs such as Debate, Model UN, DMV and Classics; support alliances that uphold our diverse student population; and, on the weekends, join in on authentically-Deerfield weekend activities such as dances and parties. Broadening our community understanding of ‘buying in’ to embrace the range of community interests also broadens possibilities for many activities on campus in the future, as the community is what truly empowers Deerfield activities and events. 

These are only a few examples of the many ways members of our community can find their own way to ‘buy in’ to Deerfield. But, even beyond activities and events, ‘buying in’ shines through our day-to-day interactions with the community. At Deerfield, this means greeting each other on the path, participating in conversations with those at a new sit-down rotation, and striving to understand others even through disagreement. The opportunity of a Deerfield education is a once in a lifetime opportunity to join in and contribute to a community; it’s only as good as we make it. 

 Beyond contributing to the community, expanding  our collective definition of ‘buying in’ also recognizes the diversity of interests within the student body. Deerfield holds multitudes, and ‘buying in’ to Deerfield means embracing all of it.