Introducing “Ask a Bearcat”

With a new year and plenty of new resolutions, it can be hard to stick to your goals for 2019. We have solicited advice from an alum from the class of 2007 to help answer all of your most interesting, mind-boggling questions, from “How to survive seasonal depression at Hotchkiss” to “What are the hottest trends in pop culture?” in our new advice column: “Ask a Bearcat.” 

       Enjoy a snippet from Brother Bearcat’s first piece and check out his advice column online using the QR code below. 

        To ask Brother Bearcat a question directly, reach out to him at: [email protected] Don’t worry – he’ll share your query with readers, but not your name!

Dear Bearcats,

         So much has changed since I graduated from Hotchkiss over a decade ago. When I think about the constants in life, the list that I come up with is a short one: death, paying taxes, and change itself. I’ve come to understand that the bright and fortunate individuals who pass through the walls of Hotchkiss may add something additional to that list, something that I am certain you will all come to understand one day, if you do not already. During my four years there, our Head of School, Robert H. “Skip” Mattoon, often suggested that the greatest gift we would receive from Hotchkiss was the inculcation of a “lifelong love of learning.” He was absolutely correct; when you harbor a love of learning, a sense of adventure is never absent from life. Hotchkiss planted that seed within me, and it continues to grow to this day. 

         Some lessons come easily. Others are difficult, and we must revisit them several times before they finally sink in. The most important thing that I have learned about learning itself is that it’s actually our failures, not our successes, that offer us the most profound teachings and the deepest wisdom. My life hasn’t turned out like I had it pre-planned the day I walked to the podium, shook Skip’s hand, and received my Hotchkiss diploma. Something tells me that might turn out to be the case for many of you as well! Believe me when I say that it’s going to be OK! The school’s motto, Moniti Meliora Sequamur, is translated to mean, “Guided by each other, let us seek better paths.” In the spirit of this simple yet profound credo, I would like to offer advice from a fellow Bearcat a little further down the road of life, who wishes to share the modicum of wisdom he has gained, in hopes that it may benefit others. If you feel lost and need a signpost, have a burning question, or just need a second opinion, I am here to field your questions, and I hope that my insight proves useful.