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January 27, 2023

Kyra Tan

“Drew is my home name and Andrew is my school name.” – Me, circa 2007, before going off to kindergarten.

For my entire life, my family has called me “Drew” and just about everyone else has called me “Andrew.” When I tell people that I go by Drew at home, they usually react with a mix of shock and confusion, which I always find surprising. To me, it’s just natural, since that’s the way it has always been.

A good friend of mine asked me a few months ago which name I identify more with. This question threw me for a loop, and it took me a whole day before I had any semblance of a response. Even now, this is a question I find myself pondering often.

To be clear, I do not have multiple personalities. Drew and Andrew are more like a Venn Diagram—they share a lot in common with one another, but each have unique characteristics.

One could say that Drew lives in more of a bubble—he is really only present in spaces where he is surrounded by family. Thus, he tends to be warmer and friendlier. He plays every family board game, commits to re-watching every episode of “Good Luck Charlie” with his younger sister and talks with his grandparents on the phone on a consistent basis. Drew also spends a lot of time with himself and is very introspective as a result.

As for Andrew, he is the one who goes out into the world every day, and he has been molded by those experiences. First, he’s not the most open guy. There are a lot of things I would say are instrumental to who I am that even some of my friends are not aware of. For example, when I was moving in this past fall, my roommates were shocked to see the electric guitar I had on my back as I walked into our apartment for the first time. Despite being good friends with them for about a year, neither had any clue that I played guitar. And I doubt they know that I also play the piano.

One thing that is obvious to anyone who knows me is that I am probably the biggest sports fan they know. Andrew strives to be like Tom Brady when he steps on the football field. Andrew’s job is to consistently perform and to always be “on”—going to class, working in Smith Union, being a good and loyal friend. He is constantly expending energy. And, like all athletes, he needs recovery time. This is where Drew comes in. Andrew needs his battery charged up, and spending time as Drew does just that.

Over the past few years, I believe Drew and Andrew have slowly been on a collision course toward becoming one and the same. Maybe this is because I am becoming more comfortable sharing more of myself with others. Maybe it is because I have spent so much time at home in recent years because of the pandemic. Or maybe it is because I have played way too much Mario Kart DS and Wii with friends over the past handful of months. Whatever the reason, I have definitely started to become more open with others.

But which name do I identify more with? Well (drum roll, please), I’d have to go with Drew right now. At my most comfortable and open, I always feel more like Drew—warm, friendly, making exceptional pop culture references—I feel more like … myself, I guess.

That said, everyone calling me Drew would break the space-time continuum, or, at least, my space-time continuum.

Even if I feel more like Drew, I don’t think it’s possible for me to truly be 100 percent Drew outside of my own personal bubbles. It’s hard to imagine someone knowing nearly everything about me. And even if it’s possible, it’s a scary prospect.

You probably know I have a sports podcast. You may now know that I play piano and guitar and that I still play video games on my Nintendo DS. But you don’t know that every time I drive up to school, I sing along to my playlist for the entire two-hour trip (I even go for harmonies sometimes). And you definitely don’t know that I am actually—whoops. That was close.

In the end, I feel like most people probably act differently and share different sides of themselves depending on the place they are in and the people surrounding them. I just happen to have names that I can put to different situations.

Another one of my good friends once claimed that I am an enigma. And while I take that as a compliment and enjoy possessing an aura of mystery, I would love to forge deeper connections with others. So, even if you know me as “Andrew,” I hope you get to know more of Drew as well.

P.S. I went by the name “Andreuccio” in my Italian class last semester. In short, Andreuccio is Him™. I miss that dude.

Andrew Cohen is a member of the Class of 2024.


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