Olivia Harper ’19: Branching Out


Senior Olivia Harper is a scholar, actress, and dorm leader in Regester. During her four years here, Harper has been a part of seven productions and worked her way up to Head Day Prefect.

“I’ve stayed in theatre this long because I’ve made some of my best friends at Darlington through the theatre program,” Harper said. “I really just have fun running scenes with people, doing costumes, work[ing] lights, [and] I’ve even been out in the house so I’ve learned so much and grown so much through the years both socially and in terms of knowledge.”

Harper became involved in the dorm, Regester, her sophomore year as she became a leader and created life-long friendships.

“Socially, being in the dorm as a leader has helped me to open up to people who are from very different cultures from mine and who are different from me. Being able to find the similarities and connecting with people has been an indispensable part of my social journey during my time at Darlington,” Harper said. “Some of the people I’ve met are some of my best friends. Last summer [in 2018] I went to South Korea to visit Amy [Kim] and it was so much fun. It was nice to see the world from a different perspective.”

As a leader in Regester, Harper has had to take a step back to reevaluate how she saw herself in school and work on life skills.

“Being head day prefect in Regester definitely made me work on my communication skills and crisis management as well as organization skills. I’ve had to learn how to convey to the other dorm leaders what I need from them. Also, I’ve learned how to balance my homework, but also being okay without getting everything done that I need to in terms of school work and learning how to manage that,” Harper said.

Looking back on herself as a freshman, Harper wished she not taken herself so seriously and put more focus on making friends.

“At the beginning of high school I put a lot of focus on grades instead of giving my time to other things like making meaningful friendships throughout high school, which is what you should do. I was kind of stressed. Getting those first Cs were really just difficult. I was working really hard and not happy because I didn’t have many friends. It really just made me readjust how I looked at things and what’s important to me,” Harper said.  “When I made more friends, I was happier and my grades got better too even though I wasn’t throwing myself into [school]. If I did bad, it was easier to pick myself back up because I knew I had other opportunities. Plus I realized its high school and there is stuff beyond this. There are things more important than numbers.”