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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student


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A Compassionate Impact: Alyx Farris leaves a mark by just being herself


Senior Alyx Farris playing for Knox Women’s Soccer team (Robert Nguyen/TKS)

Senior Alyx Farris playing for Knox Women’s Soccer team (Robert Nguyen/TKS)

When Lydia Mitchell first met Alyx Farris, it was through the soccer team. Joining a team is challenging and nerve-wracking. On that first encounter, the then-freshman Mitchell was so struck by how Farris carried herself that she assumed she was a senior. 

“When I met her, I assumed she was a senior. I was a first-year, you know, everybody is a senior to you when you’re a first-year,” Mitchell chuckled. “I just assumed and then later found out that she is just a year older than us.”

The way that Farris carries herself stems from her upbringing in Seattle, Washington, where she lives 20 minutes from the ocean and 20 minutes from the forest. She’s also the oldest of eight siblings, which has undoubtedly impacted her personality that calls back to the maturity that left an impact on Mitchell.

“I think I naturally assume an older sister role. I naturally want to lead and want to be in charge, but sometimes I’m a little bit cold, and I can be a little bit bossy,” Farris said. 

Being the oldest of eight, Farris has access to many different perspectives. Each child has their own identity. It’s similar to a team. You can’t treat each sibling the same because they’re very different. The way you talk to one sibling might not resonate as well with another sibling. 

“I think always having a different perspective on things from each sibling has taught me something different about themselves and about myself. Like I’ve learned how to communicate with a lot of different personalities,” Farris said. 

Being an older sister is as synonymous with Farris as soccer is. Soccer was played throughout her immediate family, and they even help run an indoor facility back in Seattle. Soccer also consumed much of Farris’ time that wasn’t devoted to school. 

“I was busy being an older sister. I was busy going to soccer practice and shuttling my siblings to soccer practice, and helping out my mom. I think I did use that as an excuse not to accept myself though,” Farris said. “Knox is where I finally found my place in a social circle,” she added. 

Galesburg is a drastically different place than her hometown of Seattle. Seattle being a major metropolitan city, had a population of 3,433,000 in 2020. Galesburg has a population of just 49,420.

“Being in Galesburg has been a struggle by being so removed from the world. But I think that I’ve learned to take advantage of the community of Galesburg and focus on them and try to serve who’s serving me,” Farris said.

At college, Farris majors in Art History with a double minor in Computer Science and Spanish , and became more of the laid back, carefree person she is today. In her new environment, she didn’t try hard, in fact, she did the opposite. 

“I let myself go. I didn’t take myself too seriously, and I was silly, and I just went with it, and I met new people,” Farris said with a shrug as she sat back in her chair with shoulders slightly slumped. 

That’s Alyx. She has a presence about her, yet it’s not through sheer volume or the amount of talking she does. She’s comfortable, which allows others to let their guard down and be themselves. She’s unapologetically herself. 

Farris being comfortable in her skin is a quality that Mitchell respects. 

“She’s unapologetic in who she is, and that’s something I respect a lot. She cares a lot about others, but she stands up for herself. She knows that she has that really good balance,” Mitchell said. 

Deborah Bonales is a junior defender on the women’s soccer team and studied abroad in Barcelona with Alyx, where the two of them became close. 

“She is very good at being my home base for everything. I can go to her with whatever problems and then always feel grounded. She has a way of talking to you where you’re able to be yourself,” Bonales said. 

Another close friend of Farris’, Michal Pavlik, offered similar sentiments about Farris’ compassion. 

“We can talk about anything. If I’m having any issues, I don’t feel afraid to talk to her and feel challenged by what I might say. I can just tell her what happened and can get an honest response,” Pavlik said. 

Pavlik declined to say a specific issue but did say, “I’m a pretty open person on the fact that I don’t want to share those things, but I did share with her and got help from her, so that says a lot.”

“I’m incredibly grateful that I met her in my four years there and that she’s one of my best friends and one of the people that I will stay in contact with after college.”

Farris has an interest in arts and education with an Art History major that seeks to bridge the gap between societal systems and art. 

“I’m interested in our education, and I think that teaching visual literacy and teaching modes of creating art, my hope is that it will bridge the gap between public education,” Farris said.

Farris wants to work with teenagers, and she made that very specific. 

“I think kids can learn that through art. I think just teaching kids about creative outlets, you know. I want to teach, I want to work with teenagers,” Farris said. 

“They’re just so bright and excited and angry a lot of the time. And they have been taught to hide their emotions a little bit, but not all the way.”

The next chapter of Farris’ life is unknown as she gets ready for the next chapters of life. There is one constant, however. She will leave an impact on people she comes into contact with, as she has done throughout her four years at Knox. 

“She is one hell of a vibe, and in my world, that’s utter respect,” Bonales said.

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    ferdi1213Jul 20, 2021 at 6:28 pm

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    Susie MaxinMay 21, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    Beautiful story of this young lady. Thank you.