What’s been your most gratifying moment at Columbia?
Okay so, I totally cheated for this because I’ve been reading your blog, but so, my most gratifying moment as I’ve been thinking about it is definitely being on the bus on the way to the airport to take my plane from Hong Kong to New York. It was kind of this really introspective moment because I had already done everything that I was going to do in my time at Hong Kong, it was all kind of drawing to an end, I’d said goodbye to everybody, and I just had this time alone before I would see my family again. Just this time to think about Hong Kong and all my experiences. And I realized that what made Hong Kong so amazing wasn’t just the fact that I was there, but also that I was so amazingly supported by Columbia and my experience would not have been the same if I didn’t go to Columbia. Not only financially, that was obviously an important part, and I definitely wouldn’t even have been there without the financial support. But the fact that it was so amazing had a lot to do with the support and the community that Columbia gave me. Not only did I get to know the people that I lived with in the dorm who were all really cool and inspiring but I also got to know the Columbia community in Hong Kong. Which is kind of scary, how easily just being from Columbia kind of opens that door, and you get to enter into that community and meet some really incredible people who’ve done very cool things with their lives. So definitely very gratifying to realize that that entire experience happened so kind of, by chance, basically because I went to Columbia.
If you could remove one thing from your life right now what would it be?
I think this question is almost always the same, when I’m in school or anything really. It’s like, I would get rid of the internet sites that like distract me, because I have this thing where like - I was talking to my mom about this actually - and she was like, said that it was like, she noticed it was the way that I calmed down. Which I think is definitely true, if I’m feeling really overwhelmed or whatever I’ll just like, go on these websites that I know are - they don’t even have anything interesting on them, I just like, read them. For no reason. But it ends up wasting a lot my time, and I feel there’s much more productive ways of dealing with being stressed out or being overwhelmed. So definitely kind of channeling that energy that I was on watching endless amounts of YouTube videos, or rewatching Adventure Time, definitely channel that towards like, writing, or something more productive that I actually enjoy.
Who’s your hero?
I feel like it depends on what I’m thinking of. I don’t know, I mean I think that it would usually, I feel like the most important, constant…oh, you know what, let me think. I’m between two people, so I’m deciding. I think that right now, I’d go with my friend Madeleine from home. She’s like, very different from me, and well we’ve known each other for a really really long time, so I kind of think of her as my sister. And she definitely has a very different outlook on life, but I really just love how amazing she is with people. She just is really really good at making people feel like really loved. And so like, when I was sad the other day I just called her up at some unearthly hour and she was like, “no it’s totally fine, tell me all your problems! Don’t worry at all.” She’s really good at it, I don’t think she even realizes how good at it she is. I’m really excited because she’s about to become a massage therapist, she’s gonna graduate really soon, and I’m going to go to her graduation ceremony, and I’m really excited. So I guess she’s my hero.
What gets you up in the morning?
So I guess what gets me up in the morning kind of translates to what is most exciting for me. And I’ve thought about this a lot over the past two years, and I realized that the moments that I’m most excited, is when I get to go and meet and get to really understand someone in a new and different way. And I think that I’ve gotten a chance to do this, primarily through languages. When I’m able to get to know someone that I wouldn’t be able to get to know otherwise, such as through French, or Spanish, or Polish. But then also doing other programs, like Camp Kesem or going abroad is just the most exciting thing in the word for me. And kind of generally getting up, what get’s me up in the morning is generally the idea of like, hopefully meeting my friends or meeting someone new and getting to that point in the relationship when you know someone better than just their surface level kind of first impression.