School & Class: Barnard 2020
Hometown: Long Island, NY
1. Tell me a little about yourself. Are you involved with anything on or off campus?
As many people on campus can relate, I have always been very involved in extracurriculars, in high school and now in college. This year, I am an editor for Her Campus (as you know!), an Associate Editor for the Barnard Bulletin, Publicity Officer for McAC (the McIntosh Activities Council), and a social media chair for Alpha Omicron Pi fraternity. In terms of academics, I am an English major minoring in urban teaching, so I also do weekly observations in a Manhattan middle school. I keep myself busy!
2. What do you think Her Campus Media stand for?
I think Her Campus Media is all about providing the content that high school- and college-aged women want: by young women, for young women. So often in our society young women are shamed for having the interests they do: makeup, fashion, celebrity news, even politics. Her Campus is an outlet that allows young women of all different backgrounds to share their stories and interests in a judgment-free environment, and I think that’s really empowering.
3. Why did you choose Columbia or Barnard?
I am a transfer student, so this is quite a question! I toured Columbia College as a senior in high school and admittedly did not fall in love with it. I ended up applying ED to a school I almost immediately felt was not for me (whoops). When researching transfer options, I remembered a girl from my high school who had just started at Barnard and loved it. I reached out to her, heard more about the school, and the rest is history. I love that Barnard combines a small liberal arts college with a larger university, and as someone who came into college interested in publishing, Barnard is unmatched in its number of campus publications (including this one!).
4. What inspires you to write?
I feel inspired to write when a topic comes up that I need to discuss. I love the uniqueness of the written word to invite so much nuance to an idea, and how easily written texts can be shared in the modern age. While I enjoy reflecting on past experiences verbally, I treasure the ability to gather my thoughts and add eloquence and depth through writing. I write mostly for my own satisfaction, but when I receive praise for my work, I can’t help but feel even more inspired to keep creating.
5. What are you passionate about?
Even though I am 20 years old (21 on December 15th!), I feel I am still finding my passions. As you may expect, writing is a passion of mine and has been since around the first grade. When I was younger, my greatest passion was fiction, although recently I have found myself shifting to personal narrative.
I would also say that I am passionate about helping and/or guiding other people. Discovering this passion within myself has led me toward the career of teaching, where I look forward to fostering student growth, both academically and personally. I strongly believe that a teacher can make or break a child’s educational experience, and I will work every day to be the kind of teacher that shows students the joy of literature and the importance of breaking down barriers to really listen to those around us and learn from them.
6. What positive changes do you want to see in the college/university?
As a transfer student, I would like to see fairer treatment of incoming transfers. I was denied Barnard housing, although all incoming freshmen are guaranteed housing for all four years. To me, the decision to refuse to make room for transfers—even though Barnard accepts around the same number every year—sets us at odds with the rest of the school and forces us into relative isolation. Part of me has always felt like a less legitimate student because I could not enjoy the benefit of living on campus and interacting with other new students on a daily basis. Additionally, NSOP programming rarely even mentions transfers, let alone caters to them, which I found incredibly disappointing as someone extremely excited to join the Barnard community.
7. Who is your role model?
My biggest role model in life is my mom. I can honestly say she is my favorite person on this earth, due to her selfless nature and ability to power through hardship. She is an unapologetic feminist, and I want to be like her when I grow up. I also have to shout out one of my best childhood friends, who has recently faced incredible loss in her life, as well as a diagnosis with a chronic illness, and has been coping with the changes in her lifestyle with strength and grace. No matter what is occurring in her life, she consistently checks in with her friends and invites us to share our struggles with her. I aspire to be a friend like her.
8. If you could make one change in the world, what would it be and why?
This is a tough question, but I would say that I would create a kinder world. It has become apparent—especially recently—that a significant percentage of people in the world have hate in their hearts, and if I could magically alleviate that, I would. I think that we could come closer to solving a number of the world’s most pressing issues if we all approached each other with kindness and an open mind.
9. What are you most looking forward to during winter break?
I am fortunate enough to be going on vacation during the break! I am very excited to get to spend five days on the beach in the Cayman Islands with my mom.