Aayushi Mishra '18

Name: Aayushi Mishra

Pronouns: She/her

Class Year: 2018

Major: Biology & Environmental Studies

Position: 2018 Class President

Hometown: I spent my childhood in Mumbai, but grew up in Los Angeles and Brussels



Why did you want to be a part of the class board?

So I was Class Secretary last year and the reason why I applied last year was because I really wanted to be a part of something that, you know, focused on organizing events and having a presence on campus. It just felt like a natural progression to become Class President from there and I knew for sure that I wanted to be in class board this year as well; I just felt like I would do an adequate job with all the responsibilities that come with the position. It's also a great way to get to know more people and make friends, and though the semester isn't even over yet, I've already established so many more connections and that's a really fun part of being president.


What were your goals as you were first coming in as President and have you achieved them?

So last year a lot of people mentioned that not everyone is included in everything that we did. It’s always difficult to involve everyone on campus in every activity that we do, but that was my overarching goal. So for example, for J-Show we wanted it to appeal to people from all backgrounds, so we came up with 4 interesting themes that would ideally appeal to everyone. In the end people chose “Mary Potter” because, from my understanding, everyone here seems to have an appreciation for Harry Potter so it made sense. We could have decided the theme for ourselves and we would have been like, “Ok you guys this is what we’re going to do,” but instead we thought if we wanted to be inclusive we should let them decide. So that has been my biggest goal. Some of my other goals include making sure that everyone feels like they have a voice. So I’m always open to feedback and people have been giving me feedback, it's all been positive so far and hopefully it will stay that way. But I have received constructive feedback from people saying, “Like, hey, so you did this event for bigs and littles in the future maybe you could do something like that,” and I was like, “I love it, yeah, keep the feedback coming!” So that’s basically been it.


So J-Show is an exciting event to have coming up soon. What do you think is going to draw people in and what’s going to be special about this J-Show?

The show is taking place in February which may seem like it’s far away, but for us it's like oh my gosh it’s in February! So we have actors, singers, and we have dancers and they’re all juniors, and so it’s a way for juniors to be like, “Hey you guys we’re really awesome and these are all the things we can do.” For now we’re working on our script. It’s a 2 hour show and the class board writes majority of the script, so it’s very exciting because we're incorporating Harry Potter into Mount Holyoke and we’re using Mount Holyoke stereotypes as well, so it's just going to be amazing. So far it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. The class board has a really great sense of humour and we are trying our best to make sure that we are including all sorts of stereotypes, so you know jokes that only Mount Holyoke students would get. And we’re also trying, I don't want to give anything away, but we’re also going to have Five-College stereotypes; you know it's a school of magic but there are other schools of magic around as well. But you know we’re obviously the best one cause we’re the oldest women’s school of magic as well. The story is beautiful, it's inspiring, it’s funny (obviously), but mostly I hope people will leave with a sense of pride for our class year and for our college.


How do you think being on class board will map onto or prepare you for your future?

In the back of my mind I know being in class board is also going to look really good on my resume as it helps me portray my leadership skills. Since high school I have been part of several leadership organisations and I’ve been president of many clubs, but class board was particularly appealing to me because it was going to require me to lead a really large group of people. In all the internships that I've done I have highlighted my leaderships skills and I feel like having this will further highlight my ability to lead a large group of people and to work with people. Especially as it does get difficult to lead such a huge group when you have several people with many ideas it can be challenging having to come up with a compromise and making sure that we're integrating everyone’s ideas and thoughts into the decisions that we make. I hope that this will have a positive impact on all the future things that I hope to do and I will definitely showcase this on my resume, my website, and everything that I do. I also feel like this will follow me for the rest of my life like I'll be able to look back and say, “Oh, in my junior year I had the opportunity to be president and lead this group of people and organise events that were memorable and fun.”


Why would someone want to join class board?

It is a very fun-loving community. We meet once a week for an hour in which we talk about how we’re doing. So it's not just work, we actually get to know each other. This is my second year and both years there has been such a strong bond between people. We’re all from different backgrounds and with different interests and yet we somehow all connected because we have a shared interest which is to reach out to our class year. I feel like anyone who's interested in supporting students and having their presence on campus, making new friends and connections, getting to know how events work would love it. Event planning might not seem like a prominent thing, but we do organize a lot of huge events. Sophomore year we organised the "Ring and Rose" ceremony which took weeks and weeks of preparation, and then we have "Bigs and Littles" in our junior year and just assigning bigs to littles was such a difficult thing to do. But then during the events seeing bigs and littles bond is the best feeling ever because you tell yourself I did that, you know, it's great! It's not something that you forget, even if you're only in class board for just a year, you remember it for the rest of your life because you made a difference, helped people, and made your community happy.


What are your personal goals for the future?

I feel like just in light of recent event this would be the perfect time for me to share what I want to do in my life. So I am an environmental studies and biology double major and my goal in life is to become a part of water management. So I’m originally from India and access to clean drinking water is a major obstacle even today. So I hope to get people access to clean drinking water, and for that it's going to be a long arduous journey but I'm going to put my heart and soul into making that happen. I feel like having leadership skills and having collaborative skills definitely works in my favor because I know that it's going to be a very difficult thing to do but it's all I want to do in my life. I would love to go back home to do that but at the moment for some reason environmental studies is not that big of a deal in India, so education wise if you get a degree in that it doesn't mean anything which is why I wanted to come to the United States to get my degree, to get my knowledge and my foundation, and to take back whatever I’ve learned to a community that needs this awareness.


What’s your favourite movie?

For my favourite movie it's a kind of childish movie, but it has always been The Princess Diaries; it has always been my favourite movie ever and no other will ever come close to replacing it for me! More specifically the second movie is the best, I don't know, I think it's because I watched it at a time that was an important part of my life for some reason. I read all the books when I was little and every year whenever I get the chance to I go back and I watch that movie. Also Harry Potter! All the Harry Potter movies—I just never get bored of watching them!


What do you love doing or what are you passionate about?

I love public speaking! I can talk to a group of 20, 50, or 200 000 people without feeling even a little nervous which is so weird but it's just something that I love doing. I love speaking to people and my other interests include writing; so I write stories, poems, and stuff, but I never share them with anyone, it's kind of just for me.


Do you have anything to add?

Being on class board is a wonderful experience and a once in a lifetime opportunity, and no matter what position you have, it doesn't matter if you're president, secretary, social chair, we all do the same work and it's a wonderful community to be a part of. You get to meet so many other people, it's not just the class board, you also get to work with student programs and they’re the best people you'll ever meet. They're so nice!


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