Tea Time With Nash (from Wells College)

Nash is my very good and sweet friend from my previous school, Wells College. I started my Her Campus career last year as a writer for the Wells chapter. It was everything I’ve always wanted–writing regularly AND working with a team. Nash and I even collaborated on an article when I was still a writer for Wells (click here if you wanna check it out).

 

Today I am just chatting with Nash so y’all can experience the amazingness of their presence (even through words). 

 

Let’s Chat! With Nash!

 

MY WONDERFUL AND BEAUTIFUL FRIEND, HOW ARE YOU?

Kenzie! My Sunflower of a friend! Hello! I am very happy to be here today, even if here at the boathouse at Wells. It is always an honor to interact with you my dear! It is warm out today and I’m taking Oddwina- my emotional support cat- out for the first walk of the year and she is definitely happy to be outside again. It is the tail-end of midterms week so I’m slightly stressed, but the nice weather is helping.

 

What kind of tea are you drinking these days? 

I still drink London Fogs almost every shift at the cafe I work, but I also have fallen in love with Calico Chai tea and Apple Harvest tea from this little Cat Cafe in Ithaca;, ‘Ally Cat Cafe’, that I like to frequent! It’s not too far from my campus and cat cafes are starting to spread all over the state., I even found one the last time I was in Rochester;, we should go visit it sometime.

 

When I was at Wells, Nash and I would meet up at The Grind to have book chats, which usually resulted in us confessing our undying love/appreciation for each other (hehe). If you could host a book club right now, what book would you have everyone read?

It is impossible to put into words how much I miss sitting in the third stall in the GRIND gushing over books with you- the last book we talked about was “All The Bright Places” in anticipation for the movie in the GRIND :’0). That book has a very special place in my heart because of that, but my choice is another book that I DEFINITELY think you should check out, as well as everyone else who is reading this! “Can't Take That Away” is a book that came out earlier this month by Steven Salvatore, that is my choice for this hypothetical book club. Carey is a genderqueer teenager who is finally starting to feel comfortable in their own skin. Coming out to friends and family was difficult (because they were essentially blackmailed into doing so) but apart from some homophobic bullying from a fellow student and a teacher, they’re trying to find the joy in life. They have a fiercely loyal best friend, a tremendously supportive mother, and an understanding English teacher, all of whom have Carey's back.What Carey wants more than anything is to be a diva, like their idol (and namesake), Mariah Carey. They dream of bringing the house down with their voice. They have the talent to do it but they don’t like to call attention to themselves. But after they meet Cris, their burgeoning relationship gives Carey the confidence they need to audition for the school musical and play the part of Elphaba in Wicked .

But some in the school don’t think Carey should play that part and they’ll stop at nothing to create trouble. Carey, with the support of their best friends and family, must decide if they’re willing to let their dream be killed or if they are ready to stand up and make change happen. At the same time they have to struggle with doubts about their relationship with Cris and deal with the rapid decline of their grandmother, who was Carey's biggest fan and musical inspiration.

Can't Take That Away works on so many levels. It's funny, thought-provoking, moving, and so emotional. Salvatore brings such life and complexity to the characters, and Carey's grandmother reminded me so much of my own paternal grandmother, who was my biggest supporter. (I still miss her even though she's been gone almost 16 years.) Another touch that was so incredible is that each chapter of the book is headed by the pronouns Carey identifies with on that particular day.

 

Even though I am a RIT Tiger now, I still like to meet up with Nash at Wells and exchange BOOKS. Nash introduced me to one of my favorite books Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. Nash, how would you describe this book to people who haven’t read it?

I just re-read that book and holy crow each and every time I read it do I appreciate a new and amazing part of it, or learn something new about it. There’s something so authentically millennial about this book. It’s in the sense of loss. The exploration of detachment from parents and of abuse. The diverse cast of characters and fact that literally every lead character is queer. The mention of memes. The exploration of the college experience. Or maybe it’s simply in the mood of the book, the desperate plea, throughout every page, to have someone listen. Maybe some will argue this dates the book, but I think it’s exactly the power of Radio Silence - that it feels real to the teen experience, both its themes and its current moments. If you’re looking for a book about platonic friendship, you should read this. Frances and Aled have the best-written, most compelling friendship. And I love that every single driving relationship in this book is either platonic or queer.While the focus of the book is Aled and his podcast, the amount of real depth put into these characters and the amount of thought put into their emotional journies is so fucking incredible. Frances' arc around wanting to be seen and her journey into university is amazing. And though he’s not even the narrator, Aled’s parallel journey around his own abuse is equally amazing.Basically, sometimes a family can be you, your Very Platonic best friend, his boyfriend who he's very in love with, your lowkey ex-girlfriend who is also your best friend’s brother, and this girl who keeps ditching class to hang out with you and who you DEFINITELY should date. It is so worth the read!

 

What are your thoughts on platonic relationships? Why are they important to you?

In my eyes, Platonic relationships are the most important relationships that you will ever have. My favorite form of love is Platonic love because of how pure it is and how wonderful of a feeling it is to overcome you. friendship kind of creeps up on you all at once. Like you have your work friends and school friends and friends of friends but they're not your friends, they're not people you would turn to, not people you would seek out outside of those settings. And they stay that way for a year or even two and you wonder if you're even capable of making new friends. Until one day you're playing hacky sack at midnight in an empty university building, laughing and forgetting everything you have to do tomorrow, and you think, "I fucking love y'all so much." And then it hits you. You don't know when it happened, and that seems strange because the truth is so undeniable. But here you are, surrounded by the people that at some point, when you weren't looking, became the best friends you’ve ever had.

 

Do you remember when we became friends? (I remember the day so vividly!)

It’s so weird because I do as well, so vividly, but what stands out to me is all the moments that came after. The silly dances across campus when we saw each other, the texts that last into the early hours of the morning about books and life and love and how beautiful the sunset is, there is a lot that goes into a friendship so strong as ours.

 

As a poet, where do you get your inspiration from? From any poem you’ve written, can you share one of your favorite lines with us? 

I can do better than that, I can share a poem! This one was inspired by a good day in which many good things happened to me and my loved ones, and me realizing that there are millions of good and beautiful things that shouldn't ever be compared. 

how am i supposed to choose between the sun and the moon,

between sunflowers and roses,

between late night talks and tea in the afternoon.

between small town bookstores and big town bike rides,

between blushing, between dancing, between awkward laughter and butterflies.

between a million things that aren’t quite polar opposites but their beauty lies in their differences, between two things that i would both eagerly choose had they not been put together.

 

We have experienced many defining moments together. From bookstores to rooftops to waterfalls… Which was your favorite? Why was it memorable for you?

I am a fan of moments and memories in general, its really hard to pick a favorite because I consider my moments with all the Vanacores my favorite :0)

 

What is one thing you love most about yourself? 

My capacity to love. I love endlessly and always and love is and has always been my greatest superpower- much like I think it is yours. 

 

WHAT SHOW ARE WE WATCHING NEXT??? (We still need to finish Love, Victor)

WE NEED TO FINISH LOVE VICTOR BUT IF ALL GOES WELL THE FINAL SEASON OF ATYPICAL!!!

 

Thank you so much for joining us today for a little tea time chat… I miss sitting with you in The Grind and eating your freshly baked cupcakes. 

Nash is a very unique person and I just want everyone to experience their radiating sunshine-of-a-soul. 

xx Kenzie