People of St. Olaf: Avisya Mishra '19

                                                                            Photo courtesy of Avisya Mishra (pictured above)

Year: Junior (2019)

Major: Biology

What is your favorite word or phrase?: According to my friends I say “lol my life” a lot, which is hilarious because I think I say it so often now that it’s just become a subconscious reaction to anything and everything XD

Favorite/most useful app on your phone?: YouTube!

Do you have a favorite Disney character? If so, who?: Growing up I really liked Mulan and Jasmine, and I don’t know if this counts but my all-time favorite was Kim Possible from the Disney TV show. She was amazing! But lately with the newer movies, I’ve really liked Moana, she’s really inspiring :)

Are you involved in any clubs at St. Olaf?: I am a part of Celebrate South Asia!, the I Support the Girls Chapter of St. Olaf, and I am president of Supporting Special Needs Club.

What is the best thing to do on a rainy day?: I like to be really cozy on rainy days. I like to wear big sweaters, watch movies, and cook something yummy.

Where is the best vacation you’ve been on? Any reason why?: I think the best vacation for me so far was going to India two summers ago (August 2016). I had the opportunity to visit the Taj Mahal for the first time in my life, which was a beautiful experience. The architecture is so stunning, and the amount of detail given to the Taj is just unbelievable. I was in India for 2 weeks with my entire family, including my brother, which was a really big deal. I spent a lot of time with my grandma, whose condition keeps getting worse due to aging, so I cherished every minute I had with her. I got to see all of my family and experience the ups and downs of India, which is always fun. I also got to ride a motor-powered scooter for the first time, they call them “scooties”, which I think is just the cutest name I’ve ever heard. Overall, the entire visit was nice, humbling, and magical.     

What is your favorite summer activity?: I used to rollerblade a lot in the summers, which I loved. After I started college though, my summers started to get really busy. So when I do have free time, I like to go on long walks with my siblings in the evening time, otherwise I like to ride my bike around town.

                                                              Photo courtesy of Avisya Mishra (pictured above of the left)

What is your favorite way to stream a movie? Netflix, Hulu, at a movie theater, etc.?: I like to watch movies in the theater, I feel like it makes the movie a lot more enjoyable. :)

Favorite time of the day: Late mornings (from 9 to noon). I know that is super specific, but that window of time is nice because it’s usually classes and then lunch time, so it’s pretty chill and I have nothing pressing going on. Then on weekends, that window is also nice because it’s my designated me-time → I do skincare and take a nice long shower and watch videos. Sometimes I read during that time too.

Favorite class taken at St. Olaf so far: Oh this is tough. I think it’s a tie between two classes. The first would have to be what I’m taking right now, which is Biology of Reproduction, because I really like the topic and the things we are learning about in the class. Topics range from mammalian diversity to fetal development to social issues regarding reproduction in humans. Another class would be Intro to Women and Gender Studies. I took this last year over interim, and it was definitely a life-changing class for me. I learned a lot about myself, and how to speak about my experiences as someone who experiences two systems of oppression. The class also made me check my privilege too, which was really important for me. It was a learning experience, because for the first time in my life I truly learned how to speak up for myself and my experiences to an audience of people that may not understand that. I was so nervous going into the class, simply because of the racial outlook of the people in the class. However, over time I really learned how to let go of my fears and just speak.  

If you could talk to anyone in this moment who would it be?: Probably my mom. I miss her a lot, and often times when I do call her, she sets me straight and keeps me grounded. She’s also hilarious when it comes to talking about life. I love talking to her about everything, she’s like my older and wiser best friend.  

Is there anything at St. Olaf that you look forward to pursuing more?: I am really excited about the Support the Girls chapter that has started here at Olaf. I think they will be doing awesome things next year, such as collection drives for feminine hygiene products, and awareness events on campus.

                                                                          Photo courtesy of Avisya Mishra (pictured above)  

How has St. Olaf helped you develop your future plans?: For me, the professors have really helped with my career. They are always available to talk about all things pre-med, and give advice about what to do. I also love how much of a community St. Olaf is, in that I am always able to find an upperclassmen to talk to about important choices I should be making for myself.

What was your favorite childhood snack?: Haha so at home my parents never allowed me to eat Little Debbie snacks, like the cosmic brownies and the nutter butter bars. So every time I would go to someone’s house, I would ask to eat them, or have the opportunity to eat them at school, I would have some and it would make my day :)

What is your go-to procrastination activity?: Watching makeup tutorials or movie reviews on YouTube.

Favorite dessert?: Oh it’s a strong tie between strawberry frozen yogurt or chocolate cheesecake.

What’s the best thing about Minnesota to you?: This is kind of weird but I really like how this state is reliable. The education is decent, healthcare is good, the infrastructure is nice, the roads are maintained, and people are pretty decent. The only thing is that the weather isn’t reliable. Lol.

If you could have one superpower what would it be?: Probably the ability to control time. Then I could get more stuff done in a day.

What is your favorite thing to do with your family?: I like to watch Bollywood movies with them. It’s always nice to sit down and enjoy some fun Indian cinema.

                                                                Photo courtesy of Avisya Mishra (pictured above on the left)

Do your prefer group studying inside or outside on a nice day?: Inside only because if I was outside I will get distracted and want to chill instead of study.

What is your favorite extracurricular event to attend at St. Olaf?: I love going to the free movies they show in Viking (I just really like movies haha).

What is a style, activity, etc that is “out of style,” but you still enjoy?: I’m not sure if this is out of style but when I get the opportunity, I really like to jump rope.

Is there a word that you can never get the spelling write without googling/using a dictionary for?: Any word that uses a letter twice, sometimes I get mixed up on which letter to use twice. For example, accommodate or misspell. Ha, I just had to look up misspell.

What two foods are better eaten together rather than separately?: My mom’s lemon fish curry and basmati rice. Yum.

You’re stuck in the St. Olaf library(from all of the snow…) what three things would you want with you?: My phone, my ID, and my water bottle.

                                                                           Photo courtesy of Avisya Mishra (pictured above)