Meet Sydney Raheja, a new Her Campus TCU Staff member with incredible poetry skills; but that’s not all! Sydney wrote her own trilogy series of novels when she was in the sixth grade! Keep reading to learn more about Sydney!
Sydney and her brother Nick.
Name: Sydney Raheja
Graduating Year: Fall 2017
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself Sydney! What brought you TCU?
A: “Well originally I was going to school in Hawaii, Chaminade University of Honolulu. I loved living in Hawaii and I loved the people at my school, but I didn’t like the school. One of my friends told me about TCU and how much she loved it and to apply. I applied and got in. I don’t really think far in advance before I do something. After graduating I was planning to just take the year off. I saw all my friends posting on Facebook about how excited they where going off to college and this was at the end of summer. I applied to a few school to appease my parents and so I accepted on the fact that I would be in Hawaii. I didn’t know anything else about the school and two weeks before school started I decided to go and ended up flying the following week. As you probably are thinking that wasn’t the best way to pick a college that’s why I transferred here. Not that I knew anything about this school before I took the 22 hour drive the Friday before this semester started.”
Q: What are you studying at TCU?
A: “I am a history major with a minor in criminal justice and political science.”
Q: Have you always enjoyed writing?
A: “Writing for me started with reading. I have always loved reading my favorite author is C.S. Lewis. The way he writes is like nothing I have ever read before. He is the reason I write, I want to be able to tell a story the way he does. The way he writes isn’t very detailed but just enough to let the mind wonder and imagine how Narnia would be. Writing for me has been away since I was really young to express myself. Writing is my favorite things to do. It’s away to create a whole new world. I love being able to create a whole story and watch the characters and plot grow. It’s amazing to see that I have created this world and people. I am a very out going person and I have an over active imagination. I just would always tell stories and I thought I’d try to write one and after I started to write I fell in love. Writing is very different than speaking and I found I could express more for example“…The feeling of the cold salty air whipping through my hair, the taste of salt lingering on my lips. Sting as the wind hits my face causing my cheeks to go a rose pink. The salty smell stings the inside of my nose and mouth as I breathe in the fresh morning misty air. The cold water running over my feet, the rough sand in-between my toes as I bury my feet in the surf. The air is fresh and inviting, the sun is just poking up out over the horizon creating a kaleidoscope of colors on a new mornings canvas. The thin dark blue line that appears as the day progresses on, marking the beginning and end of the sea and sky. The lull of the distant seagulls.”
Q: Describe the process of writing your own books. What are they about?
A: “At first it was a homework assignment and my teacher loved it so much she asked me to elaborate. I just started writing and my thoughts just started to flow out into a story. Ever since than I have just been perfecting it. My trilogy is about a young girl that has a few too many dark secrets. In the most basic way I can describe the story it’s about young girl that is from a fantasy world and she has a lot of adventure. Adventure that leads to a dark reality and costs people their lives. If I go any deeper into the story I’ll end up reading all 300+ pages, I’ve read it over so many times I could probably recite it.”
Q: Do you hope to publish the books eventually?
A: “That would be a dream come true, but it makes me so nervous that people wouldn’t like my writing as much as I do. I don’t let people read what I write often, especially not my book. However, while I was going to school in Hawaii I ended up getting two of my poems published in a literary magazine. That really boosted my confidence in my own writing skills. To be honest the poems I submitted I wrote in two minutes in class while my English teacher was lecturing us on different writing technics.”
Q: What gives you inspiration for your poetry?
A: “Emotions… I love how you can say so much with a few sentences. My first poem I wrote was after my 8th grade field trip to DC. I enter a poetry contest and I wrote about the Korean War Memorial, I didn’t even end up see that monument but I saw a picture of it. I didn’t end up winning the contest but I think I got third place in the state. To be honest until last year I hated writing poetry, but I loved to write. I ended up taking a poetry and drama class. We had to have read over 100 different poems. Emily Dickenson, Robert Frost, William Blake and Langston Hughes all amazing poets so eloquent. I just saw all the emotion and beauty in their writing. (Yes, I wrote poetry before that class and I was good at it but I didn’t feel emotionally connected with the concept of writing poetry.) I have never been good with minimalizing my stories and with poetry I was able to just relax. Poetry just came so easy after I read ‘Desert Place’ by Robert Frost, I could feel the emotion and imagery in his writing. While my professor was teaching that day I just started to write. That day in class I ended up writing four poems, ‘A movie with no cheer,’ ‘Last time,’ ‘A world away, and ‘Once upon a time.’ Some of my poems have an emotional connection and some are just purely fictional, I like keeping people guessing which is which.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: “Hopefully a lawyer, to be more specific a district attorney. I have never wanted to be anything other than a lawyer.”