Profile: HC UCLA Co-Senior Editor Victoria Li

Many coffee shop options in Westwood, CA. Where can we go? "Espresso Profeta is always so crowded," "Starbucks is eh..." We finally decided upon Le Pain Quotidien — taking French three means I can understand this, so every time I come here I get excited about it. On top of that, coming here to catch up with friends is even better. Plus, there is a transfer of euphoria from lips to a large mug of foamed milk and espresso that no one wants to miss out on.

Victoria and I immediately went into discussing our life at UCLA, why we wanted to come to school here, study abroad trips to London, dreams of Manhattan, homes in Northern California, and many other things. Here is a glimpse into our conversation in the little French café in Westwood, California.

Victoria is a Pre-Med Biochemistry major. She is 20 and from Santa Clara, California — a place of familiarity since I am from there as well. She is a third year who dreams of ending up in New York, going to med school, and living with one of her greatest friends.

We talked about our favorite foods (and how we can't pick just one) but she gave me a range of some possible categories that she thoroughly enjoys, including many chicken-related items (aka, fried chicken, popcorn chicken from any PMT institution, Chik-Fil-A, etc.), plus the ever-present junk food as well as delicious healthy foods.

If she had to choose a quote with no preparation, she went straight to Lizzie McGuire (who wouldn’t?) and said, "Friends forever and boys whatever!” Definitely a quote I can get behind. She said her most recent favorite read is “The Hours” by Michael Cunningham because of how she was able to understand and relate to the women in the novel. This directed us to discussing how we both have a deep fondness for books rather than movies because of the placement we have as outside readers into the thoughts of the characters, as well as the outward perspective of the world in the book that the characters themselves cannot see.

As we left the book world topic, I asked her what field of medicine she wanted to be involved in. The answer was simply inspiring. She wants to go into OBGYN Maternal Fetal Medicine to deliver healthy babies from mothers who have high risk pregnancies. She shadowed a doctor at Stanford and instantly fell in love with the sector and the goal behind it. I think when you find a career you want to embark in, the ultimate goal is to do something you are passionate about and also, find something that adds good into the world. I think that is exactly what she’s doing.

As the cappuccinos emptied and the café became deserted, we continued on about her study abroad trip to London and all the wonderful food, makeup dupes, adventures in the city, and shopping opportunities there. She has lists and Google stars pulled up on her phone, ready for me, because I, too, will embark on a study abroad trip to London. 

Overall, our coffee trip to Le Pain Quotidien was inspiring and joyful. The espresso also packed a great punch.

Lastly, we decided ending our time with any last thoughts or quotes we had. Here are Victoria’s: “All I really want is to bake cookies and write a Mindy Kaling-esque self-help book.”