The One Williams Student Everyone Should Get to Know

Meet Neena Patel.

Neena Patel is a sophomore at Williams and writes for the Record, the school newspaper. Born and raised in Florida, as well as the only one in her friend group who is not pre-med, Neena likes to dance and make people feel comfortable with her contagious laugh and cool personality. Neena also happens to be my roommate. Three weeks in and we’ve already brought back pancakes and cookies for each other. Ahhh, gifting food is always a sign of a true friendship. I sat down with her to ask her a few questions...

 

What did you do this past summer?

I spent the summer in Switzerland staying with my aunt and uncle. Basically, I was interning at an Asian art museum in Zurich. Last year my family was going through the family house and found perfect condition sari’s that were in perfect condition. They belonged to my grandmother and shouldn’t have been in the box because they are from the 1920s, since during the Indian Independence movement people burned their clothes and wore white, hand-spun clothes to show economic independence from Britain. Nobody knew what to do with them because they were so outdated, heavy, and uncomfortable. My aunt and uncle donated these saris to the textile collection, by way of a connection with the head of the museum, along with my great aunt’s and my aunt’s saris. So I ended up compiling the history of these women and made it into a paper. The museum is probably going to bind it up and put it into the library and maybe use it for an exhibition down the road.”

 

Where was the place that you most connected with?

“Ever since coming to Williams I grew really comfortable with the mountains and feel at peace with myself…I got on a train and went to the top of Mt. Piladus, an hour train ride away. It felt like I was on top of the world when I was going up. I love that feeling when you get to the top of a vantage point and you can breath the natural air and looking at the view.”

Have you thought of what you want to do in the future?

So I decided last April I would major in chemistry, so I’m giving myself until this April to decide what I want to do with myself. I tell people my little kid dream is to become an astronaut. I thought of research, but I want to go into the sciences with the intention to have a direct impact on people, not necessarily going into medicine, but obviously I’ve thought about it. I just want to simply connect with someone on a deeper level because that’s what I get the most joy out of, and it doesn’t have to be on a big scale”

 

Where is one place you want to live before you turn thirty?

“I would want to live in a small town in Switzerland. There’s a lake that goes through the city, and I love living around water, and basically it’s everything I’m looking for. I’m really not a city person, so I’d want to live in a pretty rural area and commute to the city.”

If you had the choice of making one of your family members famous, which one would it be?

“My Dad. Because having a dad who’s a celebrity just sounds funny.”

 

Do you consider mayo as a staple condiment?

“--No“

 

What are you going to do when this interview is over?

“Probably do some chemistry homework and then go straight to bed!”