I would tell my first-year self to worry less, take more risks, and branch out more. You never know what you’ll end up liking if you don’t explore.
How do you stay inspired? Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, artists, etc. that you’d recommend?
I watched Oceans 11 over break and recently enjoyed seeing Primal Fear with my parents. In the past year, I also loved reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman.
I want to read more books. I used to read a lot in high school, but I found it difficult to find time to read personally chosen books in college. This semester, I’m taking a class called Contemporary Apocalypse Fiction, which has been helping me read enjoyable books with topics that are relevant to current issues.
Professor Rann Bar-On has been an influential figure in my Duke career, giving me helpful advice on becoming a Math major. I also love my current advisor, Sarah Neff, who is a guide in my life and keeps me accountable!
Are you involved with other clubs or organizations on or off-campus? What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m currently living in Duke Smart Home which has been a unique experience. In my free time, I love watching movies and reading books.
What is the most challenging aspect about planning during the pandemic, whether it be for Freewater or your Duke life in general? How did you cope?
It’s difficult to see friends, and for very understandable safety reasons, I can’t see many people or access certain spaces, including the Griffith Theater. Shifting events online was hard, but Important to ensure accessibility for all Duke students. It has been an opportunity for growth! Before pandemics, we didn’t have many virtual events, but moving beyond the pandemic, we may consider continuing virtual screenings, as there might be students who don’t come back to campus.
What academic interests are you pursuing at Duke? Are these interests related to your involvement with Freewater Presentations?
As a Math major, my academic interests might be unrelated to my work with Freewater Presentations, which offered me a good opportunity to branch out. But I’m also a Philosophy major, and I was able to explore my love for stories and different media through my involvement.
My favorite part of being a part of Freewater Presentations is choosing the movie to show in the week. By getting input from the committee, I try to get movies that Duke students may not have watched yet. My favorite recent screening is the one we did for Mean Girls on Mean Girls day. It was our first outdoor event, and we were proud to host a safe event with decent turnout. People dressed up, and it was a successful screening!
During normal years, we would show movies in theaters. But because of the pandemic, we are holding virtual programming through streaming websites and occasional outdoor outdoor movie screenings that are socially distanced. I help organize the committee and determine what movies are screened, and our main goal is to provide accessible public screenings.
Through the DUU first year internship program, I was assigned to Freewater and then applied to be the chair.