1. Do you have any specific memories with this senior class that you would like to share?
Through my role in The ROAR, I got a chance to work with many of the graduating seniors. Many started off as staff writers in their freshman year, and I helped select some of them to join the leadership team. After I graduated, they played key roles in running the club. It's so special to see their long-term commitment to The ROAR and look at how far the publication has come thanks to their hard work and dedication. When I was there, The ROAR was fairly new with a small leadership team, and we had to learn a lot along the way. One time, as we were distributing print editions to the home base sections, we realized that the copies had major print errors. On one of the pages, an ink issue made Mr. Syed's face look green. We had to sprint to all the classrooms and take the copies back, without having time to explain why, even straight from people's hands! It was a chaotic moment at the time, but looking back on it, really memorable and funny.
2. What advice would you give rising college freshmen?
College is about broadening your horizons and learning as much as possible, so try your best to branch out! Take that class even if you're not familiar with the subject at all. Go to that club meeting even if you don't know any of the members. Say hi to the friendly-looking group of people that live on your floor. Set up a meeting with the professor whose research you find interesting even if you're intimidated. These situations may seem scary, but gathering the self-confidence to put yourself in new, uncomfortable atmospheres will teach you a lot about yourself and hopefully allow you to discover new passions. There are so many resources available to you and this is the time to take advantage of them! I came into college wanting to study History and English but ended up adding a Computer Science major after taking a class that completely changed my path.
3. What's the biggest difference you've found between college and AES?
The AES school day is eight-hours long, and with club meetings you end up being occupied all day. In college, you'll only be in class for 3-4 hours (and some days not at all!). You might also end up having large time gaps, where there will only be one class in the morning and one in the evening. This may seem chill at first, and initially I treated all this extra time as opportunities to hang out with my friends, take naps, and eat unlimited ice cream from the dining hall. But even when it feels like you have all the time in the world, deadlines will catch up to you quickly. You'll soon realize that it's important to manage your time effectively and find ways to be productive. It's important to create a realistic schedule that allows you to go to classes, do your homework, and take part in club meetings. Don't forget that you also need to find time to do your laundry, eat proper meals, clean your room, sleep, and take care of yourself; this shouldn't be considered optional. I resorted to printing out an old-fashioned timetable and explicitly tracking how I was going to spend all this extra time I suddenly had.