Senior Profiles 2017 — Part I

Interviews by Victoria Fong, Michael Herrera, Esther Lin, Alyce Thornhill and Anders Zhou

Sofia Azalgara

Isha Patel / Aragon Outlook
College of San Mateo
Why did you decide to start at a community college and then transfer?
First of all, it’s cheaper to start at CSM than to go straight into a four-year university. Also, originally, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in and what I wanted to do, so I figured taking General Education classes while exploring different options was a smart thing to do at CSM, instead of paying more for it a bigger name brand school.

Are there any schools you have in mind to transfer to?
Either UC Santa Barbara or UC San Diego. [I’m] not sure which, but [I’m] definitely trying for a UC in southern California.

Did anybody at Aragon influence your major?
Not really. I’ve just always liked math and I sort of want to keep taking those types of classes and pursing a degree relating to that.
What other changes do you expect in your life?
Working a lot for sure and hopefully having more time to try new things and hang out with my friends more now that my schedule won’t be revolved around a typical school day. I sort of want to learn a new instrument, like the ukulele.

Erin Phillips

University of Montana

Did you want a big or small school? In or out of state?
As a kid, I knew I always wanted to go to an out-of-state college, that was really important to me. I was looking for a bigger school. I don’t really like the feel of the smaller schools. I like the big atmosphere.

Why did you decide on the University of Montana?
They have a great program for what I want to do, and I’m much more of a “mountain girl” than a “city girl,” so I was looking for somewhere that was beautiful, and Montana is absolutely fantastic. I like the atmosphere of the school, every fit. It was exactly where I wanted to end up.

Have you decided on a major?
I am getting my undergrad degree in health and human performance, and after my undergrad degree, I am going to medical school to be a doctor or physical therapy school to be a physical therapist … I’m getting a very general undergrad, so I can go wherever I want after the four years.

James Dao

Loyola University Chicago + Navy ROTC

Courtesy of James Dao

Why did you pick the Navy over other branches of the military?
In my opinion, the Navy has more of an international impact because we always have ships serving overseas. We have a global presence. I feel like the Navy is a majority of that presence.[Also,] the Navy has this big humanitarian project and so … I’d have the most resources to go out in the world and help people.

What are you looking forward to in the Navy?
I’m hoping to serve on one of the Navy’s two hospital ships and serve overseas for a couple of years. Then maybe serve domestically in San Diego or Hawaii at the major military hospitals. I definitely want to see the world and it helps that it’s all paid for. I’m not going to have to worry about expenses or anything.
How does the ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) program work?
Basically, the Navy is paying for my college and once I get my degree, then I am commissioned as an officer. For my four years, I take a couple extra classes and three times a week I have drill, which is physical training and some other various things.

How do you feel about moving out of California to Chicago?
I’m pretty comfortable with it. I’m looking forward to being in a new place. I love the city of Chicago and Loyola is on the outskirts of the city, so you get that campus feel. But at the same time … it’s easy to get into the heart of the city. For me, Chicago kind of feels like San Francisco. So it’ll be nice to be far away, but not somewhere that is totally foreign.

What drew you to major in nursing?
I wanted to go into a field that I could directly help people. Nursing was just by best option. For me, it was a big deal that I didn’t want to become a doctor in my family. Being a doctor, I wouldn’t get to go out and help people until my early 30s and I’d be in so much debt by then too. I feel like nurses are more personal. I get to have more contact with patients

What advice would you give people looking into ROTC?
I would definitely contact one of our local recruiters because they have so much information and there’s a lot of confusing things about the program. It’s nice to have someone who can explain it to you. Otherwise, just work hard in school and do what you love to do.

Kendison Ma

Purdue University

What are you planning to major in?
Currently, industrial design. Basically, [it’s being] an engineer, without having to take any of the hard classes. It’s a lot of designing buildings and making them more aesthetically pleasing. My parents have their own jewelry company. I’ve been helping in their business for a long time with the designing aspect of it, so I thought industrial design fit into that.

Sagrika Jawadi

Nicole Wallace / Aragon Outlook
Scripps College

What will it be like going to an all women’s college?
I think it’s empowering and just overall a great experience. It’s just so much more comfortable and freeing to be surrounded by the same gender.

Are there any misconceptions about women’s colleges?
I think a misconception would be that it’s very conservative or like anti-men, which it’s not at all.

What are the advantages of Scripps being in a consortium?
Every college has its own specialty: Harvey Mudd is engineering and Claremont Mckenna is economics. So you can have high quality classes in those subjects, even if you’re not part of that school. Another advantage is you get to meet a huge variety of people, since there are people who go to different colleges than you in the same classes as you. You definitely get a wider variety than you would at a normal college. Another [perk] is even if you don’t vibe with your own college people, you can find people from other colleges that you get along with. You also get the big school feel since it’s really five small schools in one and the small school feel since the schools themselves are pretty small. The Claremonts are convenient, since they are literally walking distance from each other.

Do you plan on continuing tennis during school?
At first I [wasn’t sure]. It’s time-consuming and lots of effort, but I’m thinking of intramural, non-competitive within school tennis. It’s a good way to make friends is the number one reason. I don’t want to leave tennis completely after playing for so long. It’s Division III, so I could play for the school but I think it’d be too time -consuming for my major.

Since Scripps is in a consortium, will that change the feel of a women’s college?
I think it’ll still be different because even though there are other colleges with guys, I’ll still be at an all girls school, but definitely not as extreme effects as if there weren’t the other colleges that have guys. When I visited, there were guys on campus and there are guys in the classes too so you definitely still see guys and can socialize with them despite it being an all girls school. But it doesn’t completely cancel it out.

If Scripps was a food, what food would it be?
Chocolate-covered strawberries; it’s my instinctual choice. Strawberries are a summer fruit and it’s in southern California. It’s fun. Strawberries are healthy, but chocolate is fun. It’s a fun school.

Check out Part II of our profiles!

Posted by Editorial Staff

The Outlook's editors collaborate on opinion pieces, editorials, and the centerspread.

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