Major: Computer Science, Entrepreneurship Minor
Year: Class of 2020
Hometown: San Francisco, California
SU Exchange in Hull, England (Fall 2017)
SU-Sponsored in Auckland, New Zealand (Spring 2018)
During my time at the University of Auckland, I took a Pacific Studies class to broaden my knowledge about local Pacific challenges. I studied the ongoing movement towards decolonization of Western influences on Pacific academia and culture, the ramifications of U.S. foreign aid and the intensive militarization of Pacific islands. Building an awareness of these controversial issues not only pushed me to be more receptive towards the challenges marginalized groups face in the contemporary world, but also gave me an opportunity to reassess my identity as an American. Now that I know the United State’s involvement in the Pacific is a double-edged sword, I feel I have a duty to raise awareness of these wrongdoings and support both contemporary justice and historical reparations for Pacific Islanders.
I had a solid ten-year plan before I left for my year abroad: get a good paying job, buy a house, get married and have children. But when I returned home, I no longer felt the urgency to begin my ten-year plan immediately after graduation. While abroad in Hull and Auckland, I immersed myself in two different lifestyles that expanded and enriched my worldview. I actively challenged my ability to interact in unfamiliar situations. (To my surprise, I felt so empowered by my experience that I even embraced the idea of building my post-grad life outside the United States!) Having returned from my year abroad, I feel much more settled with myself and am no longer afraid of answering “I don’t know yet” to questions about my career path or post-grad plans. I found comfort in uncertainty and being conscious of the present.