Favorite book and why:
Every new book that I read becomes my favorite—but for now I'll go with Kent Haruf's writing. Plainsong is the first book in his little trilogy. It's extremely simple, and the plot just feels extraordinarily real. It really epitomizes the effectiveness of minimalism in art, I think. His writing is simple, but strong; the plot in retrospect isn't too complicated but it has a power that I can't really explain. Go try it out if you haven't read any of his work—they read fast!
Favorite movie and why:
I love Lady Bird. As cliché as it is, I have a soft spot for coming-of-age movies—but Lady Bird transcends the formula for them, I think. It's nice to see a young girl protagonist learning to have confidence in her taking up space and in her voice. Plus, I love Saoirse Ronan, so much.
Why are you studying your chosen majors and minors?
I study Anthropology because it is so open-ended and interdisciplinary. It's a cool discipline to study in itself, of course, but it can also be used to frame literally all of my other interests, which is why really it is such a great discipline for anyone questioning what to study.
I love words, so take classes with the English department—and I throw in my Anthropology lenses in my discussions and papers as I think about meaning, examining how literature can interact with social realities.
I study music, and I can use ethnomusicological lenses to analyze the ways that music interacts with cultures, too.
In Native Studies classes, we question power structures and colonial histories—examining social justice and its intersections with contemporary society.
Anthropology can be whatever you want it to be, and I try to take full advantage of that in terms of what I study. If you're still feeling like you're missing out on studying one of your interests, a degree in Anthropology might help you incorporate it into your plan.
I do a few extra-curriculars that are related to what I study. I'm on the executive board for AnthroGroup, for example, which I absolutely love. Everybody there is wonderful, and we have a lot of fun talking with each other—but we also have some great opportunities to learn about Anthropology—and its sibling disciplines like Global Studies—as a discipline and as a career path. I highly recommend everybody in the SGIS to come to a few meetings: it's beneficial to everyone, I promise!
One of my other favorite extra-curriculars is the Cycling Club, where I'm also on the exec board. I've been racing bikes since I was 10 and competing is one of my favorite things to do. But the pandemic has really shown me how important movement is to mental health, outside of racing. Pedaling my bike around has, in many ways, saved me from a lot of hurt. So, I encourage you all to find some extra-curricular that functions as an outlet. Come join us on a group ride—we'll help you get started riding, no pressure.
I'm still deciding on which type of graduate school I want to do after graduating. It's either between law school or graduate studies in my Anthropology/English hybrid interests, though I'm really leaning towards the latter. My dream is to just be able to work outside, so I might try to get a job with the Parks Service here or the equivalent of it in different countries, as a writer or an educator (or both!) once I do some more specified research in grad school. The pandemic has made me realize how important being "outside" is to me, and that value has really motivated my post-graduation plans.