Humans of Rutgers

"I fell in love with my best friend in the 8th grade. I didn't even realize it until it was too late and I was in too deep. I think part of me will always wish it was him. I saw him again a whole year after college started and for the first time in my life I didn't feel a thing. I just smiled and went my way. But then later I found myself wishing it was him again. I'm finally ok with it though."
- Secrets from the Sole


"I've always thought that it's important for everyone to be able to access healthcare and to get an education. And I get to be at the forefront of that in this organization I'm in called GlobeMed. Basically, it's a student run non-profit group based out of Northwestern University. We have a chapter here at Rutgers and basically, we run on a partnership model. Every college that has a GlobeMed is parted with a grassroots organization abroad, within a developing country. Here, with our chapter, we have a partner specifically in Uganda, and they are specifically working in education and water sanitation, which is a big part of that. So, on campus, we raise funds through different events that we host and raise awareness through campaigns too."
"Why is this organization so important to you, specifically?"
"GlobeMed is important to me personally because I joined my freshman year, and I'm currently a junior. First semester freshman year, people got me to come out and I took responsibilities straight from the beginning. It really helped me develop as a college student. It also really helped me develop my personal, global perspective too. And next year, I have the privilege, and honor, and burden of being the Co-president. So I will be running the chapter, which is exciting. It's also personal to me, because it started the year before I came here, so it was really in its infancy. I knew all the founders and everything when it first started, and now they've all graduated. I'd seen what it was like then, and it is so different now. And I'm at the head, and people look to me for direction. And it's different and it's scary, but I have a lot of faith in everyone in my chapter."

"I'm a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in March of 2010 when I was 13, so around 8th grade. Everyone from my high school knows and they've been very supportive, but once I got to college, I didn't really tell people. It's not something I felt necessary to tell. If people found out, of course I'd let them know about it, but it's something that I've kept to myself. And even though I've done that and kept it to myself, it's something that I'm very proud of, and something that has changed me."
"In what ways has it changed you?"
"It's made me a better person. I appreciate life a lot more. I go out of my way to do things, go to events, and meet up with friends. I try not to stay in my dorm as much because I think of myself like I was given a second chance, so why not live life, you know? It also made me want to become a nurse or maybe something in the medical field. I definitely want to help people. I go back to my hospital a lot and I talk to the survivors. I have a group that I go to also. I try to volunteer and help them out with anything that they need because I know what it's like to have that experience where like no one else really knows what you're going through. But I know."
"So having gone through something like that yourself, what would you say to someone who is going through it right now?"
"To keep strong. Just to keep strong, and do everything that the doctors tell you to do, because when I was in the hospital, I just stayed in bed. I was alone most of the time, I didn't really want to see everyone. So I tell people, you know, you should definitely look to see people, take a walk around the hospital floor, and never give up."

"I'm a pianist. I probably started at a really young age, you know, stereotypical Asian grandfather forcing you to play piano. And then, he was so strict that I just fell out of it. But then he introduced me to this 1945 drama on Chopin's life when I was in like 8th grade, and I immediately kicked off from there. So now that's probably one of the greatest things I'm passionate about. I could lose anything and everything, and as long as I have the music memorized in my head, I'd still be satisfied in life.
But there was something that just clicked, I guess, some great song that I heard and I felt, "I have to learn this," and I basically wanted to know absolutely anything and everything there was about Frédéric Chopin, who was a Polish composer. So I basically fell in love with everything he's written, and now I wouldn't be the same person without Chopin."
"What does music mean to you?"
"It's the absolute expression of what your emotions are and I think classical music does a lot better job at expressing your emotion than modern music. I'm sure modern music can portray sadness and sorrow, but I think classical music does it in a far deeper, and more touching way that I think modern music would be so afraid to do. I've been the happiest and the most depressed listening to my music and it's touched me in ways that I didn't think could happen. And I'm not trying to bash other music, I just think classical music does your emotions a much better honor in letting you experience all these emotions that you could even be afraid to experience. Like I'd be afraid to experience that kind of depression, but some pieces put you there for like 5 minutes, 10 minutes and it just wakes you up or puts you back in touch with the world."

"Drug addiction constantly reared its ugly head into my family's life for years. It made us feel hopeless. What we didn't realize was that it was creating an unbreakable bond between us. When my brother finally got clean, we could breathe again. My family became everything. I am thankful for everything that's happened to me so far, the good and the bad."
- Secrets from the Sole

"I knew I wanted to do pharmacy back in high school, probably sophomore or junior year. And I knew I wanted Rutgers because I'm from like 15 minutes down the road. So my main goal here is to help people, and I love science so I figured pharmacy would be a great way for me to be in the community and help people out all the time. But then, as I came into school, I realized that there's a lot more options for pharmacists, and so now I'm actually looking forward to being a pediatric pharmacist; so I would help the kids in the hospitals and take care of their medications."

"Clover's been working for me for about 3 and a half years now. She was professionally trained by Canine Partners for Life which is in Pennsylvania, where I'm from. And Clover's main job is cardiac alert; I have a heart condition and she can detect when my blood pressure drops too low, and I would faint. But she can warn me like 3 to 5 minutes beforehand so I can get in a safe position and not fall. She also does things like retrieval. She can pick up anything for me, opens automatic doors and those kinds of things.
We're always together, we live in graduate housing on campus, like never apart. She's what allows me to be independent. I was very sick before I got her, and she's helped improve my quality of life.
A lot of people assume I'm training her, but actually, I have what's called an invisible disability; which is when it's not obvious on the outside, but actually affects my life very deeply. So mine is a brain condition that affects my heart, among other things. But Clover's there, and she takes care of me. And she works for cookies."

"Back in high school, I used to have two glasses of wine every morning before I went to the bus stop."
- Secrets from the Sole

"What's something that you're passionate about?"
"Creating multi-culturalism and diversity through Arts education. I've had to write so many essays about it recently and think about what it means and how it functions in New Brunswick as a community. But I am desperately, desperately passionate about using the Arts to exchange cultures and ideas, and showcase this to people who have never seen one culture and experience it. I'm all about exchanging ideas. We're absolutely not gray, and we're absolutely not black and white; we are a great many colors and we should be those things, and experience each other's cultures.
Currently, my dear friend and I are starting a theater company, and trying to use that theater company to create Arts education as a way for students to learn how to make theater and learn how to be creative. And not just theater, I mean any kind of art; dance, etc., and just learn how to think outside the box about ways that you can have a lot of people come together from different experiences and different cultures to create something really beautiful, that's also free, that anyone can come and enjoy."

"What motivates you?"
"Failure used to motivate me but now, I guess it's not knowing what tomorrow's gonna bring; And the fear of not leaving behind a legacy. Whatever I end up doing, whether it's like my job or something, I want to do something huge.
A teacher once told me back in high school that this is the time that you should try to be selfish. Not to be completely selfish, but to be self-ambitious, and know what you want first. Then better yourself so that if you want to do anything humanitarian or something like that, you've gotten yourself together first so that you can help other people."

"I used to only be able to poo completely naked. No shirt, pants, socks. Not even my undies hanging around my ankles. Had to be as naked as when I was born or nothing would come out."
- Secrets from the Sole

"I'm always trying to help people, so social work is something I'm really passionate about. I'm trying to really work with women and children who have been in abusive situations, but at the same time, I want to find a way where I can help the homeless as well. So if there is a way for me to work with non-profit businesses and have my own type of business, that'd be great. I'm trying to help in every type of aspect."
"How'd you get interested in social work?"
"My friends have been telling me since I've been in fourth grade about the assaults they've encountered, and now I'm a sophomore and I still have friends that are telling me everyday, so social work kind of chose me."

"I wish that I had waited longer before I came to college, because I would've known more when I was 20 than I did when I was 18. I feel like people are just going through the motions and go to college because you feel obligated to go; but if you wait until you know what you're passionate about, then you may be better at it."

"I used to stalk my vice principal in high school. He has a wife and kids, but I would always envision myself as his mistress or something."
- Secrets from the Sole

"I've been pretty consumed with figuring out my life right now. But I want a job that includes helping people and not being at an office."
"What's a goal you're working towards?"
"I'd love to go to Colorado, I love skiing and they have a lot of companies there that are all about sustainability and helping people. And I've always been into hiking and skiing so that kind of sparked the interest; but since I started traveling to Colorado 4 years ago, I've just been wanting to get out there and be outside."

"What's something that not many people know about you?"
"That I can accomplish anything in this world. Because, you know how some people, guidance counselors, they always tell you, 'Oh, I don't think you should go that route,' or you know, they try to plan it for you? Well you can do anything you want if you really wanna do it. You can accomplish anything. Even though I'm a sports management major, if I wanted to be a bio major, I would succeed doing that."

"A couple nights ago, I slept-walked and used my bed as a urinal."
- Secrets from the Sole

"I'm a twin. And I guess even though we do have our differences, my twin brother, he is my best friend. So it's awesome, I get to say that my brother is my best friend. And going through life I've always been with him and now we're going to the same college so we do have each other to support each other so it's very awesome. I do wish we were identical though so we could have a lot more fun like confusing people, but unfortunately we are fraternal... and I was given the better looks."

"I taught Experimental Foods here at Rutgers. It's a senior level nutrition course. I actually wanted to be a chef, but my parents wanted me to go get a 4-year bachelor's so I started taking hotel hospitality classes and made the switch to dietetics because I took one nutrition class and absolutely loved it."
"Why do you think it's important for people to learn about nutrition?"
"Everybody eats and everybody only has one body so you might as well eat as well as you can and take care of yourself to extend your life."

"I started playing tuba in 7th grade because being a big kid, they naturally switch you over to tuba. It wasn't an intention to play tuba. In high school I played a lot, and then in my sophomore year of high school, when they ask you, and you have to start making a decision, I kind of realized that this what I like doing the most. So I was like, 'Why go to college for something I don't want to, or like to do?'"
"What's the most rewarding thing about playing an instrument?"
"Probably playing with other people, making music with other people. Especially when it's a big group of people. You know, you're by yourself working on your one piece of paper, your sheet of music, but you're making something that's a contributing factor. And you don't have to know the people, you don't have to know where they're from or know their name, but it's gonna come out to something that you all want to happen. You can't get latched onto music if you don't have other people who are gonna inspire you."