Interview by Kandace Fung '19
CONTENT WARNING: suicide
Darlene Nguyen '19
TSV: Where are you from?
DN: I’m from San Carlos. I’ve pretty much lived there my entire life. San Carlos is in the Bay Area right in between San Mateo and Redwood City. I’ve grown up there, and I went to school in Atherton for high school, which is close [to] Palo Alto.
TSV: What do you miss most about home?
DN: Definitely my dog, that was easy. It’s kind of bad, but I don’t miss my parents as much as my dog.
TSV: What’s her name?
DN: Her name is Sassy. I named her when I was six. I had this vision that I was gonna name my dog Sassy, so when I got her when I was thirteen, I was like, her name has to be Sassy. Even though I didn’t feel the same way about the name.
TSV: What kind of dog?
DN: She’s a Yorkie.
TSV: Tell me about your family.
DN: I’m an only child. I’m full Vietnamese; both my parents are Vietnamese.
TSV: What is your favorite thing to do with your family?
DN: We like watching this show called “How it’s Made,” [which is] on the science channel. Basically, they show you how to make weird things from pencils to pudding. We watch that as a family. We’re like, “Oh yeah, that’s so cool!” Things like that.
TSV: What is your favorite pastime, interests, hobbies?
DN: Favorite pastime? I really just like hanging out with my friends. I mean, I’m pretty extroverted so I don’t need that much alone time. And sometimes I like being alone, but it’s usually like watching a TV show, and if a friend watches the same TV show, I’d rather watch it with them. So spending time with my friends usually.
TSV: Why did you choose Scripps?
DN: For a lot of reasons. I was deciding between Scripps and another private school that was a little bigger, but I chose Scripps ultimately because, well, I talked to a lot of alumni, and they could not stop saying great things about it. And the consortium was a big thing for me — how it can be a small community when you want it to be, but a bigger one when you want it to be. And how small the classes are because I really need that one-on-one time with the teacher. And I never thought I would end up at an all girls’ school, I mean it’s not really all girls, because there are guys like everywhere on Scripps’ campus all the time, but I never thought I would even apply to a women’s college, and here I am!
TSV: What is your intended major?
DN: Right now I’m thinking about human biology, but I’m not sure. I know it’s subject to change, but I really liked anatomy and physiology in high school, so yeah, kinda in that area.
TSV: What are you most looking forward to at Scripps?
DN: I’m looking forward to just meeting more people. I know that I’ve heard your best friends are made in high school and college, and so I’m excited a bit to find more friends and getting to know my teachers especially. I love creating a relationship with my teacher.
TSV: What are you most worried about starting college?
DN: Well before, I was really worried about not being able to make friends, because I like literally can’t survive without people around me, but since I’ve made a few friends since then, that’s not really scary anymore. I have to say keeping my grades up because AISS is really hard so far. And I’ve always, like I’m the person who has to study to get good grades, and it never came naturally to me… like I have to work my butt off to get A’s in school. But I’ve heard that college is a little bit different because you shouldn’t expect to get A’s in every class anymore – and that really freaks me out.
TSV: What’s the hardest challenge you had to overcome?
DN: Okay...I’m going to get a little deep here. The hardest personal challenge I’ve had to overcome was when one of my best friends committed suicide last year in October, so kind of close to around this time now. But that was just super hard for me, as you can expect. I mean, it like, it was never something I thought I would ever go through. And I would never wish that upon my worst enemy; I don’t even have enemies. But, it was just really, really hard.
TSV: Has it changed the way you look at things?
DN: I think a little, yeah, just to appreciate life for what it is. I mean, I’m really, really happy with everything I’m doing right now and happy with the people in my life right now. And just, it taught me how to be there for other people, too, because so many people were there for me when I was having a really hard time, and I feel like that has made me a better friend in a way, too.
TSV: If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you want to do?
DN: Oh geez...what would I wanna do? Okay, this has been a problem ever since I was little, like if I liked a guy, I would never tell him that I liked him, so if I knew I couldn’t fail, I would tell like every guy that I’ve ever liked that I liked him. And for the future. I’m like a super timid thing.
TSV: Where do you see yourself in about 10-20 years?
DN: I’m not really sure. If I decide to go to medical school, I guess I’d be doing my residency. Wait, four years for medical school, then a couple more years for residency. I don’t know. Maybe perhaps practicing medicine. Hopefully I’d have a husband or possibly a family. I know it’s kind of hard to do and manage if I’m working at a hospital, but I’m not really sure if I wanna go to med school or not. I’m still feeling things out. I’m not really sure, but I guess that’s kinda the beauty of it.
TSV: Who’s your role model?
DN: I don’t know if I have a role model. I mean I don’t think there is one single person that is absolutely perfect, but I’m very inspired by a lot of different people so I wouldn’t say I have one single role model, but there are aspects of a lot of people that I like.
TSV: So who has inspired you?
DN: I know a lot of people would be like “oh this celebrity or this famous person,” but I just say the people around me in my everyday life, like my family, my friends. I mean I spend most of my time with them, so I think they have the greatest influence on me.
TSV: What’s your perfect day?
DN: My perfect day…that’s a hard one. Well, I’m an early bird so waking up early, but naturally, I hate waking up to alarms. They really just stress me, but the sun is shining bright and I don’t have anything to do that day. I don't have to go to class or do homework or anything or like study. I’m stress-free, and probablyjust hanging out with my friends, having a chill time would be the perfect day.
TSV: What is your favorite genre of music?
DN: I just like pop music, anything that’s on the radio, really. I’m a super mainstream person when it comes to that sort of thing.
TSV: What is your favorite fragrance/aroma?
DN: Okay, I like really fresh smelling things, so the perfume that I use is DKNY Beautilicious, Green Apple. And it just smells really fresh and kinda like apples I guess. But one of my favorite scents is cleaning supplies. It sounds super weird. I don’t know what that one thing is called but it’s on wood. It’s some solution that you use to clean wood, and it smells like lemons. And it smells so good to me. It’s super weird but I love it. It smells clean and fresh.
TSV: What is one of the most important aspects of your life?
DN: There are a lot for sure, but I think the biggest one would be honesty. I think it’s important to build relationships upon honesty. If anything, if you build a relationship upon a lie, it’s just not healthy, so I think it’s important to be just honest with everything I do.