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Seniors of CPS: Julian C.

Interview conducted by William C.

I meet Julian in front of the dance studio. We talk and laugh about Guys Dance and he gives me tips on overcoming junior year academic challenges. 

William: So what’s something you’re passionate about?

Julian: I am passionate about music and art. I think it's just such a great way to take your mind off a stressful day, but also, music shapes the way you think about things. It allows you to approach problems in different ways. I think I've learned a lot about how to collaborate with people through orchestra and chamber music, but also, I do cello, but I also dance, so that also necessitates a lot of collaboration that you know, you have to hold on to people so they don't fall. There’s that literal like physical trust, but there's also kind of like a mental trust that goes with that music.

William: I see. And what about your solo performances? Do you have that same trust with yourself? 

Julian: That's a good question. Um, I think yeah, you really do need to trust yourself in order for personal performances. I honestly prefer more like the collaborative performances, groups of three or four. But in terms of solo performance, I think it can be harder to actually trust yourself to trust others. But to really unlock that deeper meaning because really, music at its core is romantic. It's emotional. And so you need to be able to unlock that deeper layer.

William: That’s really cool! And to extend question one, what's one of your favorite songs?

Julian: Okay. I'm trying to think of one that I can say here (laughs). You know, I, one of my favorite songs... I’ll look at my Spotify actually. So yeah, I will say one of my favorite songs right now is “California and Me” by Laufey. It's not really congruous with the rest of the music I listen to, I really listen to Kpop and pop. And this is a very chill, piano, nice, very beautiful song. But I'm just thinking you know, it's just a really nice song. And the lyrics are a lot more meaningful now that, well I've lived in the same house since I was born. I've never moved. I've never really spent any time away from California and college is gonna be the first time I move. And so if it is what I'm planning, hopefully it is, it might be pretty far away from California. I'm going to certainly miss a lot about California. That's what the song’s been kind of making me think of.

William: Yeah, that’s so fascinating. So, what’s one item on your bucket list?

Julian: I want to go to the snow. I've gone to the snow once before. Can't say, I've been to Tahoe once and now I'm being asked to help lead the snow trip (chuckles nervously). So it's gonna be quite a learning curve there. I think Spirit does the snow trip. I'm actually not sure. I think we do. But I think something on my bucket list, yes, is to go snowboarding or go to the snow and really kind of immerse myself in it.

William: Just anywhere snowy, convenient to get to?

Julian: Maybe like a place with nice snow, not like slushy, New York, New Jersey snow. I did go there once and it was really quite depressing. 

William: Okay,  how have you changed during your time at College Prep? 

Julian: (Thinks). I’ll attack that on kind of a personal side and an academic side. I think in terms of an academic side, I'm going to value the importance of writing, good writing, and what that means, because anybody can have the best ideas, right? They can be the smartest person in the world. But if they can't articulate that, through clear writing to others, what's the point of that? Right, it's just for yourself. So then, yeah, just like being able to write well has really transformed the way I see things. I think, very much this year actually, the way I've transformed or the biggest thing that's changed in me is that I think I'm seeing myself more as a leader in terms of like, well, I guess I never saw myself as the type of person who would help lead a freshman retreat, right? Or be on Spirit or anything like that. And you know, I am not actually the type of person you'd expect to be that. But I think I've kind of been put into those situations and really found a new type of leadership, you know, that type of more social leadership on campus and I think it's good. Anyway, I guess in terms of other… what was the question? I am kind of rambling right now. 

William: (laughs) How have you changed. 

Julian: I’ve grown a tiny bit taller, my eyes have gotten worse (laughs). And yeah, I think it also depends. When I was in seventh grade, I had like an obnoxious amount of energy. And I was like, actually quite not a great student. I would talk a lot in class when I wasn't supposed to. And then over COVID I became actually really like introverted. So I went from probably like 80% extroverted to, solid  60% introverted, and I think it now kind of balanced out. I still consider myself an extrovert but it's, it's well, just more mature.

William: Did dance play a big part in your transformation at CPS? 

Julian: I think I would say yes. It's funny because if you talk to anybody in middle school, they wouldn't know that I did dance. I didn't advertise that. I think part of that was more kind of like an embarrassing thing. Maybe. But now I mean, obviously here I'm known as a dancer, and less as a cello player. And even less as a singer even though I am in a chorus. I competed at an international festival, we got second place actually, so we did not do too bad there. But my point is that my identity as a dancer has become increasingly core to who I am. 

William: Yeah, thank you for that insight!  And what’s your favorite memory at CPS? 

Julian: (Heeheehee) I told you about it right before this, and now I don’t know what to say. I will say one of my favorite memories, recently has been freshman retreat. Hosting freshman retreat. I was almost not going to because I was going to visit my grandparents and I changed that because I decided it's a good idea. Let's do it. And just like I mean, I never got freshman retreat, right, so that was one of the reasons why I wanted to host. But beyond that, it was just kind of amazing to see. These, this class comes in. Everyone's new, everyone wants to make friends and they just  clicked really nicely. They're just good people. And, you know, I think when I was a sophomore for like three months, I would say I still feel like a freshman. And as a junior until like November, I would still feel like a sophomore. But I came into senior year, feeling like a senior. I think largely that's because of the freshmen you treat, like I felt I get plunged into that situation of having to lead having to really be on for the whole time like you can't show a moment of aloofness really. That really plunged me right into it and I just kind of enjoyed seeing them and you know, there were moments where I was able to kind of nudge some kids closer and now I see they're friends on campus and they're eating lunch together. I was like, yes! Those are my freshmen. My freshmen. Yeah. I think that's one of my favorite moments.

William: Yeah, thank you so much for your time!

Julian: Of course, I look forward to reading your article. 


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