Interview Conducted by Sofia R.
11:05 a.m: It’s a Tuesday morning, and students are still waking up, in denial that the long weekend is over. The grass is wet but the sun is shining, so Samia waits for me in the courtyard - absorbing the sun before it finally fades to cloud and rain. I’m running late, so, once I arrive, we wander to a bench near the sculpture, sitting down in the shade, but we can still admire the sun and nature surrounding us. The small talk has started. I click record. Welcome Samia. The interview has begun.
Sofia: Okay, this is hopefully working? (turning on recording app on her phone)
Samia: Oh shoot it transcribes it for you. Am I not allowed to curse?
Sofia: (laughs) That’s fine. Okay, cool. What's up? That's not one of the questions.
Samia: Oh, okay, I got here so late today. I just got here five minutes ago, because I had no class this morning. I have one class, math, and then I'm going home at literally 1:15.
Sofia: Why are you here?
Samia: Well I’m doing this interview! And hang out with people, and go home, and not feel like I literally show up at noon and then leave at one.
Sofia: Okay, well, the not-so-first question is, what's something you're passionate about?
Samia: (laughs) I would say that I'm really passionate about, well, okay, we'll go the fun route with this one. I am gonna say that I'm very passionate about acting. I'm in the school play this fall, which is very exciting, and I've been in a couple of the other ones and it's something that I really love to do. And I love the College Prep drama program. And I'm really passionate about all the people in it. And all the people that I get to work with in performance and in tech, so I just love doing that.
Sofia: Have you been doing it for like - did you start at CPS?
Samia: No, I've been acting since I was five and I worked with Castro Valley Dramatic Arts Academy in Castro Valley where I live until the end.
(friends walk up mid-interview - partake in brief conversation)
Samia: (laughs) Anyways, I did that until I was– until eighth grade, and then I started doing this sophomore year.
Sofia: Nice! Okay, what's one of your favorite songs?
Samia: Oh, goodness. I have so many. Right now, I'm listening to the Black Album by Jay-Z. So my favorite song after that album is called Lucifer but I also really like Public Service Announcement. And What More Can I Say. Amazing. He's amazing. I love it so much.
Sofia: What's one item on your bucket list? It can be as big or as little as you want.
Samia: Okay, I really want to go back to India. I've only been one time. And the one time I went it went not so well. So I want to go back. I want to see some family. I want to hang out. I want to do some things there that I didn't get a chance to do the first time we went. So yeah, hopefully, that happens sometime in the future.
Sofia: Nice. Is there anything in particular you want to do there?
Samia: No, I want to go back to Punjab and like see the family that lives there and then I want to go - we didn't get a chance to go to Mumbai last time. So I wanna go there.
Sofia: Okay, getting into the sentimental questions.
Samia: Oh, no!
Sofia: How have you changed during your time at College Prep?
Samia: (full of spite) This is an interesting question. I would say when I started at College Prep, I had a very idealized and romanticized version of myself and this school. And I think it's not a bad thing. Like it might sound like a bad thing, but it's not a bad thing. I just think that being here has given me a more realistic sense of transitioning from middle school to college and that in-between-period, realistically, how do I manage my workload? How do I do a work-life balance that's healthy? How do I kind of like figure out who I want to be in certain situations that isn't necessarily super romanticized or idealized or perfect, sometimes things are gonna suck? (laughs) And you are not here at College Prep, but it's not like a bad thing. It's just more something that you can take moving forward and in the rest of your life.
Sofia: Ok, last but not least. What was one of your favorite College Prep memories?
Samia: I would say, mmmmhmm, I had a really good time on junior retreat and junior retreat was interesting because my sophomore year was kind of bad. And then junior retreat was like right at the beginning of junior year, and the way that junior retreat is framed, especially for the Class of ‘24 I feel like was very interesting, because it really truly felt like I did not know most of the people that I went into that retreat with. And it was over half of the people where I was like, I'm not even familiar with you, because I think we were just so isolated. And so it was kind of interesting to get a chance to like go and meet people and to do the speed dating and all those other things. Spoiler alert! But yeah, getting a chance to spend that retreat, talking to a lot of people that I didn't know that I hadn't even really met, I would say was really lovely. And obviously, it was super fun. The ropes course was interesting, but we ate a lot of good food and it was great.
Sofia: What did you do during junior retreat?
Samia: (laughing) Just, we - so there's a ropes course. It's not a ropes course. But you do rope stuff. And then you like come back and there's this one exercise. I don't know if they're gonna keep it like this. But there's just one exercise where you get paired up with a random person. The idea is that it's somebody that you don't know at all. So I was with somebody that I didn't know at all. And then there's this box of questions that are like, personal questions, and you ask the other person these questions and then you get to know them a little bit. It's a little interesting. And then the speed dating, which is basically just you have a thirty-second conversation with everybody in your grade.
Sofia: Oh my god.
Samia: Yeah, it's huge. It's really intense. It's these giant concentric circles and you just have a conversation with every single person and you have to tell them one thing that you appreciate about them. And the hope is that you get a chance to talk to all 90 people or however many. And then we did skits and then we did a little campfire. And we had a little talent show. Yeah, we just hung out, it was fun.