What made you decide to come to Pitt from California?
I lived in California my whole life before leaving for college. I wanted to experience something new and gain some independence. I really wanted to see a new city that had a unique culture and get away from everything comfortable and familiar for four years. It also makes me appreciate home so much more, especially my mom's cooking.
How has the weather adjustment been?
Before living in Pittsburgh I didn't really know what `the cold' was. When I first moved into Sutherland Hall my `winter clothes' consisted of sweatshirts and a ski jacket. After the first snowfall, I took pictures of everything covered in snow. Two weeks later, I refused to leave my toasty dorm room except for class and to eat. The first winter was rough, but I've learned that a warm scarf makes all the difference.
What do you miss most about California?
This is going to sound strange, but I miss recycling. People look at me funny when I ask if they recycle in Pittsburgh. At home it's second nature. I guess I'm an environmentalist, but I think it's really important to recycle and try to minimize the waste we produce. I also miss the freedom of having a car.
What is your favorite thing about the city of Pittsburgh?
I love how many museums and art exhibits there are in such a close proximity. I went to the Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Museum and The Mattress Factory for an art class during my freshman year. I like going back to see new, temporary exhibits when I have some free time.
Do you have any siblings? Do they play tennis?
I have a brother who is five years older than I am. Although he doesn't play tennis anymore, my brother played in high school. He also participated in a few tournaments before leaving for college. He now plays against our dad when he goes home to visit.
You are a neuroscience major. Is it hard to balance tennis, classes and research?
Balancing school, tennis and extracurricular activities can definitely be tough at times. I don't have much time for leisure activities during the school year, and I'm constantly looking forward to the weekend. My days are pretty packed from morning until night, and weekends are usually filled with tennis or studying. Holidays are the best!
What are your favorite study spots at Pitt?
There's a study area in the Student Union that I discovered this past year that I like to study in. On the weekends, I try to get a classroom in David Lawrence Hall. The chalkboards at DL work wonders.
What do you like to do in Pittsburgh when you're not studying or playing tennis?
I like to explore. I try to find the best hole in the wall, mom and pop restaurants or little shops. I also like going to the museums around Pittsburgh and finding my creative side.
Where is your favorite place to shop in Pittsburgh?
Lately, now that I have some more free time in the summer, I've been making frequent trips to the Goodwill store on the Southside. It sounds crazy, but I buy the ugliest jeans I can find and cut them up, distress them, and turn them into high-waist jean shorts. Sometimes if I'm feeling crafty I'll add some studs or bleach them too.
What is your favorite Pitt sport to watch, other than tennis? Who is your favorite player?
I live with four soccer players, so I watch a lot of soccer games. Going to wrestling matches and gymnastics meets are also fun. I can't say that I have one favorite athlete. People are unique in their own ways.