By Jenna Deuble
Highlight of your college career and how did you get there?
The highlight of my college career has been living in New York City for my fall semester junior year being an intern. My apartment was in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, fifteen minutes from Central Park and a quick walk to the subway. I was out there interning for both a film festival called VAEFF (Video Art and Experimental Film Festival) and PEN America, a nonprofit organization that works to amplify the voices of under-represented authors. Both of those experiences were the best of my life, generated a lot of networking opportunities and taught me so much about the two industries I’m so passionate about. My college works with a program called the New York Arts Program (NYAP) and I was able to apply and get into the program with a bunch of other college aged creatives. It was the best experience of my life and I would love to return to New York someday (hopefully soon!)
What advice would you give to current high school students?
I have a few pieces of advice. The first one is super cliche, but cliches are cliches for a reason. Be yourself. There is a lot of pressure in high school to fit in but there is such a freedom in college to finally become who you are meant to be that you have to take advantage of this opportunity to embrace the parts of yourself that might have been dulled. I also think that it is important to get out of your comfort zone. Get out of Ohio. And most importantly, make memories. College is full of experiences that you can only get there so take every opportunity to live life.
What is it like to have a twin?
Having a twin is one of those things that I have changed my view on over the years. When I was at Arlington, there was a lot of comparison between the two of us so it was hard to feel like an individual. But, as I have gotten older and more independent, I have embraced the fact that I have a built-in best friend in my brother, Noah. He is married now which is wild because we are the same age and at such different points in our lives but we have still stayed really close and I will always cherish that.
Would you say traveling has changed your perspective in the world? How has it changed?
Traveling has absolutely changed my perspective on the world. There is something so important in experiencing other cultures, meeting new people with different life experiences and developing a sense of independence. I went on a cross-country road trip with my best friend from college, traveling from Ohio to Portland, Oregon. On this trip, I saw so much of the country, seeing new landscapes and visiting National Parks, meeting so many interesting people along. the way. It inspired me in my art and it deepened my empathy for others. I think it is so valuable to take chances and live life to the fullest. Life is too short to not take chances and make memories that push you out of your comfort zone.
What do you miss most about Arlington?
When I think about my fondest memories at Arlington, I always think about sitting in the back of Mrs. Barger’s classroom with her chatting about life. Those conversations are some of the goofiest and more impactful conversations I’ve had and I miss those moments dearly. Mrs. Barger is the reason that I am where I am today and I can’t thank her enough for everything she has done for me.
Who has been your mentor throughout your lifetime?
Reiterating my last answer, throughout my entire lifetime, Mrs. Barger has been my biggest support and best mentor. She is the reason I became a writer, she is the reason that I have embraced myself in my most genuine form and she is the reason that I have gotten so far in my passions. She is honest and caring and genuine, she has been my biggest support and pushes me to be a better person as well as creator. I am so lucky to not only know her, but have her as such an integral part of my life.