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more  about Jackie!

Whenever people ask about “my story” (including the Common App), I usually talk about my experiences with anxiety. As much of a struggle my anxiety has been, I think it has largely shaped the person that I am today, and for that I am honestly very grateful. Growing up, I dealt with a lot of personal anxiety, and it peaked around the start of middle school. I had a really difficult time with a lot of aspects of daily life, which made more daunting tasks appear all the more impossible. I couldn’t bring myself to go out, try new things, or venture past the things that were familiar to me. Everything felt too overwhelming and intimidating, and it felt easier to give in to hiding out in my room and sticking to my predictable routine. In this time I fell back a lot on my Christian faith which offered me a lot of comfort and support. I don’t think that my “story” would be complete if I didn’t mention my faith. I’ve since found a lot of ways to deal with my anxiety, to the point where it is now a small thought in the back of my mind rather than the reigning voice that overpowers my logic. My experiences with anxiety have since taught me how to find strength and resilience in times of difficulty, and how not to shy away from the unknown. I now feel as though I owe it to myself to do and try everything that I’ve ever wanted to do and try, without letting my own fears of rejection or unpredictability deter me.

Jackie's Personal Story

Jackie's Hobbies, Passions & Interests

I’ve always really enjoyed creative writing, which is why I’m here today as an English major. I grew up writing a lot with my dad who would help me to revise my work with the genuine intention of getting it published (as he’s also self-published his own work). We haven’t gotten there yet, but I’m sure we will someday. I’m also really interested in art/arts and crafts. My dad has also commented that thinks that I use art as a creative outlet to “get a sense of control of my life.” This may or may not be true. I do a lot of crocheting, painting, drawing/sketching, and sewing. My life sometimes feels like a series of mini passion projects––I have a lot of hyperfixations. I’ve self-taught myself how to play guitar and the ukulele, I like scrapbooking, I enjoy baking (when what I’m making comes out right, which is rare), and I like competitive sports (even though I’m really unathletic). I enjoy spending time with friends and family, whether we’re taking on a mini adventure or going out for a boba run. I’m always down to try something new, and since I’ve been here I’ve gone rock climbing, played intramural soccer, and signed up for water polo (which I’ll probably give up because I learned that you have to be good at swimming first).

  • Creative writing

  • Arts and crafts

  • Guitar and ukulele

  • Scrapbooking and baking

  • Competitive sports

  • Social outings

  • Adventures

Jackie's Personality

I’ve been told that I have a very unique and eccentric personality, which I take as a compliment. I spent a large part of my life being anxious about being liked and not coming across as weird, which caused me to compensate by being even weirder (which doesn’t really make sense). I think I just wanted to own the fact that I could be a little strange and act like I didn’t care about how others viewed me. Now, I’ve come to a point in my life where I’ve accepted the person I am and the fact that the right people will also accept me. I don’t need to overcompensate or peek at how others are perceiving me, which is why the word “eccentric” has stuck with me. I think “eccentric” is a perfect medium for being both a little unconventional and interesting.  


I’ve also been told that I’m very happy-go-lucky and wholesome. I try to be genuine and kind to the people around me, and I hope that I am able to make a positive impact, even in doing the little things. I have a strong moral compass and sense of integrity, which are things that I take a lot of pride in, and they definitely play a huge role in how I view and treat others. I think that I’m pretty outgoing, positive, and talkative, but I also work to be more than just superficially friendly. I hope to make authentic connections and to be able to be someone that others can rely and depend on.

Jackie's Sense of Humor

I would like to think that I’m pretty funny. I think my humor can range from being witty to silly to stupid. In general, I find a lot of things funny so it isn’t difficult to find the humor in everyday life/occurrences. Whether or not people think the same of my humor is another story.

Jackie's Proudest Moment

I’m not totally sure if I have a proudest moment, but I’ve found myself experiencing a lot of proud moments through college (the last few weeks). I honestly worried a lot about myself before college. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to adjust and (honestly) downspiraling and dropping out of school. My concerns were probably a bit dramatic, but I was pretty anti-college nonetheless. I couldn’t imagine myself getting assimilated, and the idea of having a good time was totally out of the picture. But since I’ve gotten here I’ve been really surprised by how well I’m doing. I’ve been able to make a lot of friends from lots of different backgrounds, I’ve found myself genuinely enjoying my classes, and I’ve pushed myself to branch out and try a lot of new things (including KPL!). I’m also proud of myself for being able to stay in regular contact with my friends and family. I know that I am personally not great at staying in communication with people that aren’t in my immediate vicinity, and so I worried about staying close with people from back at home. But I’ve actually been able to talk and connect very frequently with my family and friends, and in more intimate ways than before.

Jackie's Perfect Day

My perfect day would start at 8am. I would call myself a morning person––I think I am most productive in the morning. I think a good start to the morning determines a good rest of my day. I would get up early and meet my friends at Celebrity Bagels, the local bagel shop in our town. We would all get our bagels and then walk over to the bus stop where we would take the transit bus into New York City. We would walk around the city and then head over to the Met where we would get discounted tickets as NJ students. We would spend at least three hours roaming the Met before heading off to a nearby grocery store. We would get sandwiches and fruit and have a mini picnic at Central Park. We would swing by Magnolia Bakery before heading back home on the bus. Once we’re back home, we’ll force our designated driver to take us to the beach for a few hours. Maybe we’ll grab dinner somewhere near the boardwalk before heading back home. Once I’m home, I’ll drive my sister out to get Gong Cha. Driving to Gong Cha at night with the windows down and her music blasting is probably our favorite bonding activity. That would be my perfect day.

Values, goals, challenges!

Top Values/ Principles

In every situation, I always try to do the “right thing,” which isn’t always easy because “right” is so subjective and not everyone will always agree with you. To me, being a good person is most important. I don’t think that there is an explicit path to being “good” or doing the “right” thing, but I think it is most important that one’s intentions are in the right place. I also stand by remaining true to oneself. Honestly, I did have some concerns coming into college, because I’ve heard so many stories about how people “lose themselves.” College is accompanied by lots of new/different experiences and influences, and it can be easy to lose sight of what you really value at the end of the day. This isn’t to say that change is a bad thing. In fact, I’m excited to be shaped as an individual by everything I will experience here and in college. But I think it’s important to remember the people that we are and to hold onto the roots of our identity.

who do you look up to?

In a weird way, I think I look up to my younger sister a lot. As her older sister, it’s definitely easy to see her flaws and shortcomings, and she often comes to me for advice (even now while I’m in college…). But in a lot of other ways, I really admire aspects of her personality/her talents that I don’t have. Between the two of us, she’s always been the more outgoing and courageous one. I used to be envious of the fact that she seemed to be able to make friends so easily and because she always seemed to get all the attention. But throughout high school, as we’ve grown closer and established our own (as well as overlapping) academic/social/extracurricular spheres, I’ve seen her flourish in ways that have allowed me to feel both pride and admiration. She has a kind heart and a willingness to serve others, and the fact that I’ve also seen some of the tougher moments of her life has made her all the more resilient in my eyes.

Academic/ Career/ Life Goals

3 areas for Personal Growth

Approach to conflict

I think my dream job would be to be a full-time author. But I know how difficult it is to “make it” out there as a writer, especially in a stem-headed world. So I’ve compromised by majoring in English in a stem school. I never would’ve imagined myself at a stem school like CMU, but I wanted to push myself to get immersed in the stem scene. In general, I think I’m a pretty curious person––I’m interested in a lot of different things and academic fields––and so I want to try to dabble in different subjects. My goal for now is to try as many new things as possible and to see what I like so that I can hopefully find a major (and then a career) that I can fall in love with. 

I would like to work on my independence. I know that I’ve been very dependent on others throughout my life, and I hope that I can learn how to enjoy my sole presence while in college. College has also already presented me with several opportunities to learn more about life skills like bus-ing around, doing my laundry, cleaning my bathroom, and (maybe?) cooking.

I would also like to work on not trying to people please as much. I would like to be able to hold my ground more and not allow myself to make my opinions/wants secondary to the opinions/wants of others. I want to push myself to be able to state more of my opinions, and to be able to do so in a respectful and honest way.

I would also like to continue working on accepting and loving myself as I am. In meeting so many different people with so many different styles, backgrounds, personalities, etc., I've felt more inspired to continue building my own unique identity. 

I rarely find myself in conflict with others because of my people-pleaser tendencies (probably not very good…), but when I do, I generally approach them in a very straightforward manner. I’m a firm believer of clear communication, and I try to handle difficult situations as respectfully and directly as possible. I find it unnecessarily messy and disrespectful to involve other people into conflicts that only really involve myself and another person. I also work to understand the feelings and perspectives of other people by being open-minded and patient, and I would like for the other person to be able to do the same.

Dealing with stress and/or frustration


I don’t think that I handle stress and/or frustration very well, especially when it comes to schoolwork and more trivial things. I have a tendency to put off my tasks to the point where they build up and become a bit overwhelming. In complete honesty, the way I deal with this type of stress looks a lot like a toddler’s tantrum, but it usually helps to get the frustration out of my system so that I can get back to work. But more generally, I can be a pretty anxious person and have dealt with anxiety throughout the majority of my life. I’ll usually need a couple of moments to compose myself, and distracting/calming activities also help.

I try to be very straightforward in my communication. But because I also tend to people-please/avoid conflict, I frequently sugarcoat (excessively) my words which can get in the way of more honest conversation. But because I’m also a sensitive person, I would hope that whomever I am talking to can also have the courtesy of being a little sugar-coat-y with their words. I expect others (and myself) to be respectful, patient, and truthful about what they think and feel. I believe that I can take honesty fairly well as long as the person who is speaking truths into my life is doing it from a place of good intention.

Personalities or characteristics

I think I tend to get along better with people that have more similar personality types/values to me. I look for friends who are easy-going, humorous, and overall kind people. I think I can get easily intimidated by others, and so people that are very friendly outright generally make me feel more at ease. I tend to “clash” more with people that are more reserved/”cold-appearing” because I feel less able to approach them. As I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, I appreciate when others are open about who they are and how they feel.

What qualities do you value or appreciate most in a person?

I really value integrity, kindness, and good intentions in other people. I think that those traits can tell me a lot about what kind of person someone is. At the end of the day, I like to surround myself around positive, kind, loving, and caring people, because I believe that good company makes good character. And I would like to know that the people that I interact with and hang around care about me and have my best interests at heart. I also really appreciate when people are patient and empathetic. Other people’s willingness to understand my feelings and viewpoints shows me how much they care about me and what I have to say.

Getting to know jackie 
as a pnm!

Why do you want to join Kappa Phi Lambda?
What do you hope to gain from being a part of Kappa Phi Lambda?
What are you looking for in a Big Sister? 
What kind of support do you hope to receive from your line sisters, Active Sisters, Alum, etc.?
Do you have any goals you would like to accomplish as a PNM or future Sister?
What do you hope to contribute to Kappa Phi Lambda?
How would you want to use your platform as a Sister of Kappa Phi Lambda?
Are you more of a leader or follower? Why?
What are some of your strengths? Weaknesses?

As I’ve explained before, my roommate and I actually walked into a KPL event by accident––a happy accident. But since then, I’ve come to understand more and more about what KPL is about and what it means to a part of its community. I never would’ve imagined myself rushing, and I’m sure that my friends from back home would’ve said the same of me, but KPL is nothing like the intimidating sorority groups that I’ve seen on TV. If anything, KPL has proven itself to be a close-knit community of kind, welcoming girls. I can see KPL becoming a comfortable family that I can fall back on. In these ways KPL stood out to me as being something special and unique. It also reminded me a lot of some of the peer groups that I was a part of back at home, and I hope that KPL will be able to be a similarly wonderful community for me now in college. I also really liked the fact that KPL catered to Asian students at CMU. Some of the cultural aspects of KPL remind me a lot of home, and it’s been comforting to some familiarity while at college.

I hope to make a lot of close friends in Kappa Phi Lambda. I think what really sold KPL for me was the experiences that some of the older members shared with me. Many members told me about how they felt like they were able to be themselves and were able to feel at home at KPL. I hope to also be able to experience the same type of connection and support. I also look forward to getting to know more upperclassmen, especially those outside of my major. I’ve found it difficult to make many connections with others (especially upperclassmen and students outside of my college), and so I hope that KPL will also offer me a lot of social opportunities. I also hope to learn a lot from the sisters in terms of college and life experiences.

I’ve honestly always wanted an older sibling or even an older upperclassman role model. As the oldest of three, I’ve always been sought as the advice giver and the “responsible one.” And as a freshman in high school when the COVID pandemic struck, I never really had the opportunity to get to know/reach out to upperclassmen. I hope to be able to find a Big Sister that can be a role model to me. Some qualities/traits that I would prefer from a Big Sister is someone who is kind, patient, easy-going, and down to earth. Someone that I could easily connect with and seek for advice/guidance. I hope that I will be able to meet/hang out with them and text them comfortably.

I would like for KPL to become a support system for me through college. I hope for my line sisters and the Active Sisters to become friendly, comforting faces that I can see both on and off of campus. I hope to be able to gain some advice and insight into college and future careers, and even hear of potential career/internship opportunities, from some of the more experienced members and Alum. Even on a smaller scale, I would like to just be able to fall back on a tight-knit community of genuine girls if I’ve had a bad day.

I would like to make KPL really feel like a second home to me. Although I am excited, I am definitely still a little nervous/intimidated about what it means to immerse myself into a new group. In making my bid decision, I knew that accepting the bid would be a bit of a leap of faith. I never imagined joining a sorority, but I knew that the later rewards would make the whole process totally worth it. I hope to be able to contribute my full self to KPL however I can. I hope to be as welcoming, friendly, and loving as everyone has been towards me.

I hope to be a positive light and a friend to all in Kappa Phi Lambda. I want to be able to brighten other people’s days and encourage/support others however I can, even if it’s merely through a stupid joke or hearing about their day. I also hope to be an active member in all of KPL’s events and fundraisers. I really enjoy taking an intentional part in all of my communities and bringing excitement and energy to whatever is going on (voted most school spirit in high school!). I am excited to be a proud member of KPL.

I would use my platform as a Sister of Kappa Phi Lambda to continue to make connections with those connected to KPL to forge authentic friendships/relationships and opportunities for future networking. I have also taken a lot of interest in the fundraising/humanitarian aspects of KPL which I would like to partake in. I would also like to encourage others to take interest in KPL and what it stands for. I take a lot of pride in the communities/organizations that I am a part of, and I believe that the greatest way to advocate for a cause is to live out its mission––to allow your actions to speak louder than your words and sharing your love with others. 

I think that because I can be more talkative I tend to be more of a leader in a group setting. I will also admit that I can be a bit of a control freak which usually puts me in a position of “leadership” in (for example) group projects. Through high school I found myself in a lot of leadership positions but that was most likely because of my investment in the groups that I was a part of. I enjoy taking active part in the communities and organizations that I participate in because I usually care a lot about the missions of these groups. My commitments (time and effort wise) have naturally put me in situations where I’ve had degrees of responsibility and “power.”

I think my strengths include my positivity, my kindness, and my willingness to try new things. I think that I am generally a positive contributor to the communities that I am a part of. I believe that I am a good friend and a dependable person. I think my weaknesses include my awkwardness and the fact that I am easily intimidated. I worry that I sometimes deter people or cause them to think that I’m uninterested in them because I can be awkward. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time for me to become comfortable with other people. I think that I also have a difficult time saying “no” to others, which can cause me to spread myself too thin (but I usually do genuinely want to do whatever others ask of me!). 

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