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Welcome to the Athena Blog!

Ever wonder what life as a college student is like? Join Athena’s bloggers as they share their life experiences at top universities. Students at Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, UPenn, UC Berkeley (and more coming!), will write articles and share tips for high-school students.

We encourage you to comment on their articles below. They will keep your comments in mind while composing future articles! Happy reading!


Meet our Bloggers!

Arnav Joshi, Princeton, Doon School 

Hi! My name is Arnav Joshi, and I am an undergraduate student at Princeton University. I just started college as a freshman after graduating from The Doon School in May 2014. During my high-school years, I was extensively involved in Public Speaking, Model United Nations, and debating in international conferences/competitions. I also served as the school’s Yoga boy-in-charge and my house’s athletics captain, which drove me and kept me fit and healthy. I also have an avid interest in the Romance languages and therefore pursued French at an advanced level in high school.

After joining Princeton, I have continued to pursue my interest in Model United Nations simulations and international relations by joining the International Relations Council (IRC) and the Princeton Model United Nations Team (PMUNT).

In my free time, I love to read poetry and fiction, jog, swim and find out more about topics ranging from international relations and politics to scientific and mathematical advancements/research. Sometimes, I also like to write short poems or take walks with my friends around Princeton to check out new cafes/restaurants on Nassau street.

kenny tao
Kenny Tao, Harvard

My name is Kenny Tao and I’m a freshman at Harvard University. I’m from San Jose, California, and I don’t feel quite prepared for this upcoming New England winter despite spending two of my high school years at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. I graduated from Cupertino High in San Jose, and while pursuing my academic career, have also been playing tennis for the last 13 years of my life.

I worked with Rahul to prepare for the much dreaded SAT test, and despite being scared witless at his cynical and methodical picking apart of my essays, I realized his challenges helped to improve the way I organized my thoughts in my writing as well as in my speech.

Vivian Jair, UPenn

Hello everyone! I’m Vivian Jair, and I am a current freshman (Class of 2018) at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. I plan on dual-concentrating in Management and Finance, as well as minoring in English during my time here. I grew up in the sunny suburbs of Fremont, California, and graduated from Mission San Jose High School in June 2014. Back in high school, I worked on multiple publications, including the Smoke Signal newspaper and Phoenix Art and Literary Magazine, as well as interned with the California Assembly-member Bill Quirk. At Penn, I’m continuing to work with publications such as the Wharton International Business Review and the Penn Undergraduate Law Journal, all while continuing my aspirations to publish a novel.I actually met Rahul through a unique experience – I attended a college-preparation conference in which he was one of the guest speakers, and personally talked to him afterwards. It was from then on that he became my mentor, inspiring me through incredibly insightful passages and discussions about yin-and-yang, sciences versus the arts, and the concept behind stories. novel.

Michael Kim, Stanford

My name is Michael Kim, and I am a sophomore at Stanford University. I grew up in San Jose, California and graduated from Bellarmine College Preparatory. In high school, I was very involved in social justice – one of the tenants of Jesuit education. I spent two summers as a volunteer in Paraguay and Oaxaca with Amigos de las Americas, and went on to co-direct the Santa Clara Valley Amigos chapter. In college, I’ve been involved in student government, and recently flew out with a few other students to represent Stanford in New York, as a member of the Student Alumni Council. I work at the Center for Latin American Studies to keep my Spanish in shape, and am a research assistant for a Philosophy professor. I’m majoring in Computer Science + English, a new joint major program at Stanford that really embraces both the sciences and the humanities.One day, an instructor named Rahul came to my SAT class as a substitute the week before the actual exam. He challenged us to best his score, and offered a reward for anyone who did so. After getting my reward, I became Rahul’s mentee and friend. He helped me with my Stanford application essays, and is the most thoughtful person I know.

Rupa Subramaniam, UC Berkeley

Hello! My name is Rupa Subramaniam, and I’m a fourth-year student with UC Berkeley’s Haas undergraduate business program. In the past few years, I have worked as an editor for The Daily Californian and currently serve as president of a pre-law fraternity and as a justice on the campus nine-member Judicial Council.After graduating this May, I intend to apply my basic knowledge of Arabic to working in the Middle East for a year, and down the road I hope to specialize in international or human rights law. In my spare time, I enjoy reading about the Supreme Court, playing tennis, and exploring cafés.