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Sincerely Yours S/S 2018


Table of Contents Staff List

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Editor's Letter

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Dreams

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Childhood Nostalgia

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Lessons I've Learned in College

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Failing

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Sincerely Mine

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How to be Alone

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The First Time I Fell in Love

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Lost

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How to Style Old Clothes

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Finding My Fashion Freedom

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TRENDing at UCSD

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Staff Playlist

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staff of 2017-2018 Editor-in-Chief Akanksha Kevalramani Assistant Co-Editors-in-Chief Kimiko Okumura Marlon Gamez Marketing Uyen Tran Finance Director Christine Le Website Chair Ming Ming Liu Stylists Faisal Alnajjar Rachel Lee Erica Nguyen Lucía Nishizawa Rodríguez Swappi Mittal Graphic Designers Bailee Hunter Scott Liu Lucy Xu Vanessa Wong Photographers Kimberly Tran Lee Liang Cris Madla Shan Hannadige Raymond Kao Isabella Jeturian Videographers Julia Li Jessica Li Copy Editor Tatiana Jessi Diaz de Leon Writers Chelsea Santos Alondra Peña Annika Olives Nicole Ng Jonathan Hernandez

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editors letter Ever so often life can get difficult for everyone, and when we find ourselves in a challenging phase of life, we can’t help but feel like we’re all alone. We can’t fathom that someone else could possibly be feeling the way we do. We regret that no one warned us life was about to get this tough. Or maybe they did, but we just didn’t listen. It doesn’t matter if you’re full of hope and just starting college, or if you’re about to graduate with no clue where life is going to take you. Everyone is trying their best to navigate this funny thing called life. Our team has spent the last four months working incredibly hard to create this magazine in which we explore the complexities, joys, and challenges of life through a curated collection of stories and memories. While it is a bittersweet feeling for me to be graduating and moving on from Trend, I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to lead and work with the most wonderful team. Last but not the least, we are nothing without you, our readers, so thank you for supporting us and taking the time to read through this magazine. I hope that the next time you’re having trouble navigating life, you

can pick up this magazine and remind yourself that you’re not alone and that it’s okay to be lost sometimes. I’ll leave you with a favorite quote of mine from Erol Ozan: “Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.” Sincerely Yours,

Akanksha Kevalramani Editor-in-Chief

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dreams Sincerely Yours explores our past, present, and future. Dipping into the nostalgia of your past contending with your future. Lying down to sleep, these blankets are so warm, almost intoxicating. Consciousness seeps away ever so slightly. The fast-paced restlessness of the world fades away; lying in limbo, you breathe out. Breathe in. Exhaling, inhaling. Every breath out is a declaration to time itself. Hours, minutes, seconds. Time crawls so slow. Stopping even. And now I’m dreaming. I’ve dreamed anger. I’ve dreamed sadness, I’ve dreamed idealistic happiness. I’ve dreamed for months, days, hours - yet it only lasts till 8 AM, ebbing away in the morning. I’ve dreamt about him, about her, my professor,

versions of strangers. My dog, my exam, my future. I’ve dreamt about the sounds my roommates make when they try to sneak into their bed silently, so as not to wake me. Even though in my dreams, they thunder. Excerpt from a dream: Every image is very jaded, almost like a failed rendering from my eyes; there is a picture of a mirror and I’m running towards it, but the building is set in lines and every step I take a new line is revealed Who are we when we’re alone with ourselves? The mind acting as an ethereal neverending mirror for the night, I wonder what version of me is Sincerely Mine. Who am I? What matters about these images? Will I forget my thoughts when I wake? Will I regret them? I’m me. Always.

My thoughts are mine, my actions are mine, my constructs of monsters or people are mine. It is my possession and control of this fantastical realm. However, whenever, wherever my subconsciousness decides to envision itself is righteously mine. I am only mine within my own mind. Until I wake. Waiting for the night to grow darker so I can explore myself again. I’m wholly mine when I am dreaming. As are you, Sincerely Yours,

Jonathan Hernandez

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Childhood Nostalgia There was a point in time when we really noticed the harshness of entering adulthood. Maybe it felt like a blunt and mighty force. That first night in college, away from the comfort of family or friends that had slept near you your whole life. Or the first college allnighter you pull, the contents of your to-do list running through your mind, reaching a point when you’re so stressed about studying for a midterm that you can’t focus enough to actually study. Maybe the moment felt more like a soft tap on the shoulder. A gradual bombardment of people with striking ambition, rambling about their graduation plan and all the organizations they’ve joined and internships they’re considering. Maybe all of this, on top of growing up with news channels always covering stories of global violence and death. Maybe it was way before any of these. It’s a slight moment of overwhelming vulnerability and confusion, a dangerous moment when you begin to dwell on the past. What was before all this anxiety? Before this there was

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Photographer: Lee Liang Models: Astrea Villarroel-Sanchez, Kamilah Cunanan, Julianna DeContreaus


Saturday morning cartoons and a bowl of cereal to hold you over until someone wakes up to make you breakfast. There was falling asleep on the car ride home, but pretending to still be sleeping when you get there, just so someone could carry you to your bed. Rolling down grassy hills and suffering the itchy consequences, but still willing to do it again. Falling off your bike, scraping your knees and elbows, showing off new scabs and old scars to your friends at school, arguing about whose is the gnarliest. Always getting to ride and be pushed in the shopping cart. Building blanket and pillow forts in the living room, or camping out in a tent in the backyard. Scandalous hugging and handholding behind the school playground. Staying home from school because you’re sick - back when you didn’t stress over how you might fall behind on your work. Lying on your belly, resting your cheek on the warm concrete to

dry off after a swim. Making sure your hands and feet don’t dangle over the side of the bed because there’s definitely something under there ready to grab hold. Waking up before your parents on Christmas morning, struggling to get them out of bed so you can finally open your presents. Playing dress up in your parents clothes and having a fashion show for them. Running through the sprinklers, looking up, and only seeing sunshine. Always, you only saw the sunshine.

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You remember urging them to take out the big video camera and record you years pass and thoughts of capturing such mundane moments began to disappear. At one point Santa was real and so was the tooth fairy and so were your dreams. Peter Pan was cool because he could fly and was friends with a fairy, but you never really listened to his warning: “Don’t grow up; it’s a trap.” Mom secretly starts giving your toys away because she knows that even though you’ve stopped playing with them, you’d be very reluctant to let them go. The trees you used to climb don’t seem so big anymore - and what’s worse? People are cutting them down. You ignored adults when they told you each year goes by faster and faster. At the time you just yearned to be as cool as the 6th graders, then as cool as the 8th graders, then the graduating seniors -

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but now there are some times when you want it all in reverse. Slowly, responsibilities snuck their way into your life and one day you realized you couldn’t quite grasp that sunshine as much. The day before one of those dreadful deadlines, you pause to take a breath and notice the magic is gone. Your childhood wings and superpowers are nowhere to be seen. And you never got to say goodbye. You only see reality, piercing you with what seems like a cold frown…

But then, there are the warm bodies of people wherever you go. Some familiar, others not. And when you pause the montage of memories in your mind to actually bask in these people’s warmth, for a moment you feel the sunshine again. So maybe the sunshine is always there? But you only ever focus on the carefree things you did and not the people you did them with.

There is a light that never goes out. The light in people and the companionship they bring. The light in music and its power to connect these people together to a single moment. The light in all the feasts you have with friends and family. The light in breathtaking sunsets and


grandiose displays of art - that are even more amazing when you share them. What is it exactly that all these things have in common? You feel a fondness for them, a wholesome love. Oh yeah, and they’re all way better when you share them, whether it’s just talking about it or actually experiencing together. So how can you once again feel as invincible and light-hearted as your younger self? Well, considering time machines don’t exist, it’s probably best to keep your conscious mind in the present moment. Your 35 year old self is going to be thinking the same exact nostalgic (and slightly self-destructive) thoughts about your college self now. So go

ahead, look back and smile - but turn right back around and bask in the good moments that are happening now - and share them with others! That’s the magic that’ll pull you out of your anxious rut in the midst of finals week or after a questionably horrible interview. That’s the magic of getting your adult superpowers or full-grown set of wings.That’s the same magic that’ll propel you forward, not pull you backwards. Sincerely Yours,

Tatiana Diaz de Leon 11


Lessons I've Learned in College

Dear Freshman Me, If you were really able to read something like this, these are the things I would advise you. You might be pretty overwhelmed right now. Essentially everything is new - the school, the people, the living situation, the city and you are bound to run into issues that you might have never faced before. Here’s what you should know about starting this seemingly daunting chapter of your life. First of all, you’re facing the problem of basically knowing no one, and maybe your mind is in overdrive thinking about all the socializing you’ll have to do to establish friends and acquaintances. But just know that you can’t force friendships. Sometimes the person that you think and hope will be a great friend just isn’t going to be. And that’s okay. Friends come and go because your individuals lives are constantly changing. Another important thing to keep in mind is that mutuality is key. Friendships cannot be one-sided; so no matter how hard you try, it’s not going to work out if you don’t get the same energy back. Friendships will come unexpectedly. I know patience is a grueling matter, but it’s necessary. Patiently put your genuine self out into your new world. Speaking of this patience, it might be accompanied by some form of loneliness. Maybe it’s constant or maybe it comes in waves. Within this energy you’re using

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to keep reminding yourself to be patient, is some good news: this is a good opportunity for personal growth. Take advantage of this excess amount of free time to get to truly know yourself. What do you enjoy? What is it that you’ve always wanted to do? What do you want - now and in the future? This is the time to figure that out. When are you ever going to get this kind of free time again? So you’re approaching your first ever round of midterms, and you know you need to study. But studying like you did in high school isn’t going to cut it. Maybe you figured this out after that rough first midterm. Then, on top of that you might be worrying about trying to get a job or a summer internship. Don’t worry, though. Eventually you’ll understand how exactly to study for different kinds of classes. And eventually you’ll make finding a job a temporary priority. Each of these will come eventually as long as you put in the work. Just don’t stop pursuing. This year, your freshman year, you bought a dining plan because your parents are not here to cook you meals anymore, and freshmen residence halls usually don’t have kitchens. These dining halls are pretty decent compared to other schools, so it’s possible to get a little carried away in the beginning. Here’s some news: freshman 15 is real. Simply the fact that you don’t eat the same foods you used to - even if you eat about the same amount has the potential to change you.

Watch what you eat. And try your hardest to avoid eating when you’re bored. Something that you should really do is push yourself to try new things. Go to a ton of club meetings and figure out which ones you like. Figure out a way to insert what you enjoy into your daily life. Find an activity that will let you do this. And try things that you’ve always thought about and never actually done. This is your chance. You may be sick of socializing now, but your future self will thank you for opening up. As you get older it might get more difficult. This is when you’ll have some of the most success by putting yourself out there. Something that is the most shocking, and which slightly encompasses all of these obstacles, is simply being independent. You are on your own, and for a time you are the only one who is completely watching over you. You are one step closer to the adult world. There is a new kind of support system here, but here, you’re not going to be babied. Every issue that arises is one that you will have to figure out how to resolve yourself. If you have questions, you have to ask them and find the answers yourself. Go and seek out what you want answers to. It may seem scary to seek out something by yourself. To make important phone calls and to navigate the bureaucracies of a university and of the world outside your hometown. But without easing yourself into

doing these things, you’ll be stuck in the same place. I hate to say that you’ll continue to stress yourself out through the rest of your college career - but you are so capable of succeeding. Enjoy the free time while you can, and never stop working hard for what you want. Sincerely Yours,

Rachel Lee & Tatiana Diaz de Leon


Journal Entry: Failing

Jessica here. I’m 22. It’s 2018. Weird times to be in right now. Just gonna say now I’m not here to inspire or preach. I’m 22 for fuck’s sake... I haven’t done or seen enough for that. I’d recommend Nietzsche or Camus if you really want to get into that stuff. It’s about the end of my college years. And I thought I’d share my experience with failing; maybe it’ll be helpful, maybe not. Well, uhh, I guess starting off I’ll say that I’m scared. Yup, there it is. Most of the time, it’s really hard to admit that I’m scared. But right now, at this moment, for the first time in awhile, I’m learning to accept that it’s okay to be scared. And it’s okay to fail. For most of my life, up until a few months ago, I’ve been scared. I was so scared that even the act of admitting I’m scared is scary because then, I would have to do something about it. I don’t actually have a lot of memories where I remember doing something brave. Ever since I was young, I’ve been scared of the dark. Scared of monkey bars. Scared of raising my hand in class. Scared of making a mistake. The ironic thing is when I was younger, I had always thought adults were almost fearless and I’d thought I would be fearless too. But here I am. 22. And I think I’m more scared than ever. For

months, I’ve had an unsettling feeling of un-stillness. I didn’t know who the fuck I was. Sure, I had a structure of going to work, going to classes, making sure to wake up to find a damn parking spot, getting involved in school orgs. I wasn’t happy though. I was scared. I was restless, unstill. All my thoughts were jumbled. I had no clarity. And then I judged myself for that. That was the damn worst thing I could do because it just turned into a cycle. Here’s an easy example and an unforgettable experience. During internship search season, I applied to, I can safely say, 150 positions (of the ones I counted). And rejections from every single one. Around 200 rejections is when I realized that failing is okay. That it’s okay to admit I’m not good enough. To finally face that not being good enough is actually a pretty normal thing. And the only solution is to become good enough.

the privileges I already have . This school. Having the opportunity for higher education. Having a space for critical thinking. Having fun. Friends. Family. Health. Having the ability to breathe. These are seriously real privileges that I often forget about, and with only a few weeks left of college, I’m finally understanding what it feels like to be grateful. To be grateful for not just the good in my life, but also to be grateful for all of the lessons I’ve learned from failing. Sincerely Yours,

Jessica Li

All of this bitching. These tears. These feelings. This unclarity sadly kind of faded away towards the end of my college career. There’s this Chinese saying, “身在 福中不知福,” that I rediscovered. It means that although the body is in luck, it does not know it. I’m not saying that being scared of failure is an invalid feeling because jeez, is it real. What I’m saying is that it’s so, so easy to get caught up in all of these problems, to not realize the blessings and

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Photographer: Cris Madla Model: Antonia Lorenzo

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sincerely mine. For a long time, they have told us that love is the be-all and end-all. That it is always found by finding another person. A person who matches your own incongruities like a missing piece of a puzzle, who fits into your hollows and your empties and who makes you whole. "You complete me."

In all our poems, and our songs, and our books, that elusive Other is our faultless muse. Oh, how we hope that we will find them soon enough to watch the sunsets, to hold hands, to dance. To feel that happiness that only comes from someone Else. “I can’t imagine life without you.”

It is something that we spend our thoughts on, even if thoughts are never cheap. A dream that we pay our wishes to, a star expanding into the shape of another Person. And They will make us good and gold.

“I don’t know who I am without you.” But why don’t they ever tell us that love, love sweet, love lasting, love unconquerable, love fierce, it was always waiting, but not in that other person. It was waiting in the one who we always forget. Who we lift our eyes to each morning, finding our mirrored irises and sleepy faces. “Do I love myself?”

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Maybe the reason we spend so much of ourselves looking for someone else is because we don’t know the person that we already have, the person that we are.

And maybe the reason we are scared of being alone, is not the idea of being lonely, but the idea of being alone with only ourselves.

So let us be kind to ourselves, with words of honey and affirmation, to know ourselves, in and out, to rescue ourselves, from dark days and dungeon guarding dragons, to write ourselves love letters, in looping cursive and endless pages. And let us sign them as we should.

“I am the only person who will ever know me completely.”

“Sincerely, Mine.”

“Do I know myself?”

We need to remind ourselves: That someone telling us we’re beautiful, does not really make us beautiful, unless we already believe it on our own. “I am beautiful.” That someone believing in us, does not guarantee our success, unless we were the first to tell ourselves that we could. “I can.” That someone loving us, and us trying to love someone else, will not make us good and gold, unless the love came from ourselves first.

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“I love myself.”

Alondra Peña


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how to be alone: take a shower (blast music while doing so, or cry— you can’t tell the difference between water and tears) get out, put on clean clothes, have a snack and a glass of water. keep listening to music (avoid breakup songs like the plague), watch an episode of your favorite tv show while you get ready: skincare, makeup, hair, whatever. go out. go shopping by yourself. people-watch. read a book outside. take note of the world around you. everyone is alone. it’s okay to be alone.

Sincerely Yours,

Chelsea Santos

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The First Time I Fell in Love (with Someone)

“Love” is defined as “an intense feeling of deep affection,” but that is, with great respect to whoever came up with that, the most pathetic way to put it. Love is so much more than that. One day, I realized that whatever I had felt with other people before him wasn’t love, it was something else. Desperation. Pity. The first time I fell in love with someone, I understood that every time I thought I had been in love before that person was completely illusory. Every love I had that wasn’t familial expressed itself differently, but they all had one thing in common — pain. I had thought that the more it hurt me to love them, the more it was worth it. But that wasn’t the case. That’s what happens when you romanticize abusive relationships. At one point you have to say enough is enough. I spent years believing I wasn’t enough when in reality I deserved more. I deserve better. The first time I fell in love with someone, I didn’t even want it to happen. I had just gotten out of a traumatic relationship a few months before, and I was keen on not loving anyone else — for a very long time. I didn’t want to fall into my old patterns again and end up getting more than what I bargained for. I was trying to protect myself. But then I met him, and I told myself that he was worth the risk. I know that pain is inevitable, but you can decide who gets to hurt you, and whether they’re worth it or not.

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He was. He is. The first time I fell in love with someone, the meaning of love changed for me. Up until then, I thought that love was just giving until you had nothing left to give. But that isn’t the case. Because if they love you too, they wouldn’t keep taking. I learned that love is so much more than that. Love is when you aren’t afraid to talk about what’s bothering you, because they will listen. It’s when you can trust them with the most intimate parts of you in every dimension. To me, love is when you get four hours of sleep the night before, but you wake up early to see if he’s sleeping alright because you know he has a hard time sleeping in the first place. You open your eyes and move over so he has space, and then you rearrange his pillow and lift his head up because it’s flat on the bed now, and you keep doing this for the next two hours because you yourself can’t go back to sleep. Then you resign to sitting at the foot of the bed and watching him, all peaceful with his eyes closed and you think to yourself that you could do this all day. Love is when he offers to call you an Uber even if he’s a hundred and some miles away and you’re drunk at a frat party and want to go home already. It’s when he himself will drive those hundred miles just to see you for a few hours, whenever he has a free weekend. Love is when you go to Ikea as a date and it’s not a fancy

restaurant but you couldn’t care less because you’re finally with him and that’s all that matters to you. Love is when he’s driving and you spoon feed him his ice cream because he has to keep his hands on the wheel. Love is when you put your head on his lap when you’re at the beach and he runs his hand through your hair and you thank your lucky stars that you’re with no one else but him. You beg those same stars not to let the day end. But it does. And love is when you count the days until you get to see him again. You tell all your friends how happy you are, and they believe you this time, because they can see it in your face. You look at flights to New York because you want nothing more than to go to your favorite place in the world and spend every moment there with your favorite person. You start pretending he’s with you when you’re lonely or you can’t sleep, just to make things easier. You like, no, you love looking at him; he said he wants to go to every art museum in New York with you but there’s no need when he’s right in front of you. The sound of his voice is enough to make your heart beat normally. And that’s more than you can ask for. Sincerely Yours,

Chelsea Santos


Photographer: Kimberly Tran Models: Nadia Hartvigsen, Vaishnavi Paudel, Kim Luong, Jose Salas

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lost

I close my eyes and I’m in a field. The wind sways and I sway with it. I realize I’m alone, though that’s not what makes me lost. I could open my eyes and the field would disappear; it’s only a product of my imagination. But somehow I know if I open my eyes I’ll still feel the long grass itch at my legs and the warm breeze breathe down my neck. Sometimes I feel lost. Most times, I realize that I am. Apart from the roaring wind in my ear, the field is quiet, almost peaceful if it wasn’t for the screaming questions in my head. As I close my eyes I try to look at myself standing in the field, my hair astrew. I paint myself in my mind, I know the face I’m looking at is my own, but it’s not quite right. I’m missing something. I try to remember looking into a mirror at home but my mind is suddenly Crisp. White. Blank. I panic. I don’t remember what I look like, the contours of my face, the wrinkles of my smile, the back of my hand. Who am I? I am Lost. The sun rises to midday. I feel the heat warm my scalp. I see the sun shine through the grass, creating a sea of gold. I climb in a row boat, but it stays eerily still amongst the

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waves of gold grass. There is something anchoring me down. The field is wide. It’s open. It’s quiet. It’s deafening. I don’t know where I am, but that’s not the only reason I’m Lost. The sun begins to drop. How long have I been standing here? “WHERE TO NEXT?” the loudest voice in my head screams. “Move,” the wind whistles in my ear. Suddenly I’m running, destination unclear. But the pressure, the need to find the answers to the questions I don’t know how to ask presses on me. It’s suffocating. I know that I am Lost. Sometimes I feel empty. Most times, I know I’m not. I wonder if I’ll be Lost forever. The thought haunts me. I reach out to swat it away. I want to tear it apart and bury it beneath the grass and pretend it never happened. But it’s there. I can’t forget it. It’s too late. It echoes in my mind. Ricochets off my fear. Maybe it’s not so bad. Not a lot of people have the guts to get Lost. Sicerely Yours,

Bailee Hunter


Photographer: Raymond Kao Model: Yingluo Wang

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H O W

T O

style old clothes

othes are back in Once again, vintage cl rs everywhere are style. Fashion retaile is trend and hiking taking advantage of th that look like up the prices on things in decades past. what your parents wore

Instead of breaking th e bank and splurging on that one Arctic Monkey s' AM era-esque leather jacket you saw at Nord strom, or that hideous ly beautiful flannel bu tton down that looks like it was taken off of Ma c Demarco's back, turn to perhaps what is arguab ly the best participa nt in this capitalist soc iety: the thrift store.

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Photographer: Lee Liang Model: Shane Peterson

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r get a bad rep fo Thrift stores longer that people no selling things nt it, wa "If they didn't n's want anymore. ma e ll, because on why would I?" We . re r man's treasu trash is anothe

You can go crazy with your thrifted fines. Virtually everything is customizable to some extent, using an array of things you probably already have: permanent markers, paint, safety pins, and my personal favorite: scissors. A good pair of fabric shears can crop, distress, and transform an ugly sweater into the ultimate crop top or those too-long Levi's into the ultimate vintage grail. Sincerely Yours,

Chelsea Santos 35


Finding My Fashion Freedom

For the majority of my preteen life, my idea of shopping for clothes was the annual trip to the mall to see which pair of all-black shoes would be the complement to my uniform this school year. Fashion was an underdeveloped concept, something I thought I saw in magazines like TigerBeat and J-14, not something I could ever attain. I came from a world of white polos and green plaid. From second to eighth grade, I attended a small, Catholic, private school with strict rules not only about how to dress, but how to look and how to present yourself. Nails couldn’t be painted. Skirts couldn’t be shorter than the reach of the tips of your fingers. Shoes had to be completely black, with absolutely no other colors. Some of my friends used to take a black sharpie to the white rims of their shoes to fill in the spaces. My only respite from the monotony of uniforms were free dress days — a Friday that was granted to us by the school board where we were allowed to wear whatever we wanted. (Within certain limitations, of course.) On those days, I experimented, pairing my favorite gray skinny jeans with my sparkly purple long sleeve, adding a long teal scarf that was all the rage in 2008 for good measure. My first morning of ninth grade, I matched my dark brown shorts with my favorite gray Forever 21 sweater with a patterned heart on the front, adding a pair of black Converse with colorful doodles. I was excited; this was my first

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venture into public school, and I wanted to be — and look — ready. Transitioning into high school was difficult in a lot of ways. I worried about my grades, I worried about how to open a combination lock, and, of course, I worried about making friends. I moved to a new city in seventh grade, and I was the only person in my tiny graduating class of 25 kids to attend my high school. As I walked out to lunch on my first day, I was met with nearly two-thousand unfamiliar faces, and I gripped my lunch bag tightly, not sure where to sit. One of the positives high school did allow me, however, was freedom in fashion. All clothing rules essentially went out the window. I painted my nails a new design every week. Picking out my outfits became an enjoyable nightly routine, and deliberately choosing and shopping for my clothes gave me a happiness and boldness I never experienced before. My clothing became an outward projection of my inner state and, as cliche as it sounded, my form of expression. As I grew older, my sense of fashion became more refined. I discovered that less was more, especially when it came to prints and colors. I retained my bargain-hunting tendencies but started to shop smarter. I learned that it was okay to invest in quality, good-fitting pieces, even if they were more expensive. Now, as a college student, my closet houses a combination of

functionality and fun. My red and black thrifted flannel lies alongside my muted pink Kate Spade bag. My dresses, which range from formal to casual, hang happily next to an abundance of sweaters. My shirt drawer contains pieces I’ve collected from all over the world — a magenta off-the-shoulder top from the Philippines, a button-up from San Francisco, and a striped shirt from the UTC Zara down the street. Though my go-to outfit is the typical undergraduate’s leggings and sweatshirt, on some days I’ll choose to take a little more time, trying things on and pairing and altering to see what looks best. Fashion and I used to have an awkward relationship, but know we now each other well, play with each other’s strengths, and challenge one another to think outside the box. I don’t consider myself a fashion icon by any means and I often don’t look Instagram-ready, but the most important thing I’ve realized is that fashion is so much more than just the articles of clothing on your body. There’s a certain amount of confidence that comes along with wearing clothes that make you look and feel good, and the confidence it gave my ninth grade self was invaluable. I can only hope that that same poise will only bloom and blossom as I progress onward on my fashion journey. Sincerely Yours,

Annika Olives


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