The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

To the next four years

Friends attending the same college discuss their plans

Ananya and Nithya: 

At the start of their senior year, friends Nithya Appannagaari and Ananya Jilla began a weekly Wednesday tradition of going to Paris Baguette or Panera to study. Due to Appannagaari’s robotics schedule and Jilla’s debate schedule, the two studied at a cafe before attending their respective meetings. 

“We would always spend time together after school and I think that was pretty cute,” Jilla said. “It was always a time to debrief and to hear a weekly update.”

Taryn Lam

Appannagaari and Jilla became friends in their World Studies class during sophomore year. At the end of the year, after collaborating on a group project, the two cemented their friendship with two other friends, creating a tight-knit group of four. The group spent the summer together, making new memories and since then, the group has been on trips to San Francisco and Berkeley. 

Now, as Appannagaari and Jilla prepare to leave for college, they are both excited to be attending college together at the University of California Berkeley. Both friends are excited about the new experiences but still worry about various aspects of attending a different environment. 

“One thing that I am scared of is not being able to meet new people,” Appannagaari said. “We’ve been here for so long, for almost the past 17 years. A lot of the friends I have or friends that I’ve made, I’ve known since elementary school all the way up until now. So it’s been almost 10 years of not having to make new friends and then all of a sudden having to do that again. I’m going to be stepping out of my comfort zone.” 

After receiving their acceptance letters and realizing that they would be attending college together, Appannagaari and Jilla began discussing plans of rooming together and how they hoped to navigate friendships in college. In the beginning, the two were unsure whether or not they wanted to room together. Appannagaari explains that this is because they believed that finding new roommates would encourage them to make new friends. However, the two eventually decided to room together.

“It definitely relieves a lot of pressure off me because we’re both really happy that we got into the same college knowing that we’d have at least one really close friend while going into a new place,” Appannagaari said. “Eventually, I feel like both of us realized that we do need each other as roommates, especially because everything’s really new. We can recognize when one of us may not be in a mood to talk or if someone has a really low social battery or things like that. So I think having someone there who knows that about you and is able to still support you even when you’re not in the best state of mind is pretty nice.”

Prior to attending college, Appannagaari and Jilla continue to celebrate the small things. From texting each other about clubs they want to join to finding new restaurants near the UC Berkeley campus, the two are excited about their rapidly approaching college experience. One of Appannagaari and Jilla’s favorite things to bond over is their similar music taste — more specifically their love for Kendrick Lamar. 

“One thing that I think is pretty cute between me and Ananya is that our music taste is exactly the same so whenever there’s a new song that drops, we’re the first person to tell each other and we send reaction videos of each other listening to the new song,” Appannagaari said. “Our dorm room plans definitely involve Kendrick.”

Though Appannagaari and Jilla aren’t going to college with their friend group of four, they have plans to keep in touch. 

“I’m most excited to call our friends from home when they’re so far away,” Appannagaari said. “It’s definitely something that will be really fun because the four of us have decided that we’re going to FaceTime each other at least once a week. [Me and Ananya], being together and showing the funny sides of each other when we’re in a new place can be fun. It’ll be fun to see people in new environments and another side of Ananya but also being able to share that with my other friends too. It’s going to be pretty exciting.”

Vatsel and Krishna:

Seniors Vatsel Srivastava and Krishna Nathan met in middle school and bonded over their shared love of cricket. For them, the sport was a breath of fresh air from school, and they enjoyed the friendly competition of the game. As their passion for the sport grew, they joined other friends and began MVHS’ cricket club. 

“I think at first our friendship was entirely within cricket,” Nathan said. “Even now I have a few friends where our friendship was entirely due to cricket and that’s the only thing that connects us but as time passed and I got to know Vatsel, I realized there’s a lot of other things that connected us. Biking was one of those things, and actually, Vatsel started getting interested in chess, and I’ve been playing competitive chess for a long time so we connected through that.”

Once the COVID-19 pandemic regulations began to loosen, Nathan was the first friend Srivastava visited. Together, the two would embark on adventures by bike. One of Nathan’s favorite memories is the summer before 10th grade, at the end of the quarantine period, when he and Srivastava went on a 13-mile bike ride to Stanford.

“[That bike ride] was definitely the most enjoyable because it felt adventurous, like you’re kind of far and biking in places that you haven’t seen before,” Nathan said. “Going on different types of trails just makes the biking experience better.”

As Srivastava and Nathan prepare to embark on their college journey, they are excited to be attending the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign together. Both Srivastava and Nathan note that attending college will give them a newfound sense of independence, which they both look forward to. 

Taryn Lam

“Now I kind of have to come home at a certain time and I don’t really have as much room to make my own decisions and go out,” Nathan said. “Over there, I can explore a lot of new things. I’d have a lot of control over my decisions and how I want to spend my time.”

Srivastava echoes Nathan’s sentiment and is excited to explore the area around his college, mainly Chicago. He explains that attending college in a different state will allow him to meet new people.

“Illinois is snowy, it’s icy and it’s completely different,” Srivastava said. “It’s also kind of in the middle of nowhere, but it’s two hours away from Chicago. I feel like if I went to a college in California, I’d meet people from this area. But there, I’ll meet people from Illinois and the rest of the country.” 

The two friends are both ready for the new experiences that come with attending college. Overall, Srivastava describes Nathan as an “honest friend” and he enjoys their conversations. Nathan agrees and is excited to room with his long-time friend. 

“I definitely heard when you become a roommate with someone, it’s past the stage of friendship,” Nathan said. “You get to know a lot of things about them that you didn’t know before. So I’m just excited to see how our friendship will evolve in college.”

About the Contributor
Taryn Lam
Taryn Lam, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Taryn is currently a senior and a co-editor-in-chief for El Estoque; she has been on staff for three years and enjoyed her time spent as a features editor during her junior year. In her free time she enjoys exploring cozy book stores, going on adventures, spending time with family and hanging out with her super spicy friends.
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