Swapnika Alahari (Class of 2019)

Be yourself because an original is worth more than a copy.
— Unknown

What was your most memorable moment at TAMS?

“Okay, so one of my most favorite memories at TAMS was second semester, right before finals week was when my friends and I all decided we wanted to study together for one of our finals. We decided to go to Union, but we made a little stop in front of the giant eagle statue at that giant grass patch right in front (of the Union). It was super sunny and warm and we just sat there and we didn’t get any work done, but the memory of feeling the sun rays and just having my friends with me and having these cool Starbucks drinks was just really memorable.”

What advice do you have for the incoming Juniors and upcoming Seniors?

“So this year, I became friends with a lot of Juniors and if I had to give them one piece of advice, it’d be to stop stressing and enjoy the time you have left. It’s my fourth semester and I think about all my friendships and how amazing people I’ve had the chance to meet and I think about how I don’t have much longer with them and it’s never going to be the same, so I want to cherish these last few months no matter what and I would recommend they start that earlier so they don’t start feeling that pain later on.”

Who was the most influential person at TAMS for you?

“I have to say Clotilde (a member of the Class of 2018). I love her. She was the one who told me to live a little bit more. She was telling me about all these amazing classes she was taking and experiences she had. I had the chance to live vicariously through her and it was amazing and I would never give that up.”

What was your happiest and saddest moment at TAMS?

“Well I have so many happy ones, but I think I have to say that one of my happiest memories which is kind of a biweekly sort of thing, but some friends and I just chill in one of our rooms from 11:00 PM to 2:00 AM and we just have the most amazing talks, and I know that it’s biweekly but I always look forward to it because they’re always so fun and each of them is so unique and it’s really great to hear their thoughts at 3:00 AM because everyone is a little weird at 3:00 AM.

As for my saddest moment, there was this girl last year who lived in our wing and I formed a very close connection with her and it was kind of heartbreaking to see her leave and knowing why she had to leave was a little bit upsetting. However, it was more upsetting not having her here and having to text her and not being able to see her. That was a little bit hard. And that’s something I’m going to miss even after I leave TAMS because I’m not going to see these people that often anymore and I’ll have to text them all the time just to be a little bit happier.

What do you think your biggest achievement was at TAMS?

“Okay, I would have to say my biggest achievement at TAMS would honestly be the connections I made because no matter how many volunteer hours I’ve had and how many leadership opportunities I’ve had and how rigorous my classes are or academic achievements or extracurricular achievements, at the end of the day, I don’t look back on those things and think ‘wow I feel so grateful for all these things in my life’ and it’s not that I don’t feel grateful, but it’s not the same as that connection with people, and so I’m I met so many amazing people that do so many amazing things and that challenge me every day because I see them and I say ‘wow, these people are so amazing by doing extraordinary things’ and there’s me, biggest sad boy hours, but it’s fine. All in all, these people are great and I would never exchange this community for anything.”

Special Question - If you could be any fruit, what would it be and why?

“If I had to say serious one, for this one I’d say rambutan because they look like little sea anemone where it’s spiky on the outside but soft on the inside. I feel like that kind of describes my personality because a lot of the time people say ‘oh you seem so intimidating and then I get to know you and you seem fine.’ I hear that a lot and it’s an accurate description. But for memes, I feel that I am like the girl blueberry from Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. I’m that, like that’s just it. There’s no need to explain that further, I am that.”

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