Stanford Spotlight - Akshay Dinakar

Stanford Spotlight - Akshay Dinakar

Here's to you, smile buddy
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In this world of Stanford, where success is measured on a Silicon Valley scale, it’s important to recognize different metrics of fulfillment. There is such an emphasis on tech (cough, cough – CS) that it is especially interesting to me when people come up with their own ways to shine. Such is the case with Akshay. He is loved in our dorm for bringing happiness to Stanford every single day. Without him, my freshman experience would be dramatically different. I want to not only thank him, but also to demonstrate what it’s like to be successful at Stanford without necessarily pulling a 4.0 or writing computer programs. Sometimes, a smile is the way to change the world – I know this because this is what Akshay is doing.

Anyone who knows Akshay knows he doesn’t just march to the beat of his own drum – he dances wildly to the music of the Stanford Flash Mob Orchestra, an organization he created to bring spontaneous moments of happiness through music. Akshay is a musician, a designer, a dreamer, an artist and an incredible dorm mate. He has transformed his floor to be a place of play, relaxation and inspiration. There are balloons, streamers, mechanical engineering projects, a self-made pinball machine and music. His room is the place to go if you need to smile.

Throughout our dorm, Akshay has created a program called FroSoHappy. He has organized a system where each person in our dorm will receive anonymous notes, pictures and art from other residents. The goal is to spread happiness and gratitude for others throughout the near 200 people in our dorm. And it worked! As you walk the halls, you will see hundreds of notes from the past month with #FroSoHappy on the bottom to indicate that this anonymous note was a part of the project. What is even more amazing is that you will see other anonymous notes that are NOT part of this project – they were simply left there because people have noticed the impact that showing appreciation for others has had on the happiness of our dorm. This one project alone has made our dorm feel like home.

In addition to projects designed to put us all in a better mood, Akshay’s general goofy behavior brings a smile to our faces without his even trying to do so. After crowdsourcing a costume for Halloween, he now wears the King Julian (think Madagascar) costume each Sunday brunch. His imitation of good friends crack us up, and he is always down to mess with his dormmates by moving mattresses around.

Akshay makes me smile every single day. I love listening to his covers of popular music on his violin. I love working with him on mechanical engineering projects. I love jumping on his bandwagon and making others happy. So, here’s to you Akshay: you have made my freshman fall a blast. I’ve loved spending time with such a beautiful human being. You have reassured me that to succeed in Silicon Valley doesn’t necessarily mean software – sometimes, a smile can change the world, too. Yours has most definitely changed mine.

Cover Image Credit: www.twitter.com

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8 Struggles Of Being 21 And Looking 12

The struggle is real, my friends.
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“You'll appreciate it when you're older." Do you know how many times my mom has told me this? Too many to count. Every time I complain about looking young that is the response I get. I know she's right, I will love looking young when I'm in my 40s. However, looking young is a real struggle in your 20s. Here's what we have to deal with:

1. Everyone thinks your younger sister or brother is the older one.

True story: someone actually thought my younger sister was my mom once. I've really gotten used to this but it still sucks.

2. You ALWAYS get carded.

Every. Single. Time. Since I know I look young, I never even bothered with a fake ID my first couple of years of college because I knew it would never work. If I'm being completely honest, I was nervous when I turned 21 that the bartender would think my real driver's license was a fake.

3. People look at your driver's license for an awkward amount of time.

So no one has actually thought my real driver's license is fake but that doesn't stop them from doing a double take and giving me *that look.* The look that says, “Wow, you don't look that old." And sometimes people will just flat out say that. The best part is this doesn't just happen when you're purchasing alcohol. This has happened to me at the movie theater.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things People Who Look 12 Hate Hearing

4. People will give you *that look* when they see you drinking alcohol.

You just want to turn around and scream “I'M 21, IT'S LEGAL. STOP JUDGING ME."

5. People are shocked to find out you're in college.

If I had a dollar for every time someone had a shocked expression on their face after I told them I'm a junior in college I could pay off all of my student loan debt. It's funny because when random people ask me how school is going, I pretty much assume they think I'm in high school and the shocked look on their face when I start to talk about my college classes confirms I'm right.

6. For some reason wearing your hair in a ponytail makes you look younger.

I don't understand this one but it's true. Especially if I don't have any makeup on I could honestly pass for a child.

7. Meeting an actual 12-year-old who looks older than you.

We all know one. That random 12-year-old who looks extremely mature for her age and you get angry because life isn't fair.

8. Being handed a kids' menu.

This is my personal favorite. It happens more often than it should. The best part of this is it's your turn to give someone a look. The look that says, "You've got to be kidding me".

Looking young is a real struggle and I don't think everyone realizes it. However, with all the struggles that come with looking young, we still take advantage of it. Have you ever gone to a museum or event where if you're under a certain age you get in for a discounted price? Yeah? Well, that's when I bet you wish you were us. And kids' meals are way cheaper than regular meals so there have definitely been a couple times when I've kept that kids' menu.

So, all in all, it's not the worst thing in the world but it's definitely a struggle.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Collins

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16 'Golden Girls' Quotes That Are Still Golden In 2019

Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia..four unique middle aged women from different backgrounds under one roof.

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One of the greatest shows of all time (at least in my opinion) is Golden Girls. I was not born yet when it first aired in 1985, but thankfully it is on Hulu. Here are just some of the many quotes from the series's seven-year run.

1. Crying is for plain women. Pretty women go shopping. -Blanche Devereaux

2. Go to sleep sweetheart. Pray for brains. -Dorothy Zbornak

3. Dorothy, was Sophia naked just now, or does her dress really need ironing. -Rose Nylund

4. People waste their time pondering whether a glass if half empty of half full. Me, I just drink whatever's in the glass. -Sophia Petrillo

5. I've been having a giood time, and there wasn't even a man in the room. -Blanche Devereaux

6. As they say in St. Olaf, Helgenbargenflergenflurfennerfen. -Rose Nylund

7. Have I given you any indication that I care? -Sophia Petrillo

8. I'm as jumpy as a virgin in a prison rodeo. -Blanche Devereaux

9. Blanche, I could get herpes listening to this story -Dorothy Zbornak

10. I had a knack for coming up with the firmest, most appealing yams. -Rose Nylund

11. No, I will not have a nice day! -Dorothy Zbornak

12. Look, you didn't ask for my opinion, but I'm old, so I'm giving it anyway. -Sophia Petrillo

13. There is a fine line between having a good time and being a wanton slut. My toe has been on that line. Blanche Devereaux

14. You'll have to excuse my mother. She suffered a slight stroke a few years ago which rendered her totally annoying. -Dorothy Zbornak

15. Everybody likes me. -Rose Nylund

16. Silly rabbi. Tricks are for kids. -Sophia Petrillo

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