1 in 900: Introduction

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37.4275° N, 122.1697° W

Look around you. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel? The room. The empty fridge. The untidy desk. The unfinished painting. The silent echo. The summer photograph. The Lebanese flag. The void. A reflection of your personal museum, except that it doesn’t present medieval statues or pottery. Just some random artifacts and a girl wearing a floral dress and sneakers. Look closer … a shattered peace of mind, pieced by stumbles, obstacles and blasts. A challenged soul trying to fight darkness and soak in light. A restless hand curving thoughts, ideals and wording worries. A tender heart dropping its initials, eighteen hours away, in a place it’s never been. If the architecture of my within exists in fluctuation and in harmony with the outside, there must be the birth of a new individual in the midst of this new home: Stanford. Now, I see what the eyes can’t perceive, for this is the ultimate taste of an adventure: You hop on your bicycle, ride through the red lights, dance on an empty road with a speaker in your hand, compliment a stranger, cheer with your best friend, rock the nerd stereotype and along the way, you search for the location of your heart initials. These two little letters that represent a 5’7” freshman. And when you find them, completely modified by the soil of wisdom and newness, you sigh and say: I made it. Not because I found my missing piece, but because I became whole while missing a piece of myself …

1 in 900. The approximate number of undergraduates on campus for the fall quarter. The vision of one freshman in these uncertain times. Wishing for this number to multiply and for happy faces to cover the 8,180 acres of wonderland. Let me take you on the back of my literary bike into the roundabouts of some special days I am spending at Stanford: the world I view, the culture I experience, the people I meet, the lessons I learn and the vibrancy I embrace will be transformed into weekly chronicles to hopefully allow you to look around you and look within you. Combine both and fabricate your world delicately, slowly but surely. And from time to time, grab your mirror and look at your evolution … oh, and don’t forget to catch up on my weekly chronicles to vibe with an international student discovering the next chapter of her life.

Contact Tiffany Saade at tiff24 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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