Even though her thesis on Chinese humanitarian aid is keeping her busy these days, Sadichchha Adhikari ’16 finds the time to interview prospective applicants, write for WesStuffed (of which she’s co-editor-in-chief), and maintain her killer eyebrows. Adhikari sat down with The Argus to talk about New England fall, the magic of curry powder, and learning Japanese.
The Argus: Why are you a WesCeleb?
Sadichchha Adhikari: That’s a really hard question to answer. I don’t really know. I think very recently I’ve been exposed to people I hadn’t really met before, and if I had met them, I wasn’t really close with them. As a senior interviewer, I’ve been exposed to so many new people and new things, so my social group has expanded significantly. Maybe that’s one reason. Other than that, I’m also involved in a wide range of activities, I think, and I’ve dabbled in a lot of things over the past three years.
A: What are some of the things you’ve dabbled in?
SA: I used to play ultimate Frisbee here, and I had to stop this year because I’m writing a thesis. I also run WesStuffed with Amanda Roosa [’16], another senior interviewer. I used to do Model UN here, too—I was the president for the past two years, and I gave up the throne this year for my thesis. I’m also in the College of East Asian Studies majors committee. I think, also, having taken a wide range of classes in a liberal arts school…has allowed me to expose myself to different people.
A: What’s this thesis that’s taking up all of your time?
SA: I’m writing about Chinese aid and what that says about the politics of South Asia. I’m originally from Nepal, and I wanted to write about humanitarian aid, specifically in relation to the earthquake on April 25, .
A: How have you changed since coming to Wesleyan?
SA: Tremendously. I went to a very small high school that was very into specialized fields. So it was a high school for math, science, and engineering. It was very rigidly structured. I didn’t have a lot of room in my schedule to take other classes. So I think being comfortable with exposing myself to new things is something that I’ve learned through my time at Wesleyan. Also learning to be more tolerant of people. I would have never thought that I’d be a Government major or study abroad in Japan or anything like that. Learning what it’s like to enjoy the things I’m learning about and writing about in class is something valuable that I’ve learned here.
A: Tell me about something you think is underrated.
SA: I feel like everything I think is correctly rated for most people. I think New England fall is underrated. Most people tend to overlook the beauty of a New England fall because it gets so cold, and it’s an indication that a harsh Wesleyan winter is coming. But I went apple picking a few weeks ago, and it was amazing. I live in New York, where there aren’t a lot of trees and not a lot of fall foliage. And in my time in Japan, I was in one of the places where it has the most beautiful falls, because it’s known for the red maple trees. I’ve come to appreciate it a lot more over the past few years, and if I am to move back to New York after I graduate, I think that’s something I’ll miss.
A: Would you want to be famous? For what?
SA: I don’t think I’d want to be famous. I think I’d want to make a big impact, especially for women in developing countries. I think that’s something I’d want to be known for if I were to ever be known for something, just because I’ve grown up with the privilege of my parents being O.K. with me playing sports, and being O.K. with me not being into things that girls are usually into in my country. But other people don’t have that privilege. I would really want to be a voice for people like that, and who are otherwise disadvantaged.
A: So that’s the field you want to go into after graduation?
SA: I definitely want to go into the nonprofit field. I don’t know if I want to work with women specifically, or for Nepal specifically, but definitely something that’s known to have made an impact, I want to be involved with.
A: What’s a skill or talent you want to get better at?
SA: Definitely cooking. I started cooking my junior year at Wesleyan, just because I had access to my own kitchen, and it was the easiest option available. It’s only been a semester since I’ve been doing it, and it’s definitely something I want to improve on, because it’s such an important skill, just in life.
A: What do you like to cook?
SA: Curry powder is my go-to ingredient. I put that in almost everything. The recipes I’ve written about for WesStuffed so far have all been related to co-op food, because I think that’s something everyone can relate to, like having to throw out co-op food because it goes to waste. So it originally started as a way for me to not waste food, but then I started coming up with my own recipes and posting them on WesStuffed.
A: What do you do to relax?
SA: I used to knit a lot. But that’s when I had access to my parents’ money, and now I can’t afford yarn. It’s really, really expensive. But I think just watching TV and not moving for a few hours is my way of relaxing. I know other people are like, “I go to the gym,” and “I go running,” and things like that, but I’m just like, “No. I like to watch Netflix in bed.”
A: What shows?
SA: Recently I finished watching “Breaking Bad” for the second time, because it is so good and really addicting—I mean, for every other reason that everyone else likes “Breaking Bad.” And I’ve started watching “Last Man on Earth,” which is a new show with January Jones and other people I’ve seen before on TV and don’t know their names. So definitely sitcoms and comedy shows in general are my go-to, I think.
A: When someone was nominating you to be a WesCeleb, this person wrote, “The first thing you’ll notice about Sadichchha is her killer eye-liner and on-point eyebrows.” What’s your secret?
SA: [Laughing] Oh my God, I love that. I’ve been doing makeup since I was 13 years old, so I think practice. As for my eyebrows, I think that’s the thing I’m most conscious of because my mom owns a salon in Manhattan and does eyebrows for a living. And so I guess for that reason I do a good job of maintaining them.
A: Where do you go around here to get them done?
SA: I go to a place in Middletown—I actually took a friend there, Eury German [’16]. It’s called Sangita’s [Threading Parlor]. She’s a really nice person. It’s a quaint store.
A: Where do you see yourself living in five to 10 years?
SA: I don’t really know where I want to live, because I want to be moving around all the time. I don’t think I can stay in one place for more than a few months. So ideally I’d find a job where I get to do a lot of traveling. My ideal job would allow me to live in Japan for a few months, and then back to New York, or somewhere on the East Coast, for the rest of the year.
A: How long have you been speaking Japanese?
SA: It’s funny, actually. When I was a kid—my dad is fluent in Japanese—I would be saying random gibberish things, and he would say, “You’re speaking Japanese! You’re doing it!” And ever since then I’ve thought, “Wow, I really have to learn Japanese.” I took in my freshman year, on a whim, and ended up loving it. So I’ve been taking it for three years and went abroad.
A: What’s your weirdest Wesleyan story?
SA: I feel like I haven’t been adventurous enough to have weird stories…. Okay. I used to be a tour guide for the Office of Admissions, and once I was giving a tour and a bird pooped on one of our guests. She started freaking out and didn’t know what to do, because she also had an interview after that. I didn’t really know how to handle it, because they don’t prepare you for such a specific event. So I was like, “There’s a bathroom—you can go and wash up.” But she was freaking out, her dad was freaking out, and it was a weird situation that I never expected to happen.