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ROOKIE: Are you getting ready for India?
SARA [crushee]: Yeah. It’s kind of crazy. But I’m really excited!
What kind of program is it? I mean, you don’t have to tell everyone the name and location, but what general kind of school is it?
Um, well, it’s this program that kind of brings a lot of people internationally together and, um, it’s kind of…it’s difficult to explain without using specifics! [Laughs] It takes international students and puts them into, uhh, one place that’s kind of secluded, and it’s just this big…like, they wouldn’t call it this, but it’s almost like a think tank of really awesome ideas and cool classes, and there’s this, um, more difficult program that is really cool and challenging, so.
OK, Sara, so far it sounds like you’re becoming a CIA agent.
[Laughs] I wish! That’s actually my biggest dream!
Maybe say what the classes are about? Like, what are they actually going to be teaching you?
Yeah. [Laughs] Well, there’s a whole bunch of different ones. There are some that are political science classes, and then there’s psychology, and, like, humanities…
You’re not really doing a good job of convincing us this isn’t a CIA training camp, you know. Why do all these “international” teenagers need to learn political science and psychology unless you’re being trained to be an international spy? Excuse me!
[Laughs] Oh my gosh. Maybe that is their secret agenda or something!
Would it be fair to say it’s like a leadership school?
When do you leave?
Eryn told me about this list of stuff you guys want to get done before you leave. What have you crossed off the list so far and what do you still have to do?
Well, we want to do a craft day, where we just like make Beyoncé earrings and stuff. Which we always seem to be planning, but it never actually happens, because we always get sidetracked.
Uh, yeah, your craft day was supposed to be last week, I’m pretty sure.
Yeah! I know! [Cracks up] OK, I think it was supposed to be like last Wednesday or something, and we were like, “OK, perfect—we’ll just get all the supplies,” and then I went to her house and we watched Gossip Girl or something and didn’t do any crafts. [Laughs]
I’m ordering all the readers in the comments to ask you guys if you have done your craft day yet and to nag or mock you if you haven’t.
[Laughs] Oh boy.
Do you remember how you met?
We met because we had the same headband in ninth grade. I’m pretty sure Eryn thought I had like stolen hers, because when she saw it on my head she was like, “Hey, where’d you get that headband?” and I was like, “Oh, I got it at a thrift store!” and she was like, “Oh. OK…” And then she went through her bag and found her headband and was like, “Hey, I have the same one! You didn’t steal it, and now we match!”
She didn’t tell me about the stealing subplot!
At the time I was like, Why does this girl have so many questions about my headband?
[Laughs] She also told me that you guys sort of bonded over what she called your “shared values.” What are your shared values?
We’re both interested in, like, world issues, and social justice and stuff like that. Eryn has a super-big voice about feminism, and I think it’s the coolest thing ever, and I also have a lot of opinions about it, so sometimes we’ll just be watching Gossip Girl or something and we’ll pause it and get into some heated discussion about something.
Do you remember a recent one you got into?
I think the most recent one was at this party where people started talking about women’s roles in politics. It was really interesting because it wasn’t just me and Eryn, and we got to hear other people’s points of view.
Wait, what other point of view could someone have about women in politics besides just, like, “there should be more women in politics”?
That was the main consensus, but then people were like, “Should there be quotas for women in politics?” There are different ways to incorporate that, so that was cool.
What do you think?
What do I think? I think it’s really, really important to have women in politics, and that they’re extremely underrepresented.
Do you think there should be quotas?
I think that’s a difficult subject. I’d have to research it more, because I don’t know enough about how that would work, but I think it’d be interesting to take a look at, at least.
[Laughs] Sara, you are going to get an A in your being-a-politician-slash-spy class, because that was like a really astute, extremely political answer. “I’m not really gonna commit to a single opinion on this, but I’m gonna tell you that I think it’s a very important issue.”
[Laughs] Oh my goodness. Well… [Dissolves into more laughter]
Tell me about the play that you just played the lead in.
Well, I’ve been really involved in theater forever, but recently, like in May, I wrote a play, and I got to play the lead, which was awesome and scary.
What is the play about?
It’s quite complicated. It was about an agoraphobic mother—so, a mom who doesn’t want to go out. Agoraphobia is a mental illness where it can bring on panic attacks if you leave your house or if you go to a certain spot that you don’t want to revisit. But it’s more so the daughter’s story, and how she has to deal with all this pressure of the real world and the pressure of her being able to go outside while her mom can’t. Then it took a fantasy turn and it was like the daughter’s…well, maybe it’s her subconscious or maybe just a dream that took her through a fantasy world where she met these different characters who explained things to her about herself and her mom and how she needed to let go. I was really proud of it.
It sounds amazing! Congratulations!
Thank you! It was a dream to do, and to be a part of. I still think about it all the time.
Do you remember when you and Eryn went from just being regular friends to being best friends?
I don’t remember a specific moment, but over the past two years or so there have been times when we’ve both needed someone to be our best friend. And I don’t mean to gloat, but it’s been super awesome to have a friend like Eryn, because we’ve been able to pull each other out of some toxic friendships and some bad situations we both found ourselves in. I feel like this year, especially, has been a lot of discovering, like, “Oh, these are the people I want in my life, and these are the people I don’t want in my life.”
Do you have any advice on how to get away from those kinds of toxic friends? Where it’s not like they did one horrible thing to you that would justify cutting them off dramatically, but you don’t want to hang out with them anymore?
I think it’s inevitably messy, because you’ve been friends, right? But I think basically what you gotta do is check in with yourself and say, What do I need? Do I really need these people in my life? If the answer is no, just take some gradual steps, like maybe don’t always reach for them as the first person to tell everything to, or maybe just start hanging out more often with people who are good for you.
Thank you for that! OK, really quick three-question Newlywed Game. What is Eryn’s biggest phobia?
Yes! What is yours?
Being buried alive.
Correct! You guys better not be cheating! She better not have told you!
[Laughs] No, she didn’t!
Who is your biggest celebrity crush?
Who is Eryn’s biggest celebrity crush?
Four out of four! What is Eryn’s biggest talent?
OK, she is the most amazing illustrator. She’s really great at drawing, and she loves it a lot.
And what do you think she would say your number one talent is?
Acting or theater.
Ding ding ding! I wish I had sound effects on my computer. Perfect score!
A couple of last questions. First, what do you think Eryn will be like when she’s 25?
I feel like she’ll have an apartment in London or New York and she’ll be illustrating for, like, everything, and being awesome, and going to get iced vanilla lattes, and doing what she loves.
Is there anything she sees in you that a lot of other people don’t notice?
She’s able to figure out what I’m really thinking a lot of the time. I feel like a lot of people have two personalities: one personality with their friends and one personality with the outside world. And I feel like when I have my outside-world personality on, she’s still able to see my real self and understand. I don’t know if that makes sense.
I mean, it makes sense in that I guess if you’re going to be a spy for the government, you would probably want to have two personalities.
I feel like everyone has two personalities!
I know—I’m totally just teasing! Everyone has public and private versions of their personality.
Yeah. [Laughs] But hey, if that makes me closer to becoming a CIA agent, I’ll take it.
Is there something about Eryn that you see that you wish other people saw more readily?
OK, I’ll name two. First, I wish they could see her humor, because she’s actually the funniest person I know. Also, she has all these amazing opinions and thoughts, and I just want people to sit down and listen to her.
I met her a couple of summers ago, and of course I loved her immediately, but she’s really shy and quiet at first.
Yeah, I think when other people meet her, they might be like, “Oh, that’s just, like, shy Eryn,” but no, she is, like, FLAWLESS Eryn. ♦
Interviews conducted by Anaheed.
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