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Laura Quon
Class of 2016
University of Toronto

Hey there! Nice to meet you. Where you been? I could show you incredible things...

The people call me Quon… Laura Quon. My life is a series of Taylor Swift lyrics. Here’s the proof:  

“Welcome to New York, it’s been waiting for you.”

In 1998 (9 years after Miss Swift’s birth in 1989), I entered this world. Where? The city of New York. It’s where my life began and like my girl Taylor, I welcome you to the Big Apple. From my urban origins, I journeyed south to the state of New Jersey, where I currently reside. If I had not relocated to Robbinsville, NJ, I would never have known of Nemesis 2590 and never would have joined. Fortunately, fate stepped in and the stars led me to the Nemesis Marketing Team, which I have been a member of for the past two years.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22.”

Sixteen years after that momentous August day, here I am. Since joining the team as a freshman, I have gained crucial life experience and made friends who understand me and the struggles I face on a daily basis (i.e. life). Despite being only a junior in high school, I feel that I have matured to an age beyond belief. I don’t know about you, but I feel like a 22-year-old Taylor Swift trapped in a 16-year-old girl’s body.

“She wears high heels, I wear sneakers. She’s cheer captain, and I’m on the bleachers.”

Since you are reading this from a high school robotics team’s website, I think you can safely deduce that I am not the girl wearing high heels or the cheer captain, but the one who wears sneakers and sits on the bleachers. However, I fulfill both clichés with utmost pride. I’m practical. High heels are painfully uncomfortable. And why exercise when you can sit? That’s a no-brainer to me. I guess that makes me the archetypal nerd and I’m completely fine with it.  

“The players gonna play, play, play, play, play. And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. I shake it off, I shake it off.”

I ain’t a player. I ain’t a hater. I actually consider myself a fan of many things, people, places, nouns, and verbs. My favorite word is “pulchritudinous” as in the number one smash-hit One Direction song “That’s What Makes You Pulchritudinous”. Usually, I enjoy procrastination. And if I’m not procrastinating, you can most likely find me watching sports (cheering on Andy Murray in tennis, the New York Giants in football, and Manchester United in soccer), reading, sleeping, eating, and (occasionally) doing homework. Through all these activities, I have uncovered the secret to happiness: shaking off the haters. Because remember- the players gonna play, the haters gonna hate, but I’m just gonna shake and you should too.

“Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods? Are we in the clear yet? Are we in the clear yet? Are we in the clear yet? In the clear yet? Good.”

In my honest opinion, these lyrics perfectly sum up the feelings of anxiety and stress that robotics induces. Nevertheless, they also acknowledge that despite the late nights, petty fights, and ugly sights (i.e. people who have gained zero hours of sleep), everything turns out fine. Actually, it turns out more than fine (please refer to the awards section of this website for more information). We were in the woods for a quite a long time. We got lost. Probably more than once. But we made it. We are in the clear. And that’s good.  

We have reached that time again. I hope you enjoyed these lyrical glimpses into my life. Now I shall leave you in the only manner I know how, with a quote from Miss Taylor Swift, in which she magnificently synthesizes my approach to life in just a few, meaningful words:

“We're happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. It's miserable and magical. Oh, yeah. Tonight's the night when we forget about the deadlines. It's time.”