The NESCAC is brimming with talented student-athletes and the "Friday Feature" is a way for fans to get to know them throughout the academic year. The conference introduces Tufts' Angela Yu, a volleyball player with dreams of being a pediatrician.
Angela Yu, Tufts University
Austin, Texas/Westwood High School
Why did you choose to be a Division III student-athlete?
I chose Division III because I knew I wanted a college experience that would challenge me academically while still giving me the opportunity to play competitive volleyball. I also knew that Division III would allow me to have a wider range of research and extracurricular opportunities, which was very important to me.
What is your dream job/career? Why?
My dream job is to be a pediatrician. Ever since I was in elementary school I knew I wanted to be a doctor, but I wasn't sure what specific type until I really started working with kids. Throughout high school and college, I have been very involved with working with babies and children, especially those with physical and mental disabilities. With every kid I meet, I learn something new about how their minds work at their age, and I really enjoy helping children develop and learn. This would be my dream job because I will be able to have hands on interaction with children of all ages and backgrounds, and be able to help them grow. Plus, everyday I would be able to see and interact with cute kids and babies, who wouldn’t love that!
What extracurricular activities do you participate in?
I am a member of Chi Omega, Tufts SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee), and I am a Research Assistant for the Tufts Cognitive Development Lab. I have also worked in the Tufts Kosher Deli where I made sandwiches and served meals to students, staff, and visitors. In addition to playing volleyball, I have also played soccer all my life, so I enjoy playing intramural and pick up soccer in my free time.
What are three top things on your bucket list?
This may be a predictable answer, but something I’ve always wanted to do was to go skydiving! I love new and daring adventures, so that would definitely be something to get my adrenaline going. I also want to go scuba diving with my friends and family, and then while in the water I want to ride on the back of a giant manta ray like in Finding Nemo. The third thing on my bucket list is to jump into a giant pool of jello, because I love pools and I love jello (this idea probably sounds better than it actually is, but I still want to try it).
What internships/research projects have you participated in? What did you learn from these experiences?
This past summer I did research for the Tufts Cognitive Development Lab, and it was one of the greatest parts of my college experience so far! What is super cool and different about this lab is that we actually do our studies in the Boston Museum of Science and the Boston Children’s Museum. This gives us the opportunity to actually meet and interact with many different children and families visiting the Boston area rather than just working in the same laboratory everyday. I really enjoyed working and interacting with children and seeing how their minds develop at different ages. The studies are very interesting and relevant and I love how I get a great hands on experience with the kids at the museums.
What has been the most interesting part of your major so far?
Something really great about my Biopsychology major is that it’s a perfect mix of two subjects that I believe influence each other greatly. Studying psychology has allowed me to learn about our behaviors, moods, and actions and how they can differ from person to person or between cultures. Additionally, studying biology has given me background information about how our bodies function and when or why our bodies do those specific behaviors and actions. I have really enjoyed learning the causes and effects of our bodies and I especially love how I can directly apply it to myself and the people I know!
What advice would you give to yourself as a high school first year?
Something I would tell myself as a first-year student in high school is to challenge yourself and always work hard. I remember sometimes in high school I was very busy taking tough classes while playing two sports and would always feel like I was missing out when my friends who weren’t as busy would get together. But, taking those academically challenging classes and working hard in the sports I played helped me more than I could imagine in college and made me the person I am today. Also, I would want to tell myself to do things that make you happy. As I have grown up, I have realized that you cannot fully give something your all when you are unhappy doing it. So do the things that make you happy and fully enjoy the time you get to do them.
What is the best gift you have ever received or gave? Why?
I really LOVE surprises and solving problems so my brother cleverly combined both of these things into one gift! He secretly created a scavenger hunt throughout my house and surprised me with the first clue. Each clue either consisted of an inside joke between just us, or a childhood memory, so it was amazing to relive these jokes and fun times we had together. When I would figure out the location of the clue, there was a letter I would collect (like A, B, C, etc.). After I found all the letters, the final clue told me to play the piano and play the key that corresponded to each letter. The tune that I ended up playing was the chorus of one of our favorite songs, and I turned around and he surprised me with two of their concert tickets! Definitely one of the best surprises ever!
What is your favorite place on your campus and why?
My favorite place on campus is probably the gym! During season I spend most of my time there so it begins to feel like a second home. I love being able to go to the gym whether it’s just to play volleyball and work out, relieve stress, or to just get out of the house. One of the best parts about the gym is that there are always familiar faces around, so it is great to catch up with people you may not see around campus.