Humans of Harker: Charley Huang finds happiness in moments and memories


Meena Gudapati

“I don’t think I have any regrets. I think about it, and if I did change any of it then my life would be different, and I don’t want it to be. I like where it is right now,” Charley Huang (12) said.

by Meena Gudapati, Aquila Editor-In-Chief

Charley Huang (12) has deep roots in the Bay Area. Her father attended Mountain View High school, her uncle attended Blach Intermediate School in Los Altos and her grandparents still live in their old house in the area. Born and raised in Mountain View, she reminisces on her younger years in their home.

I’m always super happy to be in Mountain View where my grandparents’ house is; it just feels like childhood,” she said.

Prior to high school, Charley, along with her mother, father and sister, would go to her grandparents’ house every Friday, to meet up with extended family.

“The kids would watch Disney channel, and the adults would be having their dinner, but those [meet-ups] stopped happening when we got to high school,” she said. “A lot of times, my schedule just doesn’t let me go see them, but once college apps are done, I’m probably going to see them a lot more often.”

Charley’s family includes her 7-year-old Yorkshire Terrier/Brussels Griffon mixed breed dog, Terri. Terri can almost always be found by Charley’s side.

“She follows me everywhere, except if I’m super busy and stressed, she won’t follow me because she can tell,” Charley said. “If I’m happy, and it’s a weekend, she’ll always be around me, and she sleeps next to me in my bed.”

Due to her family, including Terri, her school life, and her environment, Charley appreciates her current life.

“I don’t think I have any regrets,” she said. “I think about it, and if I did change any of it then my life would be different, and I don’t want it to be. I like where it is right now.”

To avoid making regrettable decisions, Charley follows her own guideline.

“If I’m every wondering if I should do something, I think about [whether I] would regret it more if I did it or if I didn’t do it, and that’s really helpful,” she said.

When making decisions, Charley tends to go with her instincts.

“I just tell myself to go with my gut,” she said. “Every time I think about changing my answers for non evidence based reasons, then I won’t let myself do it.”

Outside of school, Charley has been dancing since she was three years old. She started out in a ballet studio in downtown Los Altos, and moved to her current dance studio, Silicon Valley Dance, when she was five. She is also a part of the varsity dance team at Harker. She spends roughly 10 hours at Silicon Valley Dance Academy and 8 hours in varsity dance each week.

Charley primarily practices and performs Chinese, jazz, contemporary, and lyrical dance, and she knows how to do tap and ballet. During her competition days, Charley experiences a range of emotions.

“In the morning I do my makeup, get changed, and go backstage and I’m so stressed,” she said,” she said. “Then I’m on stage, and I’m normal and everything is good. Once I’m done with all my dances and we’re just waiting for awards, it feels super nice because the only thing left to do is hear how you did and enjoy it.”

Lauren Luspo, a current senior at Notre Dame High School and one of Charley’s closest friends, is also involved with dance.

“Every time I see Charley, it’s like nothing has changed,” Lauren said. “Even though we don’t talk every day, we still keep in mind what brought us together and that holds us closer. We’re really similar in that we dance and we like the same people.”

Senior Abha Patkar appreciates Charley for her personality.

“What I like most about Charley is that she will always be there for me, even when I mess up or do anything wrong,” Abha said. “Whenever I’m with her she manages to make everything feel carefree. She can always make you feel better, she can make you smile, she will come with you everywhere, she has such a big heart, and she loves you a lot.”