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Humans of Harker: Shaya Zarkesh doesn’t shy away from spontaneity

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“I mostly just live my life thinking, ‘Why not?'

“I mostly just live my life thinking, ‘Why not?'" Shaya Zarkesh said. "If the possible regret is not probable or not that big, then I’ll do it. I don’t judge things based on importance, I judge things based on how much fun will result out of it.”

Melissa Kwan

Melissa Kwan

“I mostly just live my life thinking, ‘Why not?'" Shaya Zarkesh said. "If the possible regret is not probable or not that big, then I’ll do it. I don’t judge things based on importance, I judge things based on how much fun will result out of it.”

by Eleanor Xiao, TALON Editor-in-Chief

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Catch Shaya Zarkesh (12) humming (or maybe belting) “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas in the hallways, or maybe racing as fast as he can towards any soccer ball that comes in his sight. Maybe you’ll see him presenting at Science Competitions club about the nuances of Nuclear Energy, or speaking at school meeting about the company he founded that builds educational math games for students. You’ll even see him debuting his acting career in this year’s Student Directed Showcase, or you can just find one of his dozens of self-made song covers.

Whatever form it may take, Shaya’s main goal is simple: to have as much fun as humanly possible. Every day.

“[My friends would call me] a child because I have that childlike mindset of loving to do things,” Shaya said. “I’m a little kid who’s always just like ‘Hey, I want to do this, I want to do that,’ and like, yeah, life’s too short to be bored.”

When a possibly enjoyable scenario pops into Shaya’s mind, nothing can stop him from pursuing that idea. Sometimes, he will, quite literally, jump up and down in excitement, infecting everyone around him with the same buoyant and sunny attitude towards even the smallest activities.

“I mostly just live my life thinking, ‘Why not?” Shaya said. “If the possible regret is not probable or not that big, then I’ll do it. I don’t judge things based on importance, I judge things based on how much fun will result out of it.”

A friend since the sixth grade, Randy Zhao (12) can hardly keep a straight face as he recalls Shaya’s role in their friend group as a source of entertainment.

“I would say his attitude is very conducive for fun,” Randy said. “Shaya just makes situations very enjoyable, whether it be through stirring controversy that results in funny reactions from Rajiv [Movva (12)] or from other people to like just being funny in general with puns. I think Shaya carries this very healthy carefree attitude of what other people think of him, and it makes interacting with him really genuine and just a lot of fun in general.”

As psychological personality categorizations go, Shaya is a proud ESTP on the Myers-Briggs test, defined by extreme extroversion and “life of the party”-ness, an insatiable desire to live life, a great source of passion and energy, thinking and rationality.

“I love to reach out of my comfort zone, and I think life is boring when you’re comfortable, so I really like trying new things,” Shaya said. “I tried acting this year because I never performed at Harker, and I was like, ‘Hey, that’s kind of boring, let me try performing and see how it goes,’ and so I auditioned for [Senior Directed Showcase], and I got a pretty big role!”

Even Shaya’s friendships reflect his enthusiasm. Since elementary school, Rajiv and Shaya’s friendship has been defined by their banter. Whether it be about the superiority of soccer as a sport or the efficacy of coffee as a beverage, the pair will never miss the chance to hold a hour long discussions about any topic they find in the moment.

“I think the reason why I enjoy being friends with Shaya the most is that he’s able to understand what I’m thinking a lot of the time, and that allows us to have really sophisticated conversations with few words,” Rajiv said. “In most conversations you’re limited by time or something, but, when talking to Shaya, we can talk for like only a few minutes and cover either a wide range of topics or go really in depth and debate one topic really thoroughly, and that’s really enjoyable and forces me to think, which I like when I talk to people.”

You can find that classic Shaya stride carrying himself through the hallways, cheeky smile plastered on his face, spontaneous heart scouring for the next enjoyable event.

“I want to be remembered for making other people’s lives more fun, because that’s what I remember people for,” Shaya said. “I just like always walking around, talking to different people, and I really enjoy just making conversation and spicing up whatever I can about my life. I’m just unapologetically myself — I do whatever my heart tells me to do.”

1 Comment

One Response to “Humans of Harker: Shaya Zarkesh doesn’t shy away from spontaneity”

  1. Niloofar Zarkesh on January 15th, 2018 5:54 pm

    That was so nice to see the side of Shaya at school and with his friends. That is heart warming. Thank you Eleanor for such a nice writing.

    [Reply]

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Humans of Harker: Shaya Zarkesh doesn’t shy away from spontaneity