Humans of Harker: Breaking barriers

Laura Wu (12) steps outside of her comfort zone to create new connections with people

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Humans of Harker: Breaking barriers

“Some of my friends are a lot more social than me, but they’ve pushed me to open up and try new things,” Laura Wu (12) said. “I’m kind of sad that I’m leaving the school, but in some ways, I’m excited because I’m going to be starting over in a new place and meet even more new people.”

“Some of my friends are a lot more social than me, but they’ve pushed me to open up and try new things,” Laura Wu (12) said. “I’m kind of sad that I’m leaving the school, but in some ways, I’m excited because I’m going to be starting over in a new place and meet even more new people.”

Cameron Zell

“Some of my friends are a lot more social than me, but they’ve pushed me to open up and try new things,” Laura Wu (12) said. “I’m kind of sad that I’m leaving the school, but in some ways, I’m excited because I’m going to be starting over in a new place and meet even more new people.”

Cameron Zell

Cameron Zell

“Some of my friends are a lot more social than me, but they’ve pushed me to open up and try new things,” Laura Wu (12) said. “I’m kind of sad that I’m leaving the school, but in some ways, I’m excited because I’m going to be starting over in a new place and meet even more new people.”

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While she may have a calm and quiet demeanor, Laura Wu (12) has become a leader throughout her years in high school. From serving as Seniors and People’s editor in yearbook to volunteering for the Interact club, Laura has been able to form many lasting connections with those around her.

Laura originally joined Interact because her older sister, Alice Wu, was president and she was able to do most of her community service hours through the club. As she became increasingly passionate about service, she chose to continue working in the club and pursue a leadership role, primarily motivated by all the new people she was able to meet.

“For the first two or three years, I wasn’t really active in Interact, but I thought that since I’m a senior now, I might as well try to help make Interact bigger and schedule events so that the members feel like they’re making an impact and that there’s an actual purpose to the club,” Laura said.

Similarly, Laura chose to join journalism merely on a whim; however, she gradually started to make more friends and form new connections with people that she likely wouldn’t have been able to in a normal classroom setting. As a result, she can end her senior year with a group of people she now considers family.

“When I’m in an uncomfortable situation, I latch onto one person [who I know],” she said. “That was similar to what happened in yearbook with my friend Devanshi, but after a while, I got to know the upperclassmen and I got to be more comfortable with them. It’s kind of cliché, but we’ve built a family and I wanted to stay. ”

Her journalism adviser, Ellen Austin, also observed this gradual change in character throughout her four years on staff and commented on Laura growth and transformation.

“I love to see her always laughing, smiling, and talking now,” Austin said. “Having her on staff all of high school has given me the chance to see her develop from a shy kid into the lovely adult she is now.”

She further explained how she has been able to get more involved and meet many other students around school from being in yearbook.

“The interviewing part of journalism wasn’t exactly fun at first, but it was really nice to talk to other people and see what their opinions were about one topic or how they felt about one event,” Laura said.

Her friend since middle school Catherine Wang (12) confirmed how Laura has difficulty opening up to new people at first, but once she does, a strong bond immediately forms between them.

“Laura is shy with strangers, but she gets really loud and excited when she’s with friends and people who share the same interests,” Catherine said.

Laura has also been able to make use of yearbook to access and apply the more creative side of her in other aspects of life.

“Yearbook has made me a lot more aware of the design and aesthetic of things. For example, in English were doing a literary project,” Laura said. “We were assigned a state, but within that state, we could choose whatever magazine we wanted, and I ended up choosing a magazine that was very visually pleasing and had a nice layout.”

Laura is not only able to find her creative outlet through yearbook but also through Do-It-Yourself or DIY projects like bookbinding, soap-making, and baking too. Her childhood friend, Ashley Jia (12) shared Laura’s eagerness to always explore and try new things with her, such as experimenting in their Food Science class together.

“We made these sweet black sesame glutinous rice dumplings for our project, and it took a few hours of trial and error to get it right, but we were both happy when the results came out nicely,” Ashley said.

Although Laura is definitely more on the introverted side, her friends have helped her to become more outgoing, and she’s eager to see what life beyond high school has to offer.

“Some of my friends are a lot more social than me, but they’ve pushed me to open up and try new things,” Laura said. “I’m kind of sad that I’m leaving the school, but in some ways, I’m excited because I’m going to be starting over in a new place and meet even more new people.”