Humans of Harker: Reimagine the possibilities

Julia Yusupov leaves a positive impact on the people around her

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Ritika Rajamani

“[I’ve always had] a fear of not doing well [which was influenced by] the definition of the stereotype that we hold at Harker. It’s something I grew out of by senior year … I realized [that] we’re all just in this together and what happens in our lives happens. It’s all about how I choose to present myself. It’s not about what other people may think,” Julia Yusupov (12) said.

Resting on the hill near her house in her newly thrifted clothes, Julia Yusupov (12) stares out into the distance, the view calming her. Smiling, she lets go of all the worries in her head, preparing herself for the next day. 

Julia’s interest in thrifting began around a year ago, but at first, she faced resistance from her family. As the granddaughter of immigrants from the Soviet Union, she was always encouraged to buy first hand clothes.

“When I proposed the idea, [my grandparents]  looked at me and asked me, ‘What do you mean? You’re not allowed to do this. We immigrated here. We created a life for you. Don’t go to Goodwill. You should buy first hand clothes,’” Julia said. “For a while, that really resonated with me, because I knew my family didn’t want me to do this.” 

Although she held herself back from thrifting because of her family, Julia quickly realized the positive benefits that thrifting had on the world.

“Now that I know more about [how thrifting] is a way of recycling, a way of reusing the things we have in our society [and] in our ecosystem … that kind of translated into me going more often thrift shopping and became like an activity I would do with my friends.,” Julia said. “From there, it translated into so many conversations and so many  fun memories that I feel really resonated with me throughout high school.”

In addition to benefitting the ecosystem, Julia recently began watching docuseries on YouTube, which she feels has helped her learn more about the world around her. She lives by the motto ‘reimagine the possibilities,’ something she tries to embody through learning about the world.

“I believe this motto made me look at life in a different way. I had no idea what was happening and what was going on. A lot of times, especially being in the Bay Area, you don’t recognize the opportunities you have. It’s hard to grasp everything that’s handed your way,” Julia said.

Julia’s positive impact on the world begins with the people she surrounds herself with, as she prides herself in finding a group of friends who have the same motive as her. 

“I went through a phase, a twisty phase last year, and it’s with friends and the people I was hanging around with,” Julia said. “I think I’m proud of the fact that I can say right now that the people I surround myself with are beautiful people who have the kindest hearts and who I know will always be there for me and will always try to make a lasting impact in the world. I’m proud that I could surround myself with those people.”

As she values communication, she hopes to be someone who her friends can always confide in and someone who will always be a support pillar. 

“I try my best to be a very kind person … I think that’s why I feel like a lot of people try to confide in me. I feel like a lot of people have tried to talk to me about their issues and what’s going on in their lives,” Julia said. “I’m very happy that I could be that source of grounding for them, which feels like I’m giving something positive into the world, even if it’s [something small].”

Julia’s friends have also noticed this personality trait. Close friend Brian Pinkston (12) believes that she has alway been a positive influence. 

“My first perception of her was that she was really bubbly and happy,” Brian said. “She is always very energetic and positive. That seemed pretty constant through all the time I have been friends with her. She’s also really thoughtful, careful and kind hearted, but also considerate. ”

While always maintaining her smile, Julia also often supports her friends through their hardships. Katerina Fenner (12) feels that Julia is always there for her whenever she needs it. 

“She always has a positive outlook on things. If either of us had a rough day, she would always be the one who can turn around the situation,” Katerina said. “She’s the type of person where you don’t have to tell her that something’s wrong, but she can automatically tell. She puts effort into all her friendships and relationships.”

While Julia always tries to uplift others’ moods, she still has faced struggles as a high school student. As she progressed through high school, she feels she has slowly improved in letting go of her fear of failure. 

“[I’ve always had] a fear of not doing well [which was influenced by] the definition of the stereotype that we hold at Harker. It’s something I grew out of by senior year … I realized [that] we’re all just in this together and what happens in our lives happens. It’s all about how I choose to present myself. It’s not about what other people may think,” Julia said.