Humans of Harker: Mirth and musicality

Shreeya Vaidya spreads joy to everyone around her

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Esha Gohil

“It’s nice being in a community … I like to sing, but it’s not necessarily about the actual singing for me. It’s more about singing with everyone and having all my friends there. It’s like a family, and having them there makes me feel like I can do anything,” Shreeya Vaidya (12) said.

Leaning against her car, Shreeya Vaidya (12) smiles at something her friend says, responding with a quick-witted joke of her own. Whether surrounded by friends at school or at choir, Shreeya is always seen with a smile on her face, spreading that happiness to everyone around her.

Shreeya, who grew up in a very musical household, has been singing since she was 4 years old. She was in Harker choir until her freshman year but has participated in community choir since she was 7 years old.

“My family is very musical. So there was always music in my house growing up,” Shreeya said. “My dad is always singing, my mom is always listening to something, my brothers are always performing something, so there’s constant music in my house.”

Her family is very close, and they often push each other to take risks. Her brother, who is six years older than her, was the instigator to her involvement in choir.

“My older brother was actually the one who encouraged me to get into music. He joined a community choir before I did,” Shreeya said. “He would see me singing along to concerts, and he would tell me that I should join and that I would have a lot of fun.”

When she joined the Vivace Youth Chorus, the community choir that she attends, Shreeya met many of her closest friends. Choir has helped her develop not only her musical talent, but her friendships as well. As someone who values community and togetherness, Shreeya feels that her friendships bolster much of her personality. Though they only meet once a week, Shreeya feels that that minimal time together helps strengthen the friendship more.

“We would grow up together, but only once a week. So all the time we spent together was more meaningful and more of a bonding experience. I have a very, very close bond with them,” Shreeya said. “It’s nice being in a community … I like to sing, but it’s not necessarily about the actual singing for me. It’s more about singing with everyone and having all my friends there. It’s like a family, and having them there makes me feel like I can do anything.”

To Shreeya, friendship is one of the most important aspects of her life. As someone who feels best when she’s around others and making them laugh, Shreeya spends much of her time surrounded by the people she cares about.

“Shreeya is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. She’s super witty and is constantly cracking jokes,” close friend Sarah Raymond (12) said. “Even if we’re getting coffee together or something, I know I’ll always have a great time hanging out with her because she can turn any situation into a party.”

As someone who wants to learn as much as she can at any given moment, her friendships offer a diverse range of opinions and knowledge. A self proclaimed “people person,” Shreeya takes pride in her extrovertedness.

“There are constantly so many different personalities coming at you, and I think different people bring different things to the table and are so unique for each perspective. I feel like that’s one of my secret skills, my ability to befriend anybody,” Shreeya said.

The variety of perspective and opinions that she’s offered through her friendships excites her, and helps her grow as a person.

“I have a friend for all different sorts of things. It motivates me,” Shreeya said. “When I’m procrastinating, I can go to my really smart friends and they can persuade me to get my work done. When I want to be lazy, there’s always a friend around who’ll go get McDonalds with me. And more than that, I always have a friend who will sing in the car with me when I want to drive around.”

That spontaneity mixes well with Shreeya’s fun-loving personality. She prefers to live in the moment, rather than worry about the future.

“My mom has this bumper sticker that says, ‘I would rather be here now.’ She got it to make fun of those Facebook moms, but I feel like I internalize that a lot,” Shreeya said. “I’m constantly telling myself to live in the moment because I don’t want to regret it when I’m done with it. I don’t want to look back in 20 years and remember stressing over a million tests — I want to remember crazy trips with my friends.”