Freshman Spotlight: Katayoun Khalilian

Katayoun Khalilian

Hometown: Dallas, TX

Major: Biology

What are three things on your freshman year bucket list?

I think three things on my freshman year bucket list are to first meet a lot of new people and make a lot of new friends that aren’t just in my major. Second, I really want to kill chemistry. It’s a really difficult course for me personally, and I really just want to make sure I get good grades this semester. And I think finally, I want to have a family dinner with my friends where I make them mac and cheese because I’m very proud of my mac and cheese skills, but I have no one to make my mac and cheese with. SO I really want to get that checked off.

What is your favorite class in college so far?

So far, I think the most interesting class I have enrolled in is my modern middle eastern history class because I feel like I got a lot of different history classes throughout high school but most of them were focused on Europe or the U.S. and how they impacted the world. Whereas this class gives a very in depth look into a region where I’m from and I’m really interested in. And it’s all in the modern world too. 

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

The best piece of advice I ever gave was to my best friend Margie who is back in Dallas, and I told her that you live life and everything you do in life is for yourself at the end of the day. You shouldn’t be living for other people, and you shouldn’t be comparing yourself to other people of their progress at all because once you start to look at your own life through someone else’s eyes you’re no longer achieving your own personal goals. You’re trying to live up to somebody else’s standards. So focusing on yourself and making sure what your doing is the best for you and that it makes you happy is the only real way to ensure that your life is for yourself and that you’re being successful. 

If you could be famous what would you want to be famous for?

I think I’d really like to be famous for being involved in some big social movement. I think one thing I think is really interesting is in today’s political climate a lot of Muslim Americans don’t really have their stories told as far as how we are being affected by the current government because not a lot of us have spoken out. We are a lot smaller community than Latinx people or African Americans in the U.S. who have also been affected by the regime. But I really want to raise voices and concerns about exactly how Muslim Americans are being affected, so I think that would be pretty cool to be recognized for. 

What is your favorite thing about speech?

My favorite thing about speech is being able to see how every individual has such a different background and a different story that they want to tell. Every person has their own kind of specialization in what topics interest them, and just by being in speech and talking to my teammates, I get to learn so much about issues that I first of all probably never knew existed and also get a very personal of it so it doesn’t seem very textbook of clinical when I’m learning about those issues.