Heroes of CKI
Athena Vicky Pang
San Jose, CA
Why did you join Circle K?
So I joined Circle K because of my roommate, actually. When I was walking through the MU quad, there was the club rush happening during the first week of school, and I was with my roommate, and she was in Key Club all 4 years of her high school, um, I wasn’t though. I was just like, oh, I’ll just follow you and do your club stuff. But yeah, she was like, “oh yeah, we should try joining, it’s gonna be really fun.” So we went out to the first meeting, I really liked it. That’s why I joined. And I mainly stuck with Circle K just because of my big and meeting all the new people. It’s really nice cause um, it’s basically where I met my like, group of friends kinda, aside from the people I met from my dorm.
Why did you want to be president?
Um, so this mainly comes from me being a family head last year. I was--I mean, as you know, I was a family head last year. I had a really great family, uh, met really wonderful people, especially in fall quarter. Spring quarter was slow, but then fall quarter really kickstarted me wanting to do more for the club. Meeting new people, that’s one main aspect of me becoming president, another one was just doing more planning, and another one was just getting more involved with like, everyone. ‘Cause as a family head, you’re not like-- it’s not that you’re limited to, but you do have family socials within like a selective few people, and I just wanted to branch out and get to know more people cause everyone is super amazing! It’s really nice to know more people.
How would you say your experience as family head will help you?
Mmm… So as family head, you’re kind of-- especially as a single family head, you kind of have to understand where everyone comes from. Like if you’re planning a social, and that someone says “Oh I can’t make it” like last minute, you have to kind of accept it and be like, “Oh okay,” and if no one wants to come to your social, then you kinda have to be flexible on your own behalf. Um, the main three things, probably flexibility, um, getting things done on time or like starting early, and just being more open to things.
Just being more receptive to people, or like how things change? That kinda thing?
Yeah yeah, especially with like, how people are. I don’t mean that in a bad way. Just there’s so many different people in the world, and you obviously can’t know everyone, but the more people you open up to, the more perspectives you get to see, and it’s nice seeing all of that.
Have you had a Circle K moment, where you either realized a passion for service or you just realized that you feel like you belong in the club?
Um, so last year, it was the winter... No, it was fall service marathon, when the big/little requirements were still--like you still need to do the requirements. We had to do like a weeding/planting project up in American River area, and that day it was raining super hard. It was raining, it was muddy everywhere, there was so much rain. I woke up and I had to get up at like 6, ‘cause we had to leave at like 7, and at that moment I was just like, dang, I don’t know if I want to still do this. I stuck with it, and by the time we got there, it was still raining, still muddy, and um. I met like, three new people from the club, and like as a first year, you’re really shy and you don’t really want to meet new people, but those new people really opened up to me. Um, I don’t remember their names ‘cause I think they ghosted, but it’s okay. But aside from that, meeting new people, and then me doing the service event, I was like, “Oh my gosh, these people really care. I care too!” Like you start to find yourself when you’re doing something that you’re more passionate about. And then that was kind of my main moment, like, despite all the weather, despite the getting up super early to do these things, it’s like, I realized, this is what I want, you know? I want to give more of myself up.
Would you say you’re a selfless person?
Yes… Yes. Not with food. Just kidding! I’m kidding! Yes, though. Um, I like to believe that if someone asks you for help, they’re not asking to spite you, and they’re not asking because they like, don’t want to do it. I think they’re asking because they genuinely need help, or they want help, and I grew up with like a twin sister, so like, we always helped each other no matter what. And Ii’ve just kind of given that same perspective with everyone. If you need help, I’ll be there. Just let me know. Like I’m not gonna force you, like “Hey, I’m gonna help you right now.” But if you do want the help then like, you can ask and I’ll always be there.
Speaking of your sister, how would you say your relationship is with your family?
Uh, so my family. Little context, i just have one sister, she goes to UC san diego, which is like the furthest UC from davis but it’s fine. My family is small, so just my sister and my two parents. My mom and my dad are both working full time, um, but i still see them a lot. Uh, back in high school also, i saw my sister every day. We went to the same high school, lived in the same room. I… I think our relationship is good. I don’t want to compare it to other people, but we talked, we didn’t keep that many secrets, at least if it was like secrets that really can’t be told, then we wouldn’t, but academic stuff, personal stuff, things like that, i could always go to my sister or my mom. My dad is really quiet. But that’s how it normally is, for me.
How would you say your family has impacted who you are? You know, like, raised you, or just a quality of theirs that you feel like you have.
Mmm, my parents are really the type of people to not butt in if they don’t have to *laughs*. I don’t know how to say it in a not-mean way, but if there’s something that shouldn’t be said, then don’t say it—like don’t say something mean. If it’s not gonna benefit anyone in any way, like my parents are pretty, like-- my parents are really quiet people, um, but within our family, they’re not loud, but like, they’re really open about everything. But that’s how i kind of feel, like um, that’s how i go about with friends and everything. I just feel like if there’s something that’s unnecessary, then you don’t need to do it. I dunno, like bragging, i don’t like it. I don’t like bragging, i like being more humble about stuff. i know bragging and sharing information is like two different things. Bragging, you sound more condescending, but if you’re sharing information, you’re sharing it to people you actually care about. That’s what my parents taught me.
Okay, switching gears for a bit, why did you choose electrical engineering for your major?
Aside from the money part, um *laughs* that’s half of it probably, if i were to put it in percentage-wise. Um, when i was little, so my uncle is an electrical engineer, and he currently works for Activision, which is a company that develops software and games that are like Call of Duty. Yeah so he’s-- he’s stable financially and everything, and he seems to be like really interested in all this stuff and he, when i was young, he worked for Leapfrog, which is like the educational toys that are like electronic, do you remember those?
Yeah, so he brought prototypes home to me and my sister when we were young, and i really liked playing with them. They’re just like, toys that are electronic. I liked taking them apart and seeing stuff unravel, it was weird! That’s probably the main reason why i wanted to become an electrical engineer. And then the other part was, in junior year of high school i went to an engineering camp for like a week at Santa Clara University, and we toured Flex, which is a company that um, has a lot of patents with like, inventing things. And this one guy, I asked him what he does for a living, and--he’s an electrical engineer, and then he’s like, “I make things and i destroy them for fun.” I was like, that’s the life i wanna live! So, i mean, i also wanna invent things, so that was my tipping point for electrical engineer, cause at that point, i was just like, oh, engineer for sure, just not sure whether mechanical or whichever, but yeah. Lazy lifestyles, just making everything and then destroying it! *laughs*
So why physics, then?
So a lot of like, a lot of that passion comes from high school. In freshman year i took physics honors, and then in sophomore year i took AP physics B, which a lot of people normally take in junior or senior year, but they offered it sophomore year of my high school. I don’t know why. They took it out eventually, but i dont know why *laughs*. I took it, and… maybe it was the teacher, but the teacher had high expectations of me and my sister when we were taking physics. I don’t know, I just really liked it. And then, um fun fact, my worst unit was electricity and magnetism, and it ended up being my best subject here in college. So i think it’s like me really-- i have like another like, core aspect of me, where i believe, just, second chances… i don’t know, like… gotta keep working for what you want.
What are some of your hobbies?
I.. heh. Also, this is gonna sound really bad, but i tend to pick up things and then not do them. I don’t know, like, okay so, i like to draw, so drawing is-- was one of my hobbies, and then i would still like to pick it up now, but i don’t have the time, and… i don’t know. I think i would pick it up again. Yeah, i just got new pens and pencils from friends, and that was really nice.
So like drawing, mostly?
Yeah. And portraits. I was trying to pick up-- what’s that one called? Caricatures. But that’s really hard and i don’t like exaggerating features of people. It’s mean and weird! So i dropped that quickly. Um, instruments, i play piano and flute. I played flute in middle school, piano, also in middle school but a little longer than the flute.
Wait, so you stopped playing both of them?
Yeah. I still play the piano occasionally, when i’m at home. My most recent song is “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran, it is beautiful. But yeah, other than that… mm… I don’t have other hobbies. I mean, in high school i played volleyball, and golf. I enjoyed that.
Why’d you stop?
Um, so i mainly did-- in high school i did volleyball and golf because of sports PE, i don’t know if you know what that is. So it’s like… so you’re required to take PE your first year, and then your second year if you do two sports your freshman and sophomore year, you don’t have to take PE your second year. So i did that, and i wanted to continue volleyball, but um, junior year of high school i was starting to take more ap classes, and-- i got a job in junior year, so i just didn’t want to do volleyball anymore. Oh yeah, another thing that’s weird about me is, i like school. I like school, yeah, i like being busy. In freshman year, i played volleyball… Freshman year wasn’t really anything, this was in high school. And then like towards the end of high school, like senior year, i was taking 5 APs. i had a job, i was still a part of two clubs, and… yeah, i mean, i didn’t think i was that busy, but when people like tell me these things, like oh my god you were doing all this, then i realized that yeah, i guess i like that, i like being busy. So yeah.
If you had to pick a superpower, just one, but any superpower, what would it be?
I just thought of one, and then i was like, no, not that one *laugh*. I was thinking invisibility, and then i was like wait no, that’s not what i wanted. Um, probably flying. *giggles* I know that’s really generic, but i do want to explore the world, and i do wanna like see things from a new perspective, like if you’re looking at, like, if you’re super high up from the ground, and you look down, everyone looks like ants. It’s like, it’s so small, but there’s so much happening at one time, and i think-- i think that’s the one i’ve stuck with all my life. I’ve been fluctuating between invisibility and flying, but i’m gonna stick with flying *laughs*.
Why would you say invisibility, though?
I… I don’t like stalking people, but it’s nice being there while people don’t pay attention to you. You’re just kind of observing. The same thing as flying, in a way.
But it’s from a completely different scale.
Yeah, and that’s also like… i don’t know. I don’t know. Like i used to be an introvert, that’s why. Um, i still consider myself as an introvert, like partially, like if someone-- i guess i also overthink, so if someone like, sends a period with their text, i’m like, “oh my gosh, did i do something wrong?!” Uh, yeah, so those feelings of insecurity, of just feeling like, “oh my gosh, do these people not like me?” and um, what was another one, there was another one.. Oh, and like, i don’t know, just those type of feelings have kind of changed since i’ve gotten into college, but i think that’s where the wanting to be invisible comes from. Cause like in high school it was different. You definitely change a lot when you get to college.
So you’d say you’ve kind of grown out of that, but would you still say you’re an introvert?
Um, I would say yes, but not as much as I was before. Like when I’m put in a social situation, and i’m encouraged to talk, i start getting nervous, but i’ll still talk. Um, I, okay this is another thing, I like public speaking.
You actually like it??
like public speaking, but i don’t like talking about myself, if you get what i mean. I think that’s why i don’t like social situations, or like being an introvert, it’s just talking about myself, and then worrying about saying the wrong thing. But in public speaking it’s different, like, you should know what you’re talking about if you’re given the topic to talk about. Yeah, i’m also really indecisive.
How does that play into, um… all that stuff?
Um, so yeah, indecisiveness. Uh, that’s been with me for ever since i can remember. Um… I think it’s just overthinking things, like the pros and cons of things, like, and then not being able to choose a decision or choice, just because, oh, there’s still one con, like i can’t fix that, and then me not choosing. And then, me overthinking, with like indecisiveness, makes me not want to talk to people, cause i feel like, “oh, they don’t want to talk to me just ‘cause of this one thing, and-- i don’t hold grudges, i tend to forget things easily. But like, if you have like an attitude towards something, i tend to remember that more than an action you did, in a way. So, yeah. I don’t know. Yeah, my feelings are weird.