字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Translator: Queenie Lee Reviewer: Peter van de Ven To skip the small talk, I'm going to start off by asking you guys three questions. So the first question is: are any of you going through any sort of personal struggle right now? Yeah, okay. The second question is: do you feel that you have someone in your life with whom to share that struggle? Yes, all right. The third question is: do any of you guys watch Mad Men? So I know I'm way behind on my seasons - I just started getting into Netflix - and the other night while watching season number two, episode 12 of Mad Men, I heard Anna Draper say this to a very lost Donald Draper. She said, "The only thing keeping you from being happy is the belief that you are alone." This quote really resonated with me because that's exactly how I felt when I left sunny Southern California, three years ago, to start my freshman year of college at Northwestern University. So this is a picture of me, my freshman year of college, first week at school. That's me in the top left corner. And another question for you guys. Have you ever been out at a party, or event, or out with your friends, and someone says, "Let's take a picture," even though you weren't totally in the mood to take a picture, you weren't feeling that great but still smiled in the picture, and it ended up on Facebook and everyone saw it, and you're like, "That was me at that event." So that's kind of what happened at this picture. Also this picture, when I was out at a party that same week. So these pictures, they made it to Facebook, I was smiling in them, all my friends saw them. "Looks like you're having a great time in college." That's not really how I felt on the inside. This is a picture of my diary, that I started writing in that same first week of college. I actually have it right here with me, and I am going to read you my very first diary entry. September 27, 2012. I wish I could start out my first entry with an ecstatic quote about life or how I love college so much, but since this is a personal journal, I can be honest and say I've never remembered feeling more lost in my entire life. I only three quarters know that everything will work out and I'll be OK. I miss home and being surrounded by people who know me so well and love me for all that I am. And so that whole first year of college, I was plagued by this one question: who am I? I really had felt that I had lost my identity in leaving my home in California, leaving my friends behind to start college for the first time. And it was until the end of my freshman year when things were a lot better, that I had to learn what Donald Draper did in season two, episode 12 of Mad Men, that the only thing that had been keeping me from being happy was the belief that I was alone, and feeling that way in my first week of college. I actually put out this query over Facebook, one the last few weeks of freshman year. I said, "Hi, everyone. I'm doing my final journalism project on people struggling to adjust to college the first year. If anyone is willing to talk to me about it, please let me know and message me." And I was shocked when within just a couple of hours, I got messages from people all over campus. A lot of them expressing their pain, their first year of college, and I thought, "Wow, if only I was able to talk to these people that first week of school when I was also feeling lost and alone." Actually one of those people, she was someone I had met at one of those parties in the beginning and we had just met and been surface level friends, and that last week of school I interviewed her, and we ended up sitting in the student lounge together and sharing each other's experiences and talking about how lonely we had felt that entire year, and we were both, like, "Wow, if only we had said this to each other when we first met, we wouldn't have felt so lonely." So she ended up becoming one of my best friends in college. So that was the end of freshman year. Then sophomore year things got so much better. I ended up joining a sorority; I got super involved with that. I was really involved with my journalism projects. I co-founded a club called MIXED, which is the Mixed Race Student Coalition, and the whole idea was it didn't matter where you came from, or what was your background, we all could share our mixed experiences. I would be going out to all these parties, I had a lot of friends at that point, but there would still be nights where I'd come home from an evening out with my friends, and I'd still feel terribly empty inside and I couldn't understand it; I had just been with all these people. I still felt pretty lonely. You know, one of those nights, I was Skyping with one of my friends from far away, and we were having this very deep philosophical conversation about life, and I said, "Wow, I wish all conversations could be like this. This is awesome." And he was, like, "Yes, screw small talk." And I was, like, "Yeah, screw small talk. Why do we even make small talk?" I thought, what if, when talking to our friends, co-workers, or even complete strangers, we could always just skip the small talk, and instead talk about the things that really mattered in life or things that you both actually really cared about and wanted to talk about? So I was, like, wait, screw small talk, skip the small talk. We should make "Big Talk," and I thought the name was kind of cute, and I didn't really know what to do with it at the time, but I kind of just stuck it in my back pocket and just thought about it for a bit. And so that was the end of my sophomore year of college. And then the following summer, I was getting very involved in my journalism program, and I had the opportunity to do some documentary projects abroad, and I spent three weeks in Ecuador filming a documentary about education reform. Those three weeks were the best three weeks of my life. We were travelling throughout the entire country, interviewing strangers, everyone we encountered, about education in the country, and it didn't matter if we were gliding down the Amazon River, or climbing the Andes Mountains, or salsa dancing through the colonial streets of Cuenca, everywhere we went, we were being open to new people, new experiences and every day was a new adventure. And the picture on the top right was actually taken when one day we had run into these professors at this university, and they invited us into their villa overlooking the Andes Mountains. We ended up drinking wine with them all evening and salsa dancing. And I was, like, "Wow, why didn't this ever happen with my college professors back home?" There's something different in the way I'm approaching life when I'm travelling, the way I'm more open to people, and it invites these kind of magical experiences, and towards the end of my trip, I actually started getting really scared to go back home, to my everyday life. I didn't want to lose this magic - this magic of being abroad, and I thought, you know, how can I make everyday life feel this meaningful and look this beautiful? I had one more opportunity to travel that summer. I went to Germany to do a documentary about the Holocaust, and on one of my last days in Germany, I visited the Berlin Wall and I came upon this question written on the Berlin Wall. It said, "What do you want to do before you die?" And this question really hit me because I just finished the sophomore year, going through my mid-college life crisis, questioning: What's my purpose? Why am I studying journalism? What do I really want to do with my life? Everyone else is asking you that question too, constantly, when you come home for summer break. So I thought about it: what do I really want to do? I knew in part it was about building empathy between strangers, as I'd kind of done through MIXED and through my travelling documentary projects, and I also knew I'd always wanted to start a YouTube channel.