Duke MQM Student Blog
25 Random Things About Us
If you're a prospective student, maybe you found yourself staring at the "25 Random Things About Yourself" essay prompt on the admission application, wondering where and how to start. It might seem a little tricky at first, so here are 25 random things about us to help you get into a groove
If you’re a prospective student, maybe you found yourself staring at the “25 Random Things About Yourself” essay prompt on the admission application, wondering where and how to start. It might seem a little tricky at first, so here are 25 random things about us to help you get into a groove.
- When I was in my final year of high school, Metallica, my favorite band, was coming to India to play a concert. I begged my parents to let me go and traveled 2,000 miles in a train in intense heat for two days to watch them play live.
- I got my first and only tattoo in my final year of high school, which was a big mistake. It’s a stamp on my chest that says, “Rock N Roll” and it looks hideous.
- I love putting music to scenes and I recently made a music video for U2’s “Love is Blindness” with scenes from the movie “Blade Runner 2049.” It currently has roughly 200 views on YouTube (I myself have opened it 50 times from other people’s devices) but I pray every morning that it goes viral
- As a kid I was terrified of haircuts. So much that I had very long hair growing up. And because of this my brother got rejected in a primary school interview when he introduced me as his younger brother in the family photo introduction round. The interviewer thought that I was his younger sister.
- I absolutely dig the Freakonomics series—the book, podcasts, and the spin-offs Narconomics, Socceronomics, and Beeronomics.
- At work, I am the go-to guy to bring up the morale of any team, to conduct Fun Fridays, to pacify any client escalation. All I do is smile, nod my head and say things such as “don’t worry, it’s going to be alright,” “this too shall pass,” and “we will fix this.” It works every single time.
- The Academy Awards or the Oscars is my all-time favorite show. I predict the winners in every category and my predictions have proven to be correct more than 80% of the time.
- Last year, while I was traveling in Sikkim, I joined a bunch of monk kids in a monastery on their holiday and played soccer with them. Then I requested them to open the temple for us and give us a tour. All this because I let them score against me.
- I was a late-night radio DJ during college, where I showcased a different world genre on my show each week. The music ranged from Thai indie rock to French electronica to Brazilian funk. Receiving random call-ins from listeners thanking me for exposing them to new music made my 1:00 – 2:00 a.m. shift worth it.
- About 25% of my closet is comprised of secondhand clothing since I try to avoid the temptation of fast fashion when I can. I especially enjoy thrifting men’s clothes, though my Hawaiian shirt collection is starting to get a little crowded.
- The closest I have come to death was during a solo hike up a Slovenian mountain in the snow. Because of a lucky stick, I saved myself from tumbling all the way down.
- When looked up in a dictionary, my Chinese nickname actually means “slave girl.” My mother claims this is an old meaning and was unaware of this, so I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.
- I spent the first half of the year backpacking solo throughout Asia while doing some volunteering along the way, which included chopping bamboo on a Japanese farm and marketing a hippie French couple’s yoga company in Bali.
- I have an almost-completed romantic comedy screenplay written out somewhere in my hard drive.
- One of the most interesting concerts I have attended was Max Richter’s 8-hour overnight performance called “Sleep.” I slept on the floor of a concert hall while Max played the most hauntingly beautiful music, allowing my most vulnerable state to embrace something completely out of my comfort zone.
- I have one brother, one step-brother, one step-sister, one half-brother, and one half-sister. Get this: my step-sister and half-sister also happen to have the same first name (but thankfully, different last names).
- My Chinese name means “the ring of a bell.” My nickname, Xingmin, means, “wake the people,” which I never spoke of to any friends because it sounds strange and somewhat boyish. However, it shows that my parents had high expectations for me.
- I love collecting CDs from different artists (even today). To me, some groups of CDs record different stages in my life, almost like a movie soundtrack. I used my first month’s salary to buy a Yamaha CD player with a vintage look. Listening to music with it before I sleep has become a daily routine.
- At seven years old, I nearly drowned in a lake when I tried to punch the ice on the surface and fell in. Luckily, a passer-by saw this and saved me. It was my first near-death experience.
- I love detective stories and Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors. I watched the first and second season of the British drama “Sherlock” more than 10 times each, and my phone passcode is “I am _ _ _ _ locked”. Guess what the four letters are!
- I would always put baby powder on my hands for important social occasions or before my piano performances because my hands sweat a lot.
- I am passionate and sensitive about user interface design as an amateur. I sometimes send feedback to app developers. Once, the developer of an alarm clock app adopted one of my suggestions and optimized the function in the next edition.
- I have an online shop to sell my second-hand clothes and accessories. I would carefully choose the brands and styles of the items I sell to form a clear brand image of my shop. My sales have reached 26,000 RMB since I started the shop about two years ago. I used the money I earned for my graduation trip to Japan.
- Every time I go back to my hometown, my favorite thing to do is sitting on the carpet with my mum and looking through old printed photos. It was delightful to find that my mum was such a beauty, like a movie star, before I was born.
- I love hotpot. In fact, I once organized a hotpot theme party for Lenovo as part of a campus marketing campaign. It was in Sichuan, the hotpot capital of China, and more than 500 local students registered for this event!