Incoming English major strikes out on her own

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Editor's note: This is part of a series of profiles of fall 2018 incoming ASU students.

Some might take it for granted that twins are inseparable; growing up, incoming Arizona State University freshman Sara Lander and her sister, Erica, were no exception. But when it came time to choose where to continue their education after high school, they took a decidedly mature approach, even though it meant they’d have to put some distance between them.

“While I love my sister dearly and will miss seeing her day-to-day, we're very independent people,” Sara Lander said. So in the interest of staying true to themselves and pursuing their passions, Lander opted to strike out on her own and head for ASU while Erica will remain in their home state to attend California State University, Long Beach.

For Lander, her passion is writing. This fall, she’ll embark on her first year as an English major at the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences on ASU’s West campus. And when she’s not basking in the relative luxury of her dorm in the Casa de Oro residential hall, you can bet she’ll be putting pen to paper — or, more likely, fingertips to keyboard. 

Question: Why did you choose ASU? 

Answer: I like how it seems the professors and staff really do want the best for their students, and that with all the resources and programs ASU has, I know I can do good things.

Q: What drew you to study English?

A: I've always enjoyed English classes throughout school, and writing is certainly one of my favorite pastimes. While I don't necessarily need an English degree to pursue my passion, because I want to hone my skills and use my writing ability to assist people, I felt like getting a specialized degree in English would help me be more qualified and get me to the places I want to be. 

Q: What are you most excited to experience at ASU? 

A: Honestly, other than the chance to finally take classes in subjects I'm really interested in, I'm most excited to explore the opportunities in the Phoenix area. Going to college itself is a chance to start over with a clean slate, but by going out of state to a place where hardly anyone knows my name — while it's scary to some, to me it's the perfect chance to explore everything life has to offer.

Q: What do you like to brag about to friends about ASU? 

A: Other than the fact that ASU is No. 1 in innovation? I mostly tell people how amazing the dorms are at the West campus. Seriously, I've toured a lot of different dorms on different campuses and I can honestly tell you I haven't seen any rooms like those in Casa de Oro. 

Q: What talents and skills are you bringing to the ASU community? 

A: I'm bringing with me a positive attitude and a desire to help out in any way I can!

Q: What’s your favorite TV show right now?

A: Hands down, "Game of Thrones." I'll be sad to see it go since it's supposedly having its final season in 2019.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your time at ASU? 

A: Ideally, I hope to have some work of mine published in an academic journal, though I'd also love to have the chance to study abroad.

Q: What’s one interesting fact about yourself that only your friends know? 

A: Since elementary school I've officially attempted six sports, though golf and skiing are really the only ones that stuck.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem in our world, what would you choose? 

A: If I had to choose one problem, I'd go with world hunger. While it seems cliché, world hunger in addition to lack of clean water are still problems today. It's baffling to me that in this modern day and age we still have not found a sustainable way to give all of our wasted food to those struggling to survive around the world. 

Q: Predictions on the final score for this year’s Territorial Cup game? 

A: Just because I'm from out of state, it doesn't stop me from knowing the obvious answer: ASU! As they say, forks up, Sun Devils!

Top photo: Sara Lander stands in front of the “Marshall Monument” in her hometown of Placerville, California. James Marshall discovered gold there. Photo courtesy of Sara Lander