Joseph is a Filipino American pursuing a double degree in kinesiology and photography. Matthew is a mixed Filipino American studying mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. Britanna is also a mixed Filipina American studying psychology.
Joseph and Matthew were roommates their first year at Seattle University (2019–2020). Matthew is originally from Portland, Oregon.
Britanna transferred from SU to the University of Washington, Bothell, during the 2020–2021 academic year but is still involved with SU’s United Filipino Club [UFC].
Really anything [is my comfort food], but chimichangas is one of them. Cooked in the microwave, beef, different cheeses. Smells exactly like how a burrito would smell, that beefy smell. There’s no real distinct memory connected to it. Just a food that I eat that brings me comfort.
Why did you choose your major?
Definitely working out or playing sports. Makes me curious about the human body and how to improve whether that’s physically or mentally.
Where are you from?
Home is where I feel like I can be myself. Now that really is my real home, the place I sleep every night. My other home could be anywhere, but it’s really with the people that make me me. The people that love everything about me, that don’t want me to change.
Why did you go to college?
Someone who is confident when in a comfortable environment. Loves to do lots of hobbies, activities, quiet but present.
Don’t forget those that helped you be you. Stop overthinking, stop asking for so much approval.
Where are you from? Why did you choose your major? Why did you go to college?
My mom’s cooking is my comfort food. Regardless of what it is—SPAM, eggs and rice, lasagna, spaghetti, chicken adobo, grilled chicken, or anything in a Crock Pot—it’s all comfort food to me.
Completing hard workouts and being with friends are what “sparks joy” in my life.
Before COVID, I considered my “home” to be SU campus because all of what I considered my “extended family” (my friends in college) were all in close proximity to me, and we could do things together and in-person whenever we wanted. It also felt like there was an omnipresent, loving, atmosphere during my time living in the university dorms.
I would describe myself as follows: Matthew is a young man trying to find his purpose in the world.
Find your purpose. Do what you do best.
—Make a difference in the world.
Where are you from?
Home is where I’m with the people who I love and who love me the most. Home is the smiling faces of my friends and family. Home smells like a rainy day in Seattle. Home sounds like the laughter I share with the people around me.
Why did you choose your major?
I am loving. I have love for many people and I love with all my heart. I am selfless. I put others above myself and wish for their happiness and wellbeing before my own. I am resilient. No matter what obstacles or hardships I face, I overcome them and grow from the experience.
Why did you go to college?
I would like to remind my future self that change is okay. It’s okay to let things and people go. It’s important to know that you will get through anything and everything. It’s important to know that you have people who love and support you and people that will be there for you.
Joseph: For me, it definitely felt like I was back in [high school], because, like—ate [Veronica Anne], you know we did something like this every year in CP [community period], where we, like, filled out questions for our future self. Or I know the whole thing wasn’t for, like, your future self, but the question where it asked, “What would you tell your future self?”—that was the one that reminded me of being back in high school. And so, I kind of just wrote what I wrote for, like, all those four years.
Matthew: For me, I found myself thinking back to my time when we all—or, when Joe and I lived on SU’s campus, and Brit sometimes lived there too. It was—that’s where I found my mind going with all these questions, like, “What sparks joy? What’s your comfort food?” I was thinking back to my two quarters of living away from home on campus.
Britanna: For me—well, the first part, when it asked about the comfort food, I was like, “Dang. I don’t even know how to make my favorite food.” So that kind of—I had to think really hard about that one. I wasn’t really . . . Looking back after writing it, it reminded me of when we went on retreats in high school. I went to one—we called it SEARCH, so I was a Searcher my junior year, and I loved the experience so much that it made me become a leader my senior year. And so, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about SEARCH as I was writing it, but looking back at these questions and my answers, it reminded me a lot about the self-reflections that I did in SEARCH, and it was kind of nostalgic.
Veronica Anne: Thank you. If you feel comfortable, could you talk more specifically about what you guys have written? You don’t have to read verbatim what you’ve written down; you could just summarize or generalize it.
Joseph: I mean, like, some of the stuff I wrote is kind of what I talked—said today in the interview. But, like what Brit said about the comfort food, that one was—that was kind of hard to talk about, because [for] most of the stuff, I use the microwave. So . . . and it’s really anything.
But the one question that, like, that really got me thinking was, “What would you tell your future self?” ‘Cause, like, while I did write something that I kind of wrote throughout high school, there was one thing that I wrote that one of my friends—she’s, like, the person that I go to for advice or if I just want to vent. But she gave me this one advice a few months ago that I haven’t really stopped thinking about. It’s, “Stop asking for someone’s approval.” ‘Cause I’m always asking people, like, “Oh, should I do this? Do you think I should do this? Would this look good on me?” And she’s kind of fed up with me asking her that, so that’s kind of why she told me to stop asking for so much approval. But that right there is definitely something I would tell my future self or remind him.
Matthew: For me, I’m pretty much the same thing with the comfort food, like Brit: I don’t know how to make it. It’s pretty much just whatever my mom’s cooking, is my comfort food. So, whether it be, like, lasagna, spaghetti, [or] SPAM, eggs, and rice—I know how to make SPAM, eggs, and rice, but it’s just different when my mom makes it. You know when you eat your mom’s cooking, it just tastes better.
And then the one question that really hit me was the one that was, like, the most simple. It was, “How would you describe yourself?” I wrote in the third person too. I just said, “Matthew is a young man trying to find his purpose in the world.” ‘Cause that’s—if I were to look at myself in the third person, I would want that person to think that’s what I’m doing. You know, that’s the reason why I have the part-time job that I have during the midst of a pandemic; that’s the reason why I’m doing the things I am—is that I’m trying to find my purpose.
Those are really good questions too. All of them.
Britanna: Yeah, you’ve already heard me talk about the first question. If you want to know what food it was, it was sinigang. I just—I know you have to put everything in a pot, but I don’t know in what order. I just know, put everything in a pot and then put it on your rice. So, there’s that.
And then the one question that really stood out to me, like Joe, was, “What would you like to remind your future self about?”
And for me, I wrote that I wanted to remind myself that change is okay. Um, this year, I know definitely for everyone, there’s been a lot of change, but for me specifically, change with my family, my dad—that was a really big thing that happened to me this year. It’s a really deep story, but yeah, that was a big change. Having to switch schools . . . unexpectedly—that also was a really big change. And then kind of just, like, a change with the people who are in my life. Some people aren’t as present as they used to be and they used to be, like, a really big—not big—they used to play a really big role in my life. But recently, it’s not like that anymore. So, I just want to let myself know that not everything is going to be the same, but that’s okay. Life goes on, some people are temporary; some people are there forever. But eventually, I’ll be okay. Yeah, there’s always going to be people who will love and support me. It may not be the same people throughout my life but there always will be people there.