I’m Meghana Narahari. I’m a Junior from Portland, Oregon. What drew me to Tulane was honestly, at first, the money. But also, I wanted to go to college somewhere that was completely different from where I was raised. The south is as different as you can get. I remember touring Tulane, walking onto campus, and seeing people playing spikeball, throwing frisbees, and tanning in the sun. It felt like I was walking into a college magazine. They say you get that feeling when you step onto a college campus, and I think I did get that when I came to Tulane.

It has been everything I was expecting but not how I expected it. I think COVID and Hurricane Ida have been crazy. Also, being in an election year while in college, a tornado, has all been so different from what I expected. But in a lot of ways, I think it was a blessing. COVID really taught me to figure out what I want in a friend and what the word friendship means to me. Also how important it is to make time for people you care about. During Ida, I got super close with people who had just been acquaintances in the past because we all escaped the hurricane together. They have all been crazy experiences and not how I thought college would turn out, but I would not change anything.

My majors are Neuroscience and Public Health. [I then asked her what she wanted to do with this, and she laughed]. You asked me at a time when I am trying to figure that out myself. My goal is to go to medical school, and I want to be an MD MPH. I think right now, I want to be an OBGYN with my MD, and on the side of my MPH, I would love to work in women’s health. [I am interested in] the luxury tax on period products and women’s access to healthcare, and I think New Orleans has inspired that too because there is such a big gap here for the outcomes of Black mothers. [I believe it is important] to address those gaps in maternal healthcare, women’s access to healthcare, and women’s reproductive rights. Those topics really interest me, but I need to hone in on one eventually.

I worked with the New Orleans Maternal and Child Health Coalition. I worked with them on social media stuff, working with different policy people they have and different organizations they are working with to create a big organization that can rally and make a change. Basically, they get all of the groups together to do something big.

I’m trying to be a roller skater in my free time because I always see that happening in Audubon, and I want to be one of those cool people who are roller skating backward. That’s like an incoming hobby. But besides that, I really like to run; I just ran my second half marathon in New Orleans. I did the Rock n’ Roll, it was super fun and my parents came down and my dad ran it with me. It was a great family experience.

I also really enjoy scuba diving. I got certified when I was eighteen, right before I came to Tulane. Every year I’ve done one scuba diving trip, and I’m planning my one for this summer. I want to go to Mexico and hopefully see a whale shark. I think they usually come to Puerto Vallarta and the Yucatan Peninsula. I think that by the time they come around here they have just given birth so I think you can see some baby whale sharks which is really cool. That is my dream but I don’t know if it will happen because I have to save up for it.

One thing that I love about New Orleans that I did not expect to come here and find out is that it’s a city where people come to love their hobbies. Kind of like how people go to LA to pursue their Hollywood dreams. People come to New Orleans and they have their 9 to 5 jobs, which they love, but they have all of these passions on the side. Many of these restaurants were opened by people working a 9 to 5 or people going play their trumpets in a square during the weekend or selling their art in a market. It has taught me that I don’t just need to be this one, Indian, pre-med girl. I can be a pre-med girl who loves roller skating backward and scuba diving.

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