Dear Heena Srivastava,
When I came to IMSA, I knew I would be surrounded by talented, competent individuals. I knew I would make lasting, irreplaceable friendships, too. But understanding theory never really prepares you for application. Nothing would have prepared me to meet you, someone talented, compassionate, and beautiful beyond belief that I get to call my best friend.
So let’s reflect. How’d we get here? On the very first night of sophomore year, a timid, lanky, clean shaven Akash ventured to the Ice Cream Social, accompanied by a vivacious, outgoing roommate. He said he would introduce me to some of his friends; awkward me was beyond excited to have people he could talk to. That’s when I met you, and for some reason thought it was appropriate to discuss how difficult shaving my face was. After gorging ourselves on free ice cream, we found ourselves in 02, playing Peel the Onion. Surrounded by strangers, we talked about some of our most personal beliefs. It was a crash course in getting to know each other, and, from there, our friendship never stopped.
Heena, I speak for all when I say you’ve changed the lives of everyone you’ve befriended and made immeasurable positive change for the IMSA community. Your passion and competence were instrumental in revamping EnACT, a feat which I could barely hope to accomplish myself and one for which I continue to be in awe of you and Grace for. The consequences of all of your work with LEAD reach far beyond this class of sophomores; you set a direction for the foreseeable future. Your service through the Acronym has served to bring this campus just a little bit closer together. Whether it be Humans of IMSA or your relentless, unwavering commitment to the Senior Edition, you have shown a remarkable capability to think in terms of community improvement that I can only hope to emulate one day.
Anyone that has had the privilege acquiring your friendship can attest that it is invaluable. Your humor, presence, compassion, and hugs, have helped me through many a rough patch, and your selflessness is humbling. Your very presence is inspiring, and I am eternally thankful for it.
As senior year draws to a close, it brings me great sorrow to think about not being able to see your smiling face and work with you regularly. But it does not bring me fear; even if the frequency of our in person interaction is set to inevitably decrease, I haven’t the slightest doubt that we will continue this friendship for years. That said, our days as seniors together are quite numbered. And I’d like to make the most of them, and make the best memories we can.
So, Heena Srivastava…