Angelica Jopling is a Londoner studying Art History at Stanford. We sat down to talk about University’s joys and challenges, from disco music and stationery to making friends, anti-frat frats and therapy. Read the conversation below.
Hana: First off… essential University stationery?
H: Muji is so nice. All the neutral colours and natural materials mmmm.
A: I don’t think there’s anything else I use.
H: What items?
A: Do you know the little Muji pens? Different colours, different sizes. The brown notebooks…. The ruler that opens out. Everything’s just like a smart design. I use the les girls les boys pouch you get with your order as my pencil case, so does my roommate.
H: Same, and the bigger one for laptop/keeping papers flat. Any advice for making friends and staying true to your identity?
A: Ummm, I’m really shy when I meet people so it takes me personally a while to really feel like I’m friends with someone. But I think mostly it’s just wearing what you want to wear and saying what you want to say. I have a shyness about that sometimes, but for the most part I think that’s important. Then you’ll have the right people around you.
H: That’s true. It can be scary though. Before University when I was at school there was an unspoken pressure to be a certain way. So there were quite a few people whose identities grew when they had the space to question them at University; it’s all new people and you’re away from your family and you can kind of explore yourself more.
A: It’s kinda like a fresh start.
H: But then it can be quite hard to come home.
A: I always feel weird when I come back to London. Also advice for making friends is like, don’t stick to people you’d expect to be friends with. Keep an open mind there. I feel like for me and a lot of my friends, we kind of fell into a certain friend group at school and expected the same thing at University. And I think keeping a more open mind to people from different places and backgrounds and whatever is good advice.
H: I actually think all the people you meet is one of the best things you get from University.
H: How do you handle romantic relationships?
A: How do I deal with them?!
H: Or any advice more generally if you don’t wanna speak too personally!
A: Oh haha! If you’re going through a difficult time talk to people… don’t sit inside and listen to your sad playlist…
H: Mmm, that can be fun though sometimes.
A: Yeah I mean like, that’s what I do if I'm upset. But I think talking to people is always important about anything. And I think it’s hard. Just keep in mind there’s a lot of hard change happening at University and romance is just like, an added stress… it’s a tricky one.
H: I think talking to people is really good advise.
A: Yeah, having open communication with your partner too. And also, the biggest issue I’ve seen is when people are dating someone within their university and they only spend time with them and not anyone else. It can cause a lot of problems if they’re kind of associated together and have all the same friends. If they need to break up it’s like…
H: That’s really difficult. It puts pressure on people to stay in unhappy relationships too for fear of losing their love and their friendships.
A: So difficult. I’ve seen that happen before. So I think having your own identity separate from each other is really important.
H: Just never be co-dependent.
A: Yeah co-dependency! It’s not what you want.
H: Do you do pre-drinks?
A: Yeah, we do pre-drinks. Pre-drinks usually happen at my friend James’s, and he’s in a frat. It’s an anti-frat frat. I’m not in a sorority or anything, but because where we’re located there’s nowhere fun to go out off campus, we go to other houses a lot.
H: What music?
A: Mine’s everything. Mine’s such a mix of everything. Like… I don’t know, I’ll go through phases so at the beginning of last year I was in such a disco mood. I made a whole disco playlist of Donna Summer, Wild Cherry, Prince… It was amazing. And then I went through a real sixties/seventies rock ’n’ roll phase.
H: Mmmm. So good.
A: And then… I don’t know, I just go through phases. It’s hard that favourite music question.
H: Yeah I can’t answer that one either.
H: What about staying healthy at University?
A: Uhh, vitamins. Essential. And eating well and regularly. Plus sleep. No one sleeps enough. It’s kind of impossible but if you can just get it in there. Take a rest when you need it! Like, it doesn’t matter… nothing matters in the end.
H: Yeah, it will be fine. What about mental health?
A: I’d say firstly, at University, having good friends that you can talk to is very helpful. I’d also say having an outlet of some kind. Like, my roommate is a dancer and if she’s struggling with something dancing often helps her or music. Or for some people it’s art or creating something. And also in most Universities they have therapists.
H: That’s so good! A: Yeah, just having someone there to talk to is really beneficial.
H: Is that easily accessible and available?
A: At my school you just book an appointment online and it might take a week or a few weeks but you'll get in. I went to see a therapist there, she wasn’t right for me but she was there. It’s being honest with yourself about any struggles and not judging it but validating yourself for it.
H: For lots of people seeing a therapist can be really daunting, so having a university say “we provide a therapist” normalises it, which is everything.
A: I think especially in the UK there’s more of a stigma around seeing a therapist or needing to take medication. It’s more of an open conversation in America. But just not judging yourself for needing help.
H: What would you advise your ‘fresher’ self, if you were going back to University for the first time?
A: I’d do way more research.
A: I always think about this. If before I started at Stanford I really understood all the opportunities there were for me… But on that same note I’d also advise myself that even though there are loads of opportunities, it can be so overwhelming and you don’t have to feel like you have to do everything. That’s one thing I struggled with, thinking I'm not taking advantage of everything that’s available.
H: Do you think you’ve found that balance now?
A: I think much more now. But I don’t know, for me it’s like… there’s such an aura around the University and feeling privileged that you get to go there. And if you don’t take advantage of it it’s like a waste…
H: Is that a pressure that you can feel there?
A: Totally. I think that a lot of people feel like that. I mean we are lucky because there’s a lot of amazing things happening, but you obviously feel like you should be partaking in everything and that’s when you get the cold and all the other stuff.
H: And ultimately if you overwork and don’t take care of yourself you won’t be able to do any of the good stuff.
A: Yeah but balance in itself is almost like a myth, it’s so hard to balance. I mean you can find a way for you, but I think it’s individual.
H: What does balance mean for you?
A: Uhh it’s something I find so difficult. For me it’s trying to make sure I'm able to do everything in a day. So that means going to my classes, doing my work, seeing my friends, hanging out… exercising and eating and sleeping. All of it. Because I'm so Type A I find it really helpful to schedule out my days.
H: Thats good, and then be strict with your schedule?
A: Yeah, just not really strict…
H: Yeah, balance, y’know?
Shop Angelica’s Favourites
snake lace triangle bra
snake lace brief
woven cotton cami
woven cotton short