Sara Li

Chase your goals and aspirations now

Sara Li is a sophomore studying strategic communication from Topeka, Kansas. She currently freelances for Thought Catalogue, Elite Daily and MTV. When Li was 17, she started her own nonprofit called Project Consent, an advocacy group to raise awareness about sexual assault and rape culture. Eventually, Li would like to work for the United Nations.

The people. I really like the community here. I really do like my professors. Everything I’ve wanted to do as far as what I’ve wanted to accomplish in my collegiate career I’ve been able to do at KU.

We have this really weird idea that we need to graduate before doing something cool. Like we need to get our degrees before we start writing because we’re journalism majors. But I say if you have a dream in mind, you should start right now. Don’t wait until you graduate. Don’t wait until you’re living in a city. Don’t wait until whatever dumb block you’re putting in your head. You should go for it now.

I love people who have passions and go out and get what they want. That’s what I admire most about others.

I started a nonprofit when I was 17 years old. I did not wait until I was ready to do that because at 17 years old, I didn’t know anything. I’d argue I don’t know anything right now. But I’m very much a person who if I see something that I want, if I know I want something, I’m just going to go out and do it. I’m not going to sit around and go, “Maybe in 5 years or maybe in 2 years.”

When I was in school, I remember how badly I wanted to be an author. I just wanted to write. I wanted to publish a book, but there really wasn’t an opportunity at my middle school or high school to have that kind of outlet for creative writing. So this past winter break, I created, essentially, a course curriculum that can be taught to middle schools.

My long-term goal is to keep kids in school and provide equal education around the world. Eventually, I want to work for the United Nations to provide access to education around the world.

I think the people you surround yourself with say a lot about you. So when it comes to my relationships, I look for people who have their own passion and drive about something.

I don’t sleep as much as I should… which should be a number one focus for college student.

Don’t depend on anyone else for your success. Just work hard. Once you build something on your own, nobody can take that away from you. I try not to have safety nets because if I fail, I’m going to land flat on my face and then I’ll get back up. I don’t want anyone else to lift me up. I want to be able to look at the work I’m doing and say I did this on my own.

When I can’t sleep or am really stressed, I don’t read as much as I’d like to. I haven’t read fiction in a while, which is really sad because it’s my favorite genre.

I get into these moods where I’m like, “I’m not good enough.” That mentality is the imposter syndrome, where you feel that nothing you make is actually good and everyone around you is just pretending.

I don’t know where this started, but I have a huge fear of rabbits. So my biggest nightmare is going to the Kansas State Fair and being locked in the room where they have cages of rabbits. Donnie Darko is a terrible movie.

Madelyne Moloney is a graduating senior from the Chicago area majoring in journalism and strategic communications. Moloney has written for the Topeka Capitol Journal, Style on the Hill, and The University Daily Kansan. After graduation, she plans to move back to Chicago to pursue a job in advertising.