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Cindy Xu

Cindy is a sophomore ('24) from the Bay Area, CA, who is studying economics and public policy. At Duke, you can find her studying at Cafe, raving about Tandoor's Chicken 65, and singing/rapping to Taylor Swift and Kanye West.

L's Taken

"Thank you for applying but..."

Things I thought I'd finish but never did


Everyday L's of life

  • Getting rejected from almost every club I applied to during freshman year

  • Never completely finishing a Coursera course

  • Crippling imposter syndrome

  • Failing to accomplish anything from my “Why Duke?” essay

  • Tripping on flat surfaces

  • Failing the last rep of a set at Wilson

  • Constantly running out of storage on my iPhone 7

  • Submitting most of my assignments at 11:59pm

  • Severe pollen allergies

On the Bright Side

Memories I made when I wasn't working/studying

Things I've learned that will still matter in 10 years

  • hi


TV shows, movies, and books I've enjoyed

  • Survivor

  • The Dropout

  • Bad Vegan

  • Cheer

  • jeen-yuhs

  • Inventing Anna

  • You

  • The Book of Boba Fett (Not a book, I need to read more)


Things I'm proud of that you won't see on my resume

  • Being an older sister to my two siblings

  • Surviving tenting and being at Coach K’s final home game (shoutout to Theo John’s Right Bicep)

  • Illustrating a picture book for my PubPol 155 final project

  • My self-made dorm room decorations

  • Evolving my wardrobe past black hoodies and leggings

  • My skin glow-up


Things I want to get better at

  • Being on time to class

  • Asking for help when I need it

  • Improving my musical abilities

  • Responding to text messages within 48 business hours

  • Dropping my phone less

  • Remembering to do skincare & take my contacts out before sleeping

  • Being more forgiving of myself

Things I'm looking forward to in the future


Small joys in my life

  • Overusing em-dashes

  • Card/Strategy games, playing poker with friends

  • Making people laugh

  • Going to Farmers’ Markets

Obstacles I have overcome

Things I've done that pushed me out of my comfort zone

Failures that seemed like the end of the world back then but don't matter in hindsight

Ways I take care of myself


Unconventional skills

  • Sleeping through everything (ex: a fire alarm, a c1 bus ride, etc.)

  • Conflict resolution

  • Being able to wear children’s shoes

  • Having way too many GamePigeon Word Hunt wins

  • Binge-watching crime documentaries but being too scared to sit through horror movies

  • Knowing every line of 6 Foot 7 Foot by Lil Wayne

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