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Nicole Bonna

I'm a senior majoring in Public Policy and Cultural Anthropology! On any given day you can find me in Cameron, exploring Durham, spending too many food points at the Nasher, or living in denial about how close graduation is.

L's Taken


"Thank you for applying but..."

Numerous clubs at Duke, internships, and jobs. Their loss!


Things I thought I'd finish but never did

  • My thesis! Turns out NOT finishing was the best decision I could've made for myself.

  • The global health minor

  • A free online python class

  • A clay project at the Arts Annex that I forgot about (rip)

  • Several "intellectual" books I could never get into

  • Squid Game


Everyday L's of life

  • Googling a little too much about Excel for someone who is "proficient"

  • Probably don't drink enough water

  • Procrastinating on washing dishes

On the Bright Side


Memories I made when I wasn't working/studying

  • Missing almost the entire month of March to travel with the Duke Band to all the Men's Basketball Team's NCAA Tournament games

  • Weekday drinks at the Nasher with friends

  • Trying and failing to make pizza in a wood-fire oven

  • Spontaneous ice cream trips to Pincho Loco and Mapleview

  • Watching Duke Basketball's 23-point comeback in the Alspaugh Common Room instead of studying for my Econ exam the next day

  • Impromptu Taylor Swift listening parties

  • Phoebe Bridgers concert in Raleigh right before a big project was due


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

  • It ALWAYS pays to ask!

  • No one is paying as much attention to you as you think

  • Keep doing things you enjoy even if you're not good at them

  • It's okay to say no to things

  • Mental health is as important as physical health

  • Get sleep!


TV shows, movies, and books I've enjoyed

  • Survivor

  • New Girl

  • Booksmart

  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue


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

  • Less nervous now about trying new things

  • Worrying less about the little things

  • Exercising more regularly

  • Being voted "Biggest Women's Basketball Fan" in Band a few years ago

  • Gradually learning to communicate with my host family while studying abroad

  • My personal growth and journey over the last couple years


Things I want to get better at

  • Making decisions

  • Being more confident

  • Procrastinating less

  • Cooking!


Things I'm looking forward to in the future

  • Traveling to new places

  • Meeting new friends

  • Being obnoxious about Duke Basketball forever and ever (plus Duke's 6th National Championship!)


Small joys in my life

  • Getting on the jumbotron in Cameron

  • Seeing the Puppy Kindergarten puppies out and about

  • Particularly engaging class discussions

  • Playing tennis and pickleball (badly) with friends

  • My morning coffee

  • When Nugget wags her tail once she sees you

  • Keeping in touch with professors who have made a difference in my life

  • When the C1 pulls up right when you need it

Obstacles I have overcome


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

  • Asking for help when I need it... in academics and my personal life

  • Being open with my identity as a queer woman

  • Studying abroad!


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

  • Deciding to stop writing my thesis after a semester

  • Completely forgetting to submit a big assignment during freshman spring... The professor ended up accepting it anyway. Remember, professors are people too <3

  • Getting X grade on Y exam in Z class... took me multiple times to realize it wasn't as big of a deal as I thought

Ways I take care of myself


Unconventional skills

  • Shockingly good at whistling

  • Can stress write a paper incredibly fast

  • Expert google form maker

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