Firstie Focus: Noor Aftab ’21

Photo of Noor Aftab ’21

High school: Ping Yi Secondary School

Hometown: Lahore, Pakistan (I spent an awful lot of time in Singapore too!)

Possible major: astronomy or computer science

About aeronautics: For two weeks at the end of 2015, my class and I took part in an aeronautics workshop at a polytechnic institute. We studied the logic and physics behind aerodynamics and carved and built our own unpowered gliders too! It was sort of a culmination of knowledge, because our high school had a focus on aeronautics and we always had classes and seminars on it. The afternoons I spent sawing fuselage outlines from balsa wood are some of the fondest memories I have of high school.

Noteworthy experience: I joined a debate club out of pure whimsy for a few months. It was a lot of work and very fast-paced, but I learned some really useful critical thinking and argumentative skills. I’m grateful to have had the experience, as it made me more analytical and thoughtful as a person.

Proudest moment: Grabbing gold at a national geography competition. It was held by a really prestigious university in Singapore and more than 300 students participated, many from more established schools than mine. Only the top 30 got gold.

Why MHC: The academics are challenging and the ambitious student body is a huge plus. I want to be pushed to be the best I can be and I know Mount Holyoke can help me do that.

First impressions: The campus looks like Hogwarts!

How are you spending the summer: Teaching myself languages: German and Python (a programming language).

Where do you want to be in 10 years: Lounging in my villa after a hard day’s work. Papers covered in scribbled equations scatter the table. My Nobel Prize hangs on a wall and the only reason I’m not a billionaire is because I donate so much to charity, à la J.K. Rowling.

Career aspirations: I’m really aiming to be an astronomer or an astrophysicist. When I look up at the sky, I'm constantly reminded of how staggering our universe is and I’d love nothing more than to make a career of studying it.

Favorite book: “The Young Elites” by Marie Lu

Favorite TV show, movie, music: “Rick and Morty,” “The Martian,” pop rock

Social media: Tumblr