A Life of Adventure: Student Spotlight with Yao Yin

Yao is the girl that doesn’t want to follow the rules. In fourth grade, she led a protest in her elementary school, sending an angry letter to the headmaster that the students should no longer have to wear uniforms. “Chinese schools teach you not to speak up against authority,” Yao observed.

A devoted artist and a budding astronomer, Yao Yin ‘19 brings a thoughtful dedication to her pursuits, whether she’s controlling the observatory remotely or painting beautiful watercolors. However, though her interests remain broad, Yao’s eyes lit up as she said with confidence, “I like art better than anything else.” During each Commons showcase, it’s clear that this passion has led to great ends.

While Yao’s involvement in the Thacher astronomy program has made her seem like a “mathy-science person,” she still likes art better. When asked why, she said that “In art, there is no right or wrong. In astronomy, I always feel stupid, because the others are so good at it.”

Thacher is far away from her home in China in both culture and distance. In comparison, Thacher offers its students a lot of freedom to pursue their individuality and individual interest. At Thacher, “You have a lot of time that you can control.” This statement seems somewhat at odds with the sentiment of the student body, but perhaps it’s the contrast that brings out a different reality.

In her four years, “I hope I will become way more comfortable with who I am.”

Looking ahead after Thacher, Yao isn’t too invested in any one thing and is open to possibilities regarding her future. A true individualist, Yao said that she would maybe “Spend ten years building a stone castle in Germany, or five years as a cowboy.”