Hong Li: Every Cool Kid Will Grow Up



Photography, Interview and Text by Hong Li, Copyright 2016



– What Does Graduate School Give Us?


Rachael is a sophomore student at Drexel University. She is beautiful, young and energetic.

Nothing will beat her until she gives up, well, at least she thinks so. She hates  when people

look at her and judge her without getting to know her.  She hates  when people’s

behavior is fool. She is an activist in many ways.

She loves making up, lipsticks are her true loves. She loves tattoos, smoking, and skateboarding.

She expresses her emotion in a  simple and straightforward way, however sometimes her

expressions are a little too dramatic, which might sometimes drive people crazy, said her


In all, she is a cool girl, both in her friends’ views and herself. But she has an academic goal that

seems very contradictory with her characteristic, she has been thinking of getting into Upenn since

she was a freshman. What the life would be like in graduate school? Especially in a school that

many people speak highly of. Would it make me even cooler? These are her guesses.

Coral is in her second semester of her Master’s study at PennDesign, she has  suffered a

lot from her studies. She doesn’t have time for anything other than study. She said she’s been

trapped in the studio since she got here and almost lost her normal life.

Nowadays, she is already used to life in a simple and easy way. There is less arguing, less

annoyance in her life, yet more silence and privacy. When she is free she tends to watch a

movie herself instead of hanging out with friends. When she needs to relieve her stress she would

go for a bubble bath, etc.

She can feel the micro transformation from youth to grown happening slowly in herself every

day. Recently, she prefers to hide her negative feelings under her peace face because she thinks

everybody is  busy and no one would like to see a lady with a sad face; also, because she is

an adult. As she mentioned, she would only show her nervousness, weakness, ecstasy, even

love, to those people that she is familiar with.

Sometimes pieces of old memories will still come back into Coral’s head, that long time ago, she

was also a girl with a strong personality, she was always eager to express, she was stubborn, she

hurt the boy she loved badly, she was unique, she was wired, and she was once a cool kid…



Hong Li

About The Author: Hong Li is a graduate student enrolled in the School of Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania.

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