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My First Year: SVA Student Hanaan Louis

With the fall semester now underway and new students on campus, we thought it would be good time to share some reflections by former freshmen on what their first year at SVA was like. First up is current BFA Film student Hanaan Louis, who talks about everything from the best feedback she received in class to what surprised her most about going to college in the U.S.

WHERE I’M FROM
I was born in Georgia and raised in Kuwait since I was two years old.

WHERE I LIVE NOW
I live in Brooklyn.

WHEN I FIRST KNEW I WANTED TO BE AN ARTIST
In high school. I was interested in writing and then my interest grew toward film.

THE BEST FEEDBACK I’VE RECEIVED IN CLASS
Was from my classmates about my Muslim fashion documentary. The documentary made them realize they didn’t know a lot about the hijab and they wanted to know more.

THE BEST THING I READ IN MY HUMANITIES AND SCIENCES CLASS THIS YEAR
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry.

THE MOST SURPRISING THING I’VE LEARNED SINCE COMING TO SVA
How accepting people are. In class when students present things, no matter what it is, teachers take the time and effort to critique it.

THE BIGGEST SURPRISE ABOUT ATTENDING SCHOOL IN THE UNITED STATES
There is so much opportunity.

THE BOROUGHS I’VE VISITED
All of them—Brooklyn is my favorite.

THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE ABOUT BEING IN COLLEGE COMPARED TO HIGH SCHOOL
There is more independence and people treat you more seriously, and are really interested to see what you make and what you create.

WHERE I WANT TO BE IN FOUR YEARS
A director and have my own production company making Arabic movies.

MY FAVORITE NEW YORK CITY MUSEUM
The Museum of Natural History because I like all the sciences and it’s very interactive.

THE NEW YORK CITY LANDMARK THAT I STILL HAVEN’T VISITED
The Unisphere at the World’s Fair in Queens.

MY FAVORITE NEW YORK CITY FOOD
That’s a really hard question—I’m a foodie! I think it’s tied between bagels and pizza.

MY FAVORITE NEW YORK CITY NEIGHBORHOOD
Brooklyn Heights. There’s Brooklyn Bridge Park and a lot of restaurants I like going to.

THE TALENT, OUTSIDE OF BEING AN ARTIST, THAT I MOST WISH I HAD
To be a chef. I don’t watch cooking shows too often. I’m learning how to cook though!

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