Women Who Reign: Anise Rau
“Do one thing everyday that scares you” — commonly attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt. It is a pretty cliché quote, but I have tried to take this to heart by pushing myself a little out of my comfort zone every single day.
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Hi! I’m Anise Rau. I’m a sophomore at Caltech studying Astrophysics with a minor in Computer Science. I am fascinated by the stars and am interested in applying the versatility of CS to learn more about the physics of our universe. I want to find cool new ways to solve complex problems, and am currently intrigued by the sub CS-field of data analysis. I am also a diehard New Yorker, am a Slytherclaw, and love to dance.
Fun Fact: I sometimes spontaneously say the word “bubbles.”
What # would define your life journey?
Favorite website / app:
Netflix. I have an unfortunate addiction.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Someone who inspires me that a lot of people haven’t heard about is Hedy Lamarr. She was someone who truly did everything, from being a famous actress to an influential inventor. She pushed limits in the film industry through a controversial nude scene, as well as developed radio technologies that are still in use today, as a woman in a comparatively oppressive society. As someone with a passion for the arts alongside my STEM interests, I’d love to find a way to do it all. Hedy Lamarr is someone who reminds me that that’s possible, and her example encourages me to pursue all my passions. She was definitely a Woman Who Reigned, and I hope to one day be as powerful a woman as her.
Song that makes you want to dance:
I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
A personal challenge I have worked to overcome is doing things for my own personal growth and enjoyment, rather than for validation from others. A pivotal moment for me was during my Bharatnatyam Arangetram — a major Indian classical dance performance in front of hundreds of people. During one of my last practices I felt the growing pressure of making a fool of myself in front of my friends and family, and stumbled — in the middle of a piece where I had to balance a pot of water on my head. I had to work through my fears, to be able to walk confidently onto the stage on the penultimate day and reconnect with my passion for dance. I realized that the performance was a celebration of what I had accomplished, and everyone attending was there just to support me. Since that day I have made the conscious effort to do things for myself and seek new experiences without the fear of being judged.
I don’t necessarily know what I want to be doing, but I know I want to be loving it. I want to be in a place where I love my job and I love my life, and am actively making a positive difference in the world. I also plan to have a cat.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Take time to reflect on your life. Take a step back, take a breather, and try to figure out want you really want to accomplish. A couple of years ago, I was constantly working, trying to achieve success and recognition in various fields. But when things calmed down a bit, I found that I really wasn’t passionate about what I was pursuing. Success and achievements can mean nothing when you don’t love what you are doing. It’s taken time, and some self reflection, but I think I have now figured out what problems I want to be working on. And I highly recommend that others also take the time to pause and think.