One in Two Thousand: Tajis Lyn ’25

Bellamy Richardson

Bellamy Richardson/The Williams Record

Each week, we randomly select a unix from a list of all current students at the College for our One in Two Thousand feature. As long as the owner of a selected unix is willing to be interviewed and is not a member of the Record board, that person becomes the subject of our interview. This week, the computer (using a script in R) chose Tajis Lyn ’25, who talked about his family’s farm, playing on an intramural soccer team, and competing in “Super Smash Bros” tournaments. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Bellamy Richardson (BR): One of the first things I learned about you is your obsession with Ariana Grande. How did that start?

Tajis Lyn (TL): When COVID hit, I basically had nothing to do, and I always liked music, in general, and her music. So when she released her new album [Positions], I didn’t really like it that much, even though I liked her past music. But then I listened to it over and over again and actually started to digest the messages and the sound, and I really liked that, so I started following her.

BR: What’s your favorite album of hers?

TL: Positions.

BR: Just like the Positions hat [pictured above] you’re wearing right now, I see.

TL: So true. I do like this hat a lot.

BR: I heard you spent time working on your family’s farm. What was that like?

TL: It’s been around two to three years that we’ve had it. It’s a blueberry farm and soccer farm. We have a bunch of soccer fields there. We have two right now, and we’re working on getting more. We have over 4,000 blueberry bushes, so we have a pick-your-own business and, right now, we have a pumpkin patch, so you can pick your own pumpkins as well. It’s a fun moment. It’s a lot of work but it is very fruitful — literally.

BR: It’s a soccer farm? Can you explain that?

TL: We bought it because we wanted it to be a soccer complex, but COVID hit and then we had no soccer because no one could play soccer or gather in large groups, so we had to continue the farming and make that our main source of revenue and profit, so that’s why it’s mostly both. But now that COVID is getting more under control, we can have more soccer events. We just got our newest field, and we’re really excited because it’s really nice and we can have a lot of stuff going on and have a bunch of tournaments too.

BR: I know you and your dad play soccer together, and you played in high school, right? Do you still play soccer at all?

TL: I’m doing the intramural team right now, which is so much fun. Usually whenever I played soccer it was super competitive, but intramural is really laid back, and I can just enjoy the game a lot more instead of always tackling people or stealing the ball or focusing on winning. It’s a lot more fun just relaxing and playing with my friends. That’s what I’m doing right now. I don’t know if I’ll continue soccer in a competitive setting, but I’m definitely going to keep playing soccer my entire life.

BR: What’s the intramural soccer team you’re on called?

TL: OK, so we were gonna make a funny team name but it somehow ended up being my name, Team Tajis. I don’t know how that happened, but it did and it’s kind of funny. I kind of like it better even though it’s really weird and I was uncomfortable with it at first. But now I think it’s funny. And whenever we play, it’s like, ‘Oh, you’re Tajis!’ because they see the team name.

BR: Are you guys good?

TL: To be honest, we’re like the best team that’s ever existed, and I feel bad for the other teams.

BR: [Laughs.] OK, so switching gears — I’ve heard you’re pretty good at “Super Smash Bros.”

TL: Sasha [Snyder ’25] definitely told you to say that. I’m probably one of the best [players] in New Jersey, in the whole state. I’ve been playing competitively for a little bit over a year, and I started right when COVID hit because I had nothing to do. It ended up being one of the main things I did during COVID. I’ve won a bunch of tournaments and made some money too. It’s a lot of fun meeting new people as well.

BR: How does that work?

TL: There’s tournaments and stuff. With these tournaments, there’s a prize pool that everybody pitches into, or there’s a starting prize pool if there’s a sponsor. And if it’s a small tournament, then mostly people just put in 10 to 15 bucks, and at the end, they divvy up the prize money to first, second, [and] third. I’ve won a bunch of tournaments and placed well in a bunch of them to get money from them.

BR: Nice! So, you’re a first-year at Williams in the best entry ever [Mills-Dennett 4, for which Richardson is a Junior Advisor].

TL: True.

BR: What’s it been like adjusting to college in a sort of strange year?

TL: Honestly, I feel like compared to last year [and] what people had to do, this is a lot better. It’s a lot more free, and we can do more things. But for me specifically, I found it very easy to just get settled. Classes are definitely hard, but that’s a whole different story. But I feel like the people in the entry are really nice, and I feel like out of all the entries, I would have liked this one the best anyway. I very much like everyone here, and I’m very close with a lot of people in our entry as well. It’s very easy to get to know people in your first year and in First Days.

BR: For EphVentures, you did Where Am I?! What was that like?

TL: [Laughs.] It feels like that part of college didn’t exist for some reason. It felt surreal. For Where Am I?!, it was a whole bunch of different people just clumped together, and I was like, “Wow, I would not see myself being friends with these people in general,” but the more we got to know each other, the more we got close and hung out outside of the group. The actual things we did were fun. We went apple picking; we went to this waterfall. We got some nice pictures too.

BR: What has been your favorite and least favorite meal at Williams so far?

TL: My favorite has probably been either the pork bun moment or the potsticker moment. I definitely love Asian food because I’ve always eaten it my entire life. My least favorite — honestly, I don’t even remember because I prefer to erase that from my brain so I never remember that moment ever again, so I honestly can’t tell you.

BR: What kind of Asian food did you eat growing up?

TL: My mom is Indian, and so is my grandma, so my grandma always makes me traditional Indian food. Although Indian food is not my favorite, it’s very flavorful and very good. I ordered Korean food yesterday, and I got galbi, the marinated short ribs. It was delicious. I love Korean barbecue so much, so it was really refreshing to get. Also, a lot of Chinese food — I love soup dumplings, hot pot — and Vietnamese food — I like pho. 

BR: What are you hoping the rest of your freshman year will bring you?

TL: I feel like I hit a lot of those points already. When I got here, I was like, “I want to change it up” because I was pretty shy before, so I was like, “Let me just not be shy.” And I became not shy. Honestly, it was that simple. Whatever comes to my brain, I’m just gonna say — unless it’s really weird. Then I won’t say it. If I think your hair is really nice or I like your shoes, then I’ll 100 percent of the time say it.