Cassie Creates

XASS: Cassie, thank you so much for joining me. Welcome! Tell us a bit about yourself. What are you studying, and where are you from?

Cassie: I grew up in LA before I moved to Washington State. I am an English creative writing major. I’m also minoring in East Asian Studies. I want to create multimedia after graduation either comic books, novels, anime – I pretty much want to make every creative project under the sun.

XASS: That sounds amazing. How did you get into things like anime and novels? What are some of your favorites?

Cassie: Oh, that’s a hard one. For anime, I love Soul Eater. Death Note is a classic. Jujitsu Kaisen and Demon Slayer are also great ones. Romantic Killer is also hilarious – I recommend it. I primarily read webtoons that are sci-fi fantasy or romance. But, Solo Leveling is REALLY good if you like action. It took the load off of finals freshman year. Hooky is a cute classic— first webtoon I ever read. Purple Hyacinth, I Love Yoo, School Bus Graveyard and Parallel City are some dark action ones. But for romance, my gawsh [not in order]: She’s Hopeless, The Kiss Bet, The Law of Male Friends/Boy Friends Rule, Love Cycle, After School Lessons for Unripe Apples (currently reading, very addicting).

XASS: I’ve watched most of those anime – I love them! As far as webtoons, have you read Villain With A Crush?

Cassie: Yes, I love that one. It is so funny. A tier.

XASS: What about Unordinary?

Cassie: Yes, I’m reading Unordinary too, it’s super interesting.

XASS: We are on the same wavelength. You say you hope to become an author – have you already created anything? Have you started writing any novels or scripts, or have you got something online people could look at?

Cassie: No published stories at the moment. I have been co-writing stories with my best friend since eighth grade. Originally, we started writing because we wanted to make a spin-off of our favorite TV show Teen Wolf. We were 13 and wrote a whole storyline and sent a script pitch to the producer. He never responded because we were 13, so the script was obviously cringey (but still promising).

Immediately after we realized he wasn’t going to respond we were just like, “well we don’t need him, anyways! He doesn’t know he’s missing.” We thought we’d get signed by Netflix and show him. So over the years we kept writing and revising the story, coming up with cooler and more complex versions or completely different stories. I am excited for this summer because we are finally closing in on our best one, which I plan to make into a novella (with the major grant I’ve applied for– fingers crossed) so we have a concrete work to demonstrate the years of work. This spring I am also in a screenwriting class so I will be able to write a feature film on one of the projects I’ve been working on for the past couple of months. I hope that it’ll help me abandon my perfectionist tendencies that make me reluctant to put out work. I am going to start publishing my works more because I realize there’s no better time like the present, and I’ll still evolve into a better writer in the future! (Like for the next Vox Clara.)

XASS: That’s amazing. Now, given your other hobbies and the way you’re describing them, are you into role playing games as well?

Cassie: Not really into gaming. I didn’t grow up playing many games except like Wii or DS so I haven’t explored the field of DnD or anything like that. But I would be open to it. I feel like it’s a creative game so I would most likely enjoy it.

XASS: What was your upbringing like spiritually? Were you raised going to church? Were you raised as a Christian or something else? How did you develop spiritually as a young person?

Cassie: So I was raised by my mom in California with my 2 older sisters. My mother is ex-Catholic. She split from Christianity completely before raising us so we never went to church, except maybe once every few years when her best friend came into town. Her best friend is Christian, and she would take us to church for Easter. But besides that, I didn’t really have any connection to any sort of faith. I’d say I was agnostic. My older sisters have slightly different experiences, because when I was about 10 they moved to live with my father in Washington, and were exposed to my dad’s Christian side of the family. When I moved up to Washington years later around high school, I got back in touch with my sisters and they would talk about Jesus. But I was very in the world, and I, you know, had lived my life up until that point without Jesus, so I didn’t have faith and had a very skewed view of Christianity because of the media. But my sisters still encouraged me to go to church with them. They were persistent, but that’s not the quite the right word. It’s just…

XASS: Faithful?

Cassie: What’d you say?

XASS: Not persistent but they were faithful, perhaps?

Cassie: Hm, maybe, they were really passionate about it so I would go to church with them, but I had seen a documentary about scientology and I was like, “This is the same thing! You also have to give money to a church!” And so I was against that. But over the years they would share their testimonies; they both have experience doing missionary work. My eldest sister did a DTS to India through YWAM and told me all about her spiritual encounters, dealing with spiritual warfare, healing people, witnessing the power of God, evangelism, and so much more. I realized that some things were more than coincidences and far beyond explaining. My other sister also did YWAM and I started questioning around junior year but really only felt myself become connected to God at 17 during my senior year. I remember one day I was rationalizing it, and I thought like, “So what if you believe in something that isn’t real or might not be real, because, once you die, nobody’s gonna know, anyways.” And in my mind, I was like “it would be nice to have faith. It would be nice to believe in something and be a good person and have morals to live by— I like what they stand for” It’s funny, because I subconsciously faked it till I made it because a few months passed and then I gave my life to Christ.

One pivotal moment was during a really low point of my life, I turned to God, asked Him for support and which route to follow. Essentially a path towards destruction or the other path. I just remember being on YouTube ‘cause he doesn’t always speak to you conventionally in your head. So I asked for a sign, refreshed the page and scrolled down with my eyes closed before selecting a random video. The video I stopped on was titled something like, “Jesus wants you to hear this.” And I was like, “Whoa.” And in the video some guy was basically telling me everything I needed to hear; I cannot remember it all now but it was affirming and validating and specific to everything I was dealing with. So naturally I started sobbing and during that I felt the Lord’s peace with me. I feel like that is when the veil was really ripped from my eyes. I finished my senior year of high school and I came to Stanford my freshman year. It was Covid, so I thought there weren’t any services on campus so I just watched church online. I felt at a hands distance from the faith. But my sophomore year is when I realized that there were actually services on campus and near campus so I started going, and now I’m super plugged in, and I feel very connected to my community.

XASS: Are you familiar with Pascal’s wager?

Cassie: No.

XASS: You actually went through Pascal’s wager intuitively. In essence he says imagine there’s two outcomes. There is a God, or there is no God. And then imagine 2 scenarios. You either are a believer or you’re not. Now put them together. No God, no faith: you die and nothing happens. No God but you have faith: you live a very fulfilled life and then you die and nothing happens. Yes God exists but you don’t believe in him: you have a problem when you die. Yes God and yes faith: you not only have a good life here but also a blessed eternity awaiting you. Believers have good and great outcomes, but unbelievers have only neutral or negative outcomes. Faith is prudent.

Cassie: Wow!

XASS: So how did you find Chi Alpha?

Cassie: Okay, funny story. I actually went to the first Chi Alpha meeting when I was a freshman. It was like one Sunday service at the beginning of the year. So during worship we were singing songs about Yeshua but I didn’t realize He was Jesus. I thought that XA was like a Mormon or some different branch of Christianity. So during sophomore year I discovered RUF and went there, but in Junior year I was still trying to find my community. I wanted deeper roots, and I felt like I wanted to meet more of the Christians on campus so I wanted to explore and see what other groups were like. That’s when I remembered Chi Alpha and I thought that I might know somebody in Chi Alpha. I decided to go to one of the large group services, and fell in love. I loved the sermon that you gave, the way that people were unapologetically praising the Lord, and just such a warm heart posture. I found people here with hearts on fire for the Lord. I remember before this, I felt like I was one of the more ‘radical Christians’ on campus because I didn’t talk much with others who spoke so much about Jesus. I would talk to people, and they would say, ‘Oh, I’m Christian’, but they didn’t go to church. Or in conversations they would say they were struggling with something, and I would bring up Jesus and they would kind of have that glossy look in their eyes, and I’m like, “Oh, man.” I would listen to worship music on walks, and I felt like it was just me, or that maybe I was more extreme since I talk about Him so much. But when I came to Chi Alpha I realized that everyone around me had such a strong faith — probably far more knowledgeable and faithful than myself — with hearts all on fire for the Lord. It is incredibly motivating and I just love that. I realized that this is the community I wanted to be a part of because I wanted to grow in my faith, and as a person. I want to be a better sister in Christ.

XASS: That is so encouraging to hear. Now there’s 2 more questions, Cassie. First, is there something that maybe I didn’t think to ask you that if I knew you better, I would absolutely know I should ask you about?

Cassie: I think the most momentous thing that’s happened to me is that last year I tore all the ligaments in my left knee while rock climbing and needed knee surgery. It significantly impacted how I saw and navigated through the world. The injury was really tough to deal with but it brought me closer to God. Not only did I depend on Him more, but He also moved me to a different community where I was surrounded by faithful Christians and some of my now really close friends. It was a really eye-opening experience and I think it’s just a reminder of how God can take a really difficult and unfortunate situation and turn it into something good.

XASS: Very good. And then the final question, and this was started by a student years ago. Cassie, we ask everyone, are you in a relationship?

Cassie: No.

XASS: And is that a place of contentment for you, or are you sort of hoping that the Lord would shift that status for you sometime?

Cassie: I am honestly more interested in establishing friendships! God knows I have more growing in myself and my faith to do before pursuing anything romantic, so I am happy with where I am. Maybe far, very far in the future, something will organically happen as I get to know others. I mean, isn’t that how relationships start? From good friendships?

XASS: One hopes, Cassie. Thank you so much for your time. Delightful interview! So glad you’re part of our community. It’s been really great to get to know you better.

Cassie: Thank you so much for having me and doing the spotlight interview with me.