In the middle of our conversation, John He apologized for his hesitant answers. “I feel lost,” he admitted. “That may be my most central theme here.”

I was taken aback, because He has many reasons to feel confident about his achievements — editor-in-chief of The Indicator, leader of the FOOT orientation program, founder of spring break trips to Zion National Park, among others. Yet here he was, shifting in his seat, genuinely unable to talk about his accomplishments.

It was a Thursday night, and the room in the Octagon was softly lit with strings of Christmas lights. The long wooden tables, pieced together during the day, were spread at various angles around the room, covered with tablecloths and plates of cheese. A spotlight shone from the second floor balcony into the corner of the room.