Humans of UD: Lauren Hill

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If you’ve seen a roller-skater dancing on the mall or darting through Haggar, it may have been Lauren Hill. Once widely known as “Green Hair Lauren” during her freshman year due to her all-green hair, she has now taken on a new recognizable attribute in her skating. 

Hill is a senior who will graduate with a B.S. in computer science and a B.A. in art, with printmaking as her area of study. She started roller skating during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to get outside and do something fun.

She co-founded a skate collective back home in the Bay Area, California, which was featured in “Gloom” magazine last spring. The skate group, “Tittflip” — a play on “kickflip” —  is for female skaters and is meant to make it “less intimidating to go to the skatepark,” according to Hill. 

Skateparks can be daunting for new skaters, and Hill’s skate collective seeks to help them feel like they “are allowed and deserving of taking up that space.” 

Often new skaters feel a combination of comparison and anxiety from not knowing skatepark etiquette. “Sometimes”, said Hill, “you can also encounter pretentious skaters who are not the friendliest.” 

She is now starting a new chapter of this same collective in Texas, with skaters she met either at UD or the skateparks nearby. 

“In my head, campus is just a really complicated skatepark,” Hill said. When asked how she deals with the uneven bricks on campus while skating, she said, by “bending your knees and getting to know where every single crack is.” 

Her favorite places to skate on campus are Lynch Circle and the stairs by the Cardinal Farrell fountain, where she enjoys practicing jumps. 

Hill used to think that faculty would frown upon her skating to class or in buildings, but has found that people are usually “pleasantly surprised” and “find it funny or interesting.” According to Hill, the only place truly off-limits to skaters is the café. 

Hill is from San Leandro proper, where her parents still reside, while her older sister is currently living in London.  Her mom has over 100 cousins, most of which are still back in her mom’s hometown in Guanajuato, Mexico. 

She is the first person at UD to ever major in both art and computer science. People usually perceive these majors as very different, but, to Hill, “it makes so much sense because they are both problem-solving.” 

Hill faced skepticism from advisors as to whether it was feasible for her to accomplish majors in both, as many courses for both majors are project-based and often have conflicting schedules. She will graduate in 2024 with both her B.S. and B.A. completed.

She thinks that these two disciplines will complement each other well in a future career doing user experience design, a career which studies how people relate to aesthetics, especially regarding website or app designs. 

Hill’s favorite projects she’s done for her majors are a linoleum relief carving of a picture of the Winchester Mystery House, and her final project for her discrete structures class, which was a computer program that created visual poetry out of bodies of text. 

Hill has loved sharing her knowledge of skating with her friends and family over the past couple of years and she often ends up teaching them to skate. 

People often think that they could never rollerskate, and she remembers thinking this as well before she started. She said, “Doing something every day even when you don’t feel like doing it helps your body and mind be in tune, and helps you overcome new challenges.” 

When asked what her biggest accomplishment with skating has been, Hill said, “Everytime I have a successful day at the skatepark it feels like that.”

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