What’s one piece of advice you have for prospective students? We all enter college with millions of preconceived notions of how it will be. Open yourself to anything, especially in your first year. At all costs, spend as much time as possible outside of your dorm. At the same time, you can easily overextend yourself, so try to focus on activities that are the most empowering to you.

What would you say if you were talking to a friend about applying to Southwestern? Take advantage of interview opportunities. I was amazed at how different the interviews were in comparison with those at state schools. The conversations here were relaxed, and provided a much better representation of who I was and what I had to to bring to this University.

What will you miss most about your time at SU? The incredible freedom of having opportunities to dive head first into topics of my choosing in many of my classes and to make not-so-obvious connections with the help of my professors’ amazing insights.

What’s one non-academic thing you learned? The importance of effective marketing. For example, if I was trying to get students who were stressing about tomorrow’s 16-page paper to come out to the garden, I had to be very deliberate on how to demonstrate the importance of weeding a bed or planting some turnips.

How did SU help you grow as a leader? I have been in many positions to oversee projects and been forced to occasionally deal with failure. I have learned over and over again that I have the ability to craft my future and carve a path for others to follow.  

How has Southwestern prepared you for the future? I think this school has impacted my outlook on innumerable issues and taught me how to balance blind idealism with closed cynicism and dream within boundaries. I feel as though I have accelerated my ability to take in information and make intelligible decisions. This school has given me confidence that I can quickly adapt to situations and take in the possibilities as I continue my life.

What connections do you have with your fellow Senior Stories Nominees? Bayoan Santiago-Calderon and I went on the Gila, NM service trip together; Nathan Tuttle was part of my capstone cohort focused on proposing legislation for a green fund at SU; Paige Duggins and I were in the Curiosity Paideia cohort and had many opportunities to share experiences and ideas.