Describe your senior year in three words.
Triumphant, fast, and bittersweet. It was amazing to see our community overcome the challenges of COVID-19 to get back on campus for a more traditional educational experience. Sadly, it went by super-fast. I wish I had more time, since I and many others spent a sizable part of our college experiences at home. I am extremely thankful for my time back on campus in the spring.
What does being valedictorian mean to you?
Being valedictorian is a celebration of the effort and dedication that I put into my education and relationships at Lafayette. Learning is a process that involves many people over time, and I value everything that my professors gave me at Lafayette. Without them, I would not have been as successful as a student. It is just so exciting.
What’s your favorite Lafayette memory?
Having late nights, sitting around with friends, listening to music, and just talking about life and laughing together is probably my favorite memory of Lafayette. Time with friends really means a lot to me.
What’s the most impactful class you took?
Organic Chemistry with Dr. Daniel Griffith. It’s very puzzle-y in nature, where you must evaluate situations critically and consider multiple factors when going from compound A to B. This thought process translates very similarly to dentistry, where you have to have a treatment plan and assess the patient’s needs and timeline. This type of thinking is enjoyable and rewarding to me, and because of that, I loved Organic Chemistry. While we are on the topic, I’d like to say a big thank-you to Lafayette’s Chemistry Department for everything they’ve done for me. I highly encourage anyone to pursue a biochemistry or chemistry major because the department is an excellent, special place.
Who was the most influential person during your time at the College?
For me, it was my roommate and great friend, Austin Goldstein ’21. We both did random roommate selection freshman year, and, ever since, we’ve been each other’s roommates. I can be a bit of a worrier, and he taught me how to take a breath, relax, and just enjoy the moment. Thanks to him, I think I might not gray as soon as I thought. He’s a really great guy.
What will you miss most about Laf?
Its community. I had really strong relationships with professors and students that created such a happy, warm environment for me. I will always treasure those relationships.
Describe your biggest challenge and how you overcame it.
There are so many great things to do at Lafayette, and my greatest challenge was balancing my time between all of them. I was overloading my schedule most semesters to do research, and I was involved heavily with multiple clubs. Of course, classes can be very difficult too. With so much to juggle, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. I went about it by breaking things down into lists and deciding what needs to be addressed first, tackling it one step at a time.
What do you wish for your fellow graduating classmates?
I hope that everyone can maintain the friendships that were important to them at Lafayette. As we all transition into adult life, staying in touch can be very difficult. Because of this, I would implore everyone to reach out to someone they really care about and to keep that relationship going. Friends make life fun and full of color. It would be a shame to lose great ones.
What advice would you give to your first-year self?
I would say that I should go into Downtown Easton more because there are so many great restaurants! I barely tried any of them my first few years here. There’s a lot of fantastic food, and some of them even take flex dollars.
What words of wisdom would you like to share with upcoming seniors?
Time is precious. Enjoy your time with the people around you. Give yourself the opportunity to experience Lafayette and Easton before you leave. Be honest with yourself and others, and give your time to those who you think make you and your life better.
How has Lafayette changed you?
It’s made me a much more collaborative person and has helped me understand how to look at things from multiple perspectives while juggling a lot of balls. I’m really thankful for that. I think it’s going to help me be a more empathetic and compassionate health care professional when I enter the field of dentistry.
How do you hope to change the world?
I hope to help people feel more comfortable with their smile and take pride in who they are. I just want to make sure people’s lives are better after they leave my future office than they were when they entered it. I think that will bring me a lot of happiness.
The most important thing you learned about yourself at Lafayette is:
Having a social, cooperative workspace is great for me. Lafayette really fosters that environment, and it definitely helped me grow as a person. I hope to nurture a similar environment in my practice when I start working as a dentist. As my life moves forward, I will always appreciate the foundation that Lafayette gave me.