Describe your senior year in three words.
Untraditional, because I studied remotely all year and only spent three semesters total on campus. Fun, because I made great memories with family and friends. Growth, because I learned a lot and became more independent.
What does being valedictorian mean to you?
It is a symbol of the work I’ve put into my classes. I had some imposter syndrome coming into college, so it is validating to see that the work I put in stood out.
What’s your favorite Lafayette memory?
My favorite memory was when my friends from the Open Debate Club threw me a going away party before I left for study abroad.
What’s the most impactful class you took?
The most impactful class I took at Lafayette was Fourth Amendment in U.S. Law and Politics, taught by Prof. Bruce Murphy. I loved writing judicial opinions on upcoming cases and later being able to see what the actual results were. The class will stick with me because although taking a four-hour-long final was not exactly fun, I lived up to the challenge and felt much more confident about my abilities as a writer afterward. Some of the topics, such as digital privacy law, are also increasingly relevant in society today.
Who was the most influential person during your time at the College?
The most influential person during my time at Lafayette is Emily Boyle ’20. As fellow government and law majors, we spent much of our time studying in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, debating current political events, and discussing our law school plans. Other favorite activities were going to the gym together before class and drinking too many Mojo smoothies. I am so proud to call her my friend.
What will you miss most about Laf?
I will miss how easy it is to find others on campus who want to learn about your academic interests, even if they do not share them.
Describe your biggest challenge and how you overcame it.
I came to Lafayette from a diverse town and public-school system, so at times, it was challenging to fit in. This was amplified by the large presence of Greek life on campus. One way I overcame this was by studying abroad in Spain, which not only exposed me to students from colleges across the country, but the lifestyle and culture of local residents, such as my host mother. I also found an amazing friend group on campus through academics and clubs that so kindly welcomed me.
What do you wish for your fellow graduating classmates?
Be proud of what you have done. It’s no easy feat to graduate during a pandemic.
What advice would you give to your first-year self?
Planning is important, but a plan doesn’t always work out. While always having a game plan enabled me to reach goals during my time at Lafayette, I am in a completely different spot right now than I had expected; but I’m still happy.
What words of wisdom would you like to share with upcoming seniors?
If your schedule permits, take a ‘fun’ class that has nothing to do with your major requirements or Common Course of Studies, but is something you’ve always been curious about.
How has Lafayette changed you?
Lafayette has made me more confident in speaking up for myself and my beliefs.
How do you hope to change the world?
I hope to be an effective advocate who can help bring legal justice into the community I end up in. I do not know what area of law I want to go into yet, but this goal is at the forefront of my mind.
The most important thing you learned about yourself at Lafayette is:
I have learned that I can’t force an inauthentic version of myself to others. Of course, I always want to work on self-improvement, but that is not the same as completely changing who I am.