Describe your senior year in three words.
COVID-19. The pandemic undoubtedly marked my college career, senior year, and life more generally.
Fulfilling. Seeing the success of those around me, as well as reaching some of my own personal goals, completing my thesis, forming new friendships, waking up earlier, and reading were very rewarding.
Busy. I felt there was a lot to balance throughout the year, and it was somehow one of my busiest years, in its own way.
What does being valedictorian mean to you?
It is an acknowledgement of the hard work, discipline, and dedication I put toward my studies and responsibilities.
What’s your favorite Lafayette memory?
My time in Senegal during an interim trip my freshman year. It was a great experience, and I met many of my closest friends there.
What’s the most impactful class you took?
Colonialism in Africa: 1800s to Present with Prof. Christopher Lee. All of the readings were incredibly fascinating and created a comprehensive foundation for understanding the different facets of colonialism in Africa. The class was very thought-provoking, leaving me wanting to learn and understand more.
Who was the most influential person during your time at the College?
Prof. Caleb Gallemore has really marked my trajectory at Lafayette. Under his mentorship, I have been able to carry out innovative independent research that has now become the foundation of my academic and professional interests. His classes have also shaped a lot of my interests.
What will you miss most about Laf?
The general ambiance, and the friends and relationships I have formed over the years.
Describe your biggest challenge and how you overcame it.
Figuring out how to balance my time to fit in all that I wanted to do while also maintaining healthy habits. This was challenging for me and affected my sleep, health, energy, and relationships. However, I’m now becoming better at working in moderation and balancing my time more, but it is something I continue to struggle with.
What do you wish for your fellow graduating classmates?
I wish everyone the best as they begin a new chapter in their lives, and I hope that we can all apply lessons learned from college as we move forward.
What advice would you give to your first-year self?
That depth is as important as breadth, and that it is OK to focus on a few things rather than to stretch yourself out too thin. As much as I love exploring and trying new things, I realized I would have also benefited from narrowing down my interests and passions earlier on to make more time for sleep, friends, etc.
What words of wisdom would you like to share with upcoming seniors?
Figure out post-college life as soon as possible, and maximize time after that. Embark on a few personal projects; it is a great time to start.
How has Lafayette changed you?
Lafayette has helped me build my confidence and self-esteem. I have grown a lot as a person and as a thinker. Lafayette has motivated me to challenge the system, think outside the box, and always find solutions where there are problems. Lafayette has also indirectly forced me to value balance and free time more, as my time here has been shaped by consistent work.
How do you hope to change the world?
I hope to contribute toward efforts attempting to re-envision and recreate the humanitarian aid framework in refugee camps and conflict zones. I also hope to make travel more accessible for more people. I seek to build new knowledge in the fields of conflict, refugee studies, and existential risk.
The most important thing you learned about yourself at Lafayette is:
Push yourself to take any opportunity that comes your way. Stay true to yourself, to your intentions, motivations, and values.