Shhhhhhh! Don't Tell Res Life

I started as a timid little freshman, unsure of my major, unsure of what I was good at, homesick.

I ended as someone who is majoring in environmental science, and not just majoring: I feel like I couldn’t unravel it from my fibers even if I tried.

I started as someone who felt intimidated visiting professors—and when I did visit I’d show up with a carefully orchestrated list of questions—but now I just swing by with no agenda to discuss graphs and bread and life, and they have to shoo me out of their offices (“Get-out-get-out! I have class in 20 minutes!”).

For the next couple of weeks I am here, squatting in my old room (shhhhh! don’t tell Res Life) to preserve my comfy sense of denial about the fact that I will, indeed, one day have to leave Allegheny and The Bowden Lab. And enjoying all the things that I normally have to wedge between heaps of school work: visiting my favorite professors, attending evening guest lectures, playing organ, contra dancing, baking bread, biking. Soaking up what Allegheny has meant to me.

That’s one thing I’ve loved about Allegheny: I’ve definitely made a name for myself. And this has helped me work out who me is. A bread baker caring for my ancient sourdough starter like so many yeasty pets. A resourceful food rescuer. An adventurer for a semester at the School for Field Studies in Australia. A nerd. And, with the completion of my Senior Comp, a master switchgrass researcher.

How other people see you helps define how you see yourself, for better or worse. That girl who bikes in the snow. That organ student. That girl with the Tupperware containers. That girl who does the poi fire–spinning dance.



As a freshman at Allegheny, I had the misconception that college would be where I’d learn a lot of facts, get a nice crisp diploma, and then continue on my way fairly untouched. But no.

Definitely touched by this place, I have learned more than I thought possible about myself.