Lucy Roland '13, University of Sourthern California
Lucy Roland '13 knew exactly what she was looking for when she started the college search process: a big school in a warm climate. And as a huge fan of Spirit Day, she knew that she wanted to go somewhere where school spirit is important and everyone rallies behind the football team. Though she applied to 14 schools, a visit to USC helped convince her that it was the right place for her.
Tell me about what the college search process was like for you.
I knew that I wanted a big school, somewhere with a lot school spirit, and something in a warm climate. It also needed to have engineering. I ended up applying to 14 schools—the number climbed up really quickly. In the end I was deciding between two schools, and visiting USC was what really helped me choose.
Why the school spirit piece?
I love Spirit Day here, and I really wanted to go to a college where everyone would know who won the football game, or would want to go to the game—it was just something that seemed like a necessary part of the school experience.
What is it about engineering that you like?
When I was little I loved math and my mom said, kind of jokingly, “Oh, you’re going to grow up and be an engineer.” It’s funny, because I always pictured a little man working on his steam engine, and I thought that was all an engineer was. But as I grew up and realized what it was it just seemed to make a lot of sense for me—I really like math, and I like problem solving. Also, engineering opens a lot of doors for careers beyond engineering because it gives you the skill set you need to do lots of other things.
Do you know what kind of engineering you’d like to do?
I’m leaning towards mechanical engineering, but at the moment I’m “engineering-undecided.” I’m thinking about either mechanical, aerospace, electrical or computer—just not biomedical or chemical.
How do you think that Bryn Mawr helped prepare you for engineering and for college in general?
Bryn Mawr is very rigorous, and the engineering curriculum is really challenging, in a good way. Bryn Mawr has trained me in time management and how to manage a bigger workload. Also, the English program is very strong, so I feel like I won’t have to catch up at all on my writing. I think I’m really prepared for college—as prepared as I can be. Bryn Mawr has set me up well so that I can do my best.
How did the College Counseling Office support you through the process?
They’ve been a great support system. It was really nice to have somewhere to go to work on my applications or to just talk to people who know the process. It was good to have people to help guide me, and I never felt like they were pushing me in any direction—which was actually kind of frustrating when I was deciding between schools, because I wanted to say, “just tell me where to go!” But they’ve been great about supporting me and helping me weigh the pros and cons of a situation in a levelheaded way.
What extracurriculars would you like to do in college?
A lot! I was just looking through the clubs and organizations list last night. I might join the 5K running club, or the noncompetitive gymnastics team. Greek life is really big at USC, so I’ll probably end up rushing, but I’m still undecided about that. They also have community service organizations that I’d like to join—I’ve done Habitat for Humanity at Bryn Mawr and I definitely want to keep doing that in LA. In terms of sports, I’d like to do as many intramurals as I can, like squash, which I’ve always wanted to play.
What will you miss the most about Bryn Mawr?
My friends and the teachers for sure. I’ve had such good mentors in high school—some teachers I’ve only had for a semester, but I feel so close to them. Bryn Mawr is just a really warm environment. It’ll be hard to leave my friends too, since I’m going 3000 miles away and most of them are going to be in the Northeast.
What’s your favorite Bryn Mawr tradition?
Gym Drill. It’s funny, because a lot of people don’t like preparing for it, but then on the day of everyone loves it. I’m not a sentimental person, but I do like Gym Drill, and I’m definitely going to miss the people here.