Tori Gumtow '14, Georgia Tech
Tori Gumtow '14 came to Bryn Mawr in seventh grade. Next year, she will be attending the Georgia Tech to follow her passion for Computer Science. Read about Tori's college process, what her Bryn Mawr experience was like, and why she chose Georgia Tech.
When did you come to Bryn Mawr, and was it your decision or your parents'?
I came to Bryn Mawr in 7th grade, it was mostly my parents’ decision. They thought that my old school wasn’t challenging me enough academically, and after looking at schools in D.C. and Baltimore, they decided that Bryn Mawr was the best fit. I loved my old school; I had a good group of friends there. But when I came to Bryn Mawr on the first day a bunch of girls just swallowed me up into their friend group. It was great.
What has your Bryn Mawr experience been like?
It’s been really challenging, academically, but I think it’s definitely shaped me into a more outgoing person, because when I came in as a seventh grader I was a very introverted person, and I hardly talked at all. I’m still pretty shy, but in general I’ve become so much better at expressing myself.
Tell me about your most influential teacher or class.
The most influential teacher I’ve had in the past six years has been Mr. Curtis, my AP Computer Science teacher. I took AP CompSci last year, and it was amazing to experience coding in a classroom setting. I went to see him at the beginning of this year because I wanted to see if there were any more opportunities to do computer science, and he gave me the opportunity to be a TA for AP CompSci this year.
What was that like?
It was challenging in the beginning, coming out of my shell and talking to people, but by the end of the year I was really comfortable approaching the other students and asking if they needed help or if they needed to have their code checked.
When did you start getting interested in computer science, and where did that interest come from?
My parents have been putting technology in front of me since I was little – they were both electrical engineering majors and my mother has an MA in Computer Engineering. In middle school my parents put me in ID Tech camps, where I made my own roleplaying game, a website in HTML and some things in JAVA. In 9th grade we decided that I was too old to go to those camps, so I started helping out at my parents’ company and kept working on my programming knowledge. It’s been a very longstanding interest.
What was your most challenging assignment in Upper School?
The term paper in 9th grade. My old school wasn’t as strong in English, and I had never written a paper that was that long (8-12 pages). I’m more a computer person that an English person. It was difficult, but with the help and support of all the teachers, everything came together and I got through it. I definitely feel more prepared to do something like that again.
What was the college admission process like?
It was pretty stressful, as it is for everyone. I applied early action to Georgia Tech, which is the school that I’ll be going to, and I heard back from them on Janurary 4. Before then I’d heard that I’d gotten into another school, so I think it was much less stressful for me than for those who had to wait until the spring. I was really able to relax after I heard from Georgia Tech.
Why Georgia Tech?
I love the school for so many reasons. It’s in Atlanta, which is a beautiful city. It has a wonderful green campus, you can always see the city. It’s also ranked 9th in the nation for computer science. And it’s warm! I’m not a fan of the cold weather. The Greek system is interesting there, because everyone’s involved in Engineering so they understand if you need to stay in and study. I also love the atmosphere in the South – everyone is so friendly.
What do you envision doing with CompSci in the future?
I want to do software engineering, but I’m not sure where that will take me. At Georgia Tech, you choose from two “threads” that make up your major. The threads might lead to robotics, to animation – there are so many different options.
How do you think that Bryn Mawr has prepared you for college?
I know for a fact that AP Computer Science is basically the first college course you take in computer science. I’ve also been able to take classes on animation, graphic design, and emerging technologies. Bryn Mawr has given me so many opportunities to expand my knowledge, and it has helped a lot. I feel really prepared to study computer science at Georgia Tech.
What are you looking forward to the most about college?
To be honest, I’m looking forward to living away from home and growing up in that sense. I’m also looking forward to studying what I want to study, as opposed to taking required classes.
What are you going to miss the most about Bryn Mawr?
I’ll probably miss the friends that I’ve made here the most. They’ve been a great support system over the years I’ve been here.