Then and Now: The Class of 2021

By Katie Clelland ’21

At the start of the 2016–17 academic year, we interviewed a few first-year students about why they chose Scripps and what their plans were for their college careers. Now, four years later, we’ve caught up with some of those seniors to see how their plans shaped up, how they’ve grown, and where they’re off to after graduation. In true Scripps tradition, several students ended up incorporating extracurricular activities—from circus acrobatics to heels dance—into their academic pursuits. 

Juliana Romeo

“While I am not as passionate about photography as I was my first year, I have developed my passion for media. Through internships and media studies classes, I’ve practiced my love of media and am even researching college students’ relationship with reality dating shows for my anthropology thesis. After graduation, I hope to apply the communication and analytical skills I gained as an anthropology major at Scripps to a career in digital marketing.

“At orientation at the start of first year, I remember President Tiedens sharing Ellen Browning Scripps’ message ‘to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.’ This message has truly resonated with me throughout my four years at Scripps. As I’ve navigated my academic career, I’ve gained confidence by being surrounded by my supportive peers. As I left Scripps to study abroad for a semester in Australia, I learned to be courageous by traveling and making new friends in a new country. While it has been challenging to be away from Scripps for my last year of college, I have remained hopeful for the future through the connections I created, even on Zoom, with my professors, peers, and friends.”

Sophia Albanese

“I knew I wanted to do something active at Scripps, and was interested in dance and volleyball when I first started, but I missed the volleyball tryouts for a meeting for Mock Trial (which I am currently president of this year). Through joining the Scripps College Mock Trial team, I’ve had unforgettable times at tournaments. Although our tournaments were remote this year, my team put forth an incredible effort at our regional tournament so we will be moving on to the Open Round Championships, which I am extremely proud of.

“As a science major, I really appreciate the range of liberal arts courses at Scripps  that have enabled me to think so far beyond the laboratory. Almost all of my non-science courses have been incredibly memorable, inspiring, and eye opening. Additionally, I truly cherish all the amazing friends I’ve met on campus who offer such diverse viewpoints and support. I still maintained my interest in dance at Scripps. I have taken a ballet course almost every semester now. Taking the class on Zoom especially has really opened my eyes at how universal and uniting dance can be even when everyone is remote. Following graduation, I will be taking a gap year to gain some clinical experiences before applying to medical school.”

Alison Dart

“I planned to study music when I started at Scripps, and I still am! I am completing a music major with a concentration in composition, which is something I had been planning to do when entering Scripps. I also added an English major, which Scripps influenced by getting me to broaden my horizons and look more closely at interests that I already had, but perhaps hadn’t explored as deeply before. Scripps has definitely shaped who I am today. It has helped me develop intellectually as well as foster my confidence. I have learned how to express my thoughts and ideas much more fully and clearly. Post-graduation, I’m hoping to continue exploring my creative passions, whatever that form may take. The world feels very uncertain at this moment, and I want to focus on being open to all kinds of opportunities and am excited to see where my degree takes me from here.”

Priya Thomas

“I still love the arts and humanities, and I’ve really enjoyed exploring them from an academic perspective at Scripps. Scripps has changed the way I think and interact with people. I have learned so many new ways of engaging with problems, ideas, and texts. I have a heightened awareness of everything I don’t know, but also a heightened curiosity to learn, which I’m not sure I had before I came to Scripps. A new sport I have learned is Lyra (aerial hoop) in the Claremont Circus Studio!”

Anisha Soin

I was initially interested in health economics, though my plans slightly changed. While I stuck to economics as a major, I got interested in the strategy-side of economics via my summer internships and classes. I have remained interested in healthcare economics and am currently taking a class on it so as to learn more about it.

“During President Tiedens’ address in 2017, she introduced us to the Scripps College motto ‘Incipit Vita Nova’—here begins new life. Over the past four years, this concept of incipit vita nova has become ingrained in my life. Between all the highs and lows, I found the comfort of home in a place 8,000 miles away. Not only did Scripps give me the opportunity to meet the people that have now become family to me, but it has also equipped me with the skills and resources to excel in whatever I want to do in the future. My time at Scripps has made me more resilient, unafraid, and ambitious, and has taught me that being a woman is a strength and not a weakness. At Scripps, I’ve had the privilege to find myself and pursue what I’m truly passionate about. Post-graduation I hope to be able to work in a strategy-oriented role and eventually get a postgraduate degree. Additionally, I also want to pursue some of the hobbies I picked up while at Scripps (including heels dancing)!”

Laura Le

“My plans as a first-year student for studying political science and economics have totally changed! I’m a chemistry major now and have not looked back. After taking one politics class, I realized that I enjoyed doing my chemistry homework more and just enjoyed the relationship I built with my professors and classmates in the lab.

“The typical day at Scripps is my fondest memory. Working in the research lab with two of my friends every Friday, hanging out in the lab doing our workups, and helping each other out. Even though we all really wanted to get to the pool, being in the lab was so fun because while waiting for whatever you’re working on to finish up, there’s a lot of down time to just talk to people. Of course, as soon as we could, we would run to the pool at the Field House to soak up as much sunshine we could. It was just like the two things I love doing: chemistry and hanging out with my friends. Post-graduation, I plan to take a gap year and then head back to school to do research.”