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Student Story Two

Black Female Student, Class of 2022

If you could tell a first-year student one piece of advice about studying STEM, what would it be?

If you are considering STEM and you are a person of color, please don't hesitate to reach out to the upperclassmen of color! We have so much advice to give to you, so please don't feel like you have to struggle alone.

How prepared did you feel coming into Swarthmore?

I thought I was semi-prepared to come to Swat, but looking back, I probably wasn't prepared at all for the academic rigor.

What are some differences and commonalities between STEM experience in high school and at Swarthmore?

Everything is different. In high school, I barely had labs and experiments, and at Swarthmore I have one every week. Other than my math courses, I wasn't really pushed to critically engage with the material I learned, nor was I taught to question what I learned.

What are some ways in which you struggled with STEM classes at Swarthmore, and how did you find support?

I think I really struggled finding a footing in terms of studying for my STEM courses. Also, being one of the only people of color in the classes didn't help. I am truly grateful for my Black mentors that I met my freshmen and sophomore years who taught me how to succeed in classes.

What resources were most helpful to you in navigating STEM at Swarthmore?

My friends, professors (sometimes), and upperclassmen!