Allie Bogetich, ’21, is a freshman at Stanford University and is majoring in civil engineering. She also plays in the wind ensemble.
Q: What do you like about Stanford?
A: I really like the weather and the layout of the campus. It’s so nice to just be able to go for a run randomly during the day because the weather is super nice all year-round, and the campus is beautiful. There’s good hiking trails and running trails all over, and you can do homework outside.
Q: How was the transition from Country Day to college?
A: I’m pretty sensitive to change, so it was pretty hard the first month, but then it just kind of clicked at once and it was chill. The campus is giant, so there’s stuff to do everywhere. There’s always people who want to play frisbee or go to downtown Palo Alto, but you definitely have to put yourself out there because if not you’re just going to be living in your dorm room, which is not super fun.
Q: How did Country Day help you get into Stanford?
A: Definitely with writing. I’m sure my essay probably looked a lot better than a lot of other people’s because Country Day’s English is just really good. And then offering dozens of AP classes definitely helps boost your application if you have good scores.
Q: Why did you choose your major?
A: I’m interested in sustainability and trying to help do my part to unruin the earth and get away from fossil fuels. I’m kind of playing with the idea of a music minor since I don’t want to double major in music because then I don’t really have any free units to explore with, so I’m considering doing a minor.
Q: Have you been able to continue playing drums?
A: I’m playing in the wind ensemble, so I’m doing percussion. I’m not doing any drum set stuff because there’s a jazz orchestra that I was going to be in, but the concerts overlap with the wind ensemble, so I had to pick one. I’ve been taking some music theory classes, but I’m thinking in the spring I might join a jazz combo. I’m definitely liking the wind ensemble, it’s a lot of fun.
Q: What’s your favorite part about the wind ensemble?
A: It’s super cool because the conductor actually writes some of the pieces for us, which is awesome; I’ve never had that before. He’ll look at the group of kids he has, and then pick from his repertoire pieces that he thinks we should play.
Q: What classes are you taking?
A: Right now I’ve got a pretty light schedule because I knew we were going to be online for the first couple of weeks. I’ve been taking art classes. I’m taking the second one of the calculus series, an introduction to environmental science and technology, a music theory composition workshop and a wellness class. I’m also in the seminar where they have people from different energy companies come talk about their companies, and we get to talk to them, which is pretty cool.
Q: How have your study habits changed since high school?
A: To be honest, they’ve gotten progressively worse. I’m definitely doing the things I care about — I took a class last quarter about sustainable energy, and I wrote a 19-page paper for the final — but things like chemistry that I’m not that into, it’s like, get my B+ and move on.
Q: What’s it like living with a roommate in a small dorm room?
A: My roommate is almost never there. And usually when she is there, I’m asleep. She lives in San Jose, so she goes home every weekend. At first, it’s super nice to have a roommate because you automatically have someone to do something with, but then it’s like, if you’re not best friends with your roommate, it doesn’t really matter. My roommate and I are friendly, but we’re not friends at all, if that makes sense.
Q: What is something that surprised you about Stanford?
A: Honestly, just the variety of classes that I’m able to take. I was expecting, as an engineering student, that my entire four years would be laid out for me, but it’s totally not like that at all. There are a very few select classes that I have to take and then the rest of them are like, you must take two of 15 of these and you really get to pick and choose what you want.
Q: Do you have any advice for the class of 2022?
A: My advice for getting into college is: definitely don’t do activities because you think it will make your application look good because everyone else is going to do that. If you have a cookie cutter application, they’re not going to take you. Ten of the same application could be submitted, and they’ll probably only pick one. So, honestly, it’s a little bit of luck-of-the-draw, and it’s a little bit of just trying to be individual.
Once you’re in college, I’d say take full advantage of classes outside your major and do some exploring. Definitely try to make a lot of friends during fall quarter with people who are in your dorm because anytime you need something or are confused about something, you’d just be able to go knock on someone’s door across the hall. It’s so convenient.