Avi Bhullar, '17, right, shows her school spirit with her friends at a University of Washington football match.

FRESHMAN FOCUS: Avi Bhullar, ’17, develops a taste for squash at University of Washington

Avi Bhullar, ‘17, attends the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. Although she has yet to declare her major, she is interested in becoming a doctor.


Q: What are you majoring in?

A:  I’m thinking of majoring in public health or global health. At UW. you have to apply into a major. I am currently labeled as a pre-science student.


(Photo used by permission of Bhullar)
Avi Bhullar, ’17, right, shows her school spirit with her friends at a University of Washington football game.

Q: Why did you choose the University of Washington?

A: I applied to a bunch of schools. I knew I wanted to go to a bigger school because I wanted that big-school environment. As far as academics, I knew I was set (because) if you’re coming out of Country Day, the academics are going to be great. For me it came down to the college experience.


Q: Are you enjoying the experience?

A: Yeah, (the transition) is not bad at all. As long as you find your group of people, then you’re set.


Q: Have you made any freshman mistakes?

A: (Yes, when) I went to my first global health class, I thought the class was only an hour long. Apparently it was an hour and a half long. We had our first guest lecture, and (after the speaker) hit an hour, (he) was still talking. In my head I was like, “Aren’t we supposed to be leaving now?” Then an hour and a half (went by), and he was still going.

Part of our homework is to evaluate the lecture. For my evaluation I (said), the lecture was great but he went over by 30 minutes. Then the professor messaged me “Can you explain (how) he went over 30 minutes?” And I was stupid and didn’t look at my schedule.


Q: What is your favorite part of college?

A: The ability (to do) whatever I want whenever I want. (In high school) there were always consequences, but here I can eat dinner at 2 a.m. (without being judged).

The school spirit at UW is phenomenal. Homecoming week (was) super exciting, (and) when there’s a sports game, everyone goes. This school does a really good job (of) organizing events and making sure the student body is together.


(Photo used by permission of Bhullar)
Avi Bhullar, ’17, left, poses with friends while riding the bus.

Q: What classes are you taking?

A: Chemistry 142, Water Crisis in Literature and Film, a Pre-health Seminar, Freshman Interest Group (University 101) and Intro To the Core Topics of Global Health.


Q: What is Water Crisis in Literature and Film?

A: There is a water crisis in the world; we are running out of clean, fresh water. We look at that issue through different forms of literature and history. We (also) look at what water means to different societies and cultures around the world.


Q: How big are your classes?

A: My chemistry class is 625 people (with) three or four different sections. Core Topics of Global Health is 150 kids; Water Crisis and Literatures (and Film has) 35 kids; and Pre-health Seminar (has) 200 kids.


Q: What is your favorite class?

A: Intro to the Core Topics of Global Health. I (am) really interested in global healthcare studies, and I (know) after med school I want to pursue a master’s (in) public health. We talk about AIDS and HIV in Africa, maternal mortality and so much interesting stuff.


Q: Least favorite?

A: My University 101 class. It’s a lot of dumb icebreakers. You meet new people and go out into the city for projects.


Q: How do you get around?

A: UW seems huge, (but) your worst walk would be 15 minutes max. We have enough time between classes to get there, (and) people bring their bikes. Walking isn’t bad; you get your exercise. (But for) walking in the rain, I had to invest (in) a waterproof backpack, shoes and jacket.


Q: You live in a dorm, don’t you?

A: Yeah. There are three main campuses: Frat and Sorority Row, West Campus and North Campus. I live on West Campus, which, if you ask people, is (the) better (campus).


(Photo used by permission of Bhullar)
Avi Bhullar, ’17, bottom center, hangs out with friends at a University of Washington sporting event.

Q: Do you have any roommates?

A: Originally my two roommates were in a double room, but they snuck me (into their dorm). Now we’re three girls in a room meant for two.


Q: Do you like living in a dorm?

A: West Campus’s buildings are so nice. It feels (as if) I’m living in a luxury high rise in the middle of Seattle.


Q: Did SCDS prepare you for college?

A: I think so. A lot of the kids here don’t have the work ethic, but SCDS forces us to. If you don’t know it when you get in, you’re going to have it when you graduate. Country Day prepared us super well, if not over-prepared us. When you graduate from Country Day, you’re going to be set, no matter where you go.


Q: Are you in any extracurriculars or clubs?

A: My friends and I go play squash every week. It’s super fun. I never thought squash would be something that (I’d be) into (but), I guess it is now.


Q: Why did you start playing squash?

A: My friends and I were thinking, “What sports teams should we join?” We got into salsa dancing club for a little bit. (But) we (would)  always go over to the fitness center and see people playing squash, and we thought it looked like a lot of fun. So one day we rented out some equipment and we tried it. It was super fun, (so) we signed up and now (are) about to go to practices.


Q: Any advice for the class of 2018?

A: Don’t let other people’s expectations be projected onto you. Whatever you want to do, wherever you want to go – go for it as long as you know it’s going to help you succeed.


Five-star or subpar?

  • Food: ☆☆☆☆
  • Location: ☆☆☆☆☆
  • School Spirit: ☆☆☆☆☆
  • Clubs: ☆☆☆☆☆
  • Student-Teacher Interaction: ☆☆☆☆


By Elise Sommerhaug

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