Concordia Shanghai Jun 14 2022

Class of '22 Road to College: Sara Pratt Off to Bryn Mawr College

Today's story comes from a student who's been at Concordia since Grade 1. She is an enthusiastic member of the swimming team and a deep thinker, who believes that success in high school should be about more than one's GPA. 


How did you feel when you got the news of your acceptance?

When I received my acceptance letter, my reaction was more anticlimactic than I expected it to be. It had been early in the morning on the last day of finals week, so I was running low on energy. If I remember correctly, I sort of just sat at my desk for a couple of minutes before I actually realized what it meant. The first thing I did following that was text my family about the news (one of my parents is in the U.S., so I couldn’t share the news face-to-face). Overall, I just had a great sense of relief knowing that I could spend the following months free from the stress of college acceptance news.

Do you know already which school you will attend, and can you tell us what makes it a good fit for you?

In the fall, I will be attending Bryn Mawr College, a small liberal arts school near Philadelphia. When I started my college research process, I didn’t know what it was I wanted. After some deliberation, I narrowed down my search to accommodate a couple of “wants”. First, I wanted to be at a liberal arts college. Second (and this is sort of a given with liberal arts schools), I wanted to be at a smaller school with a close community. The last point that I searched for was the ability to leave campus and find a larger environment outside of school. Growing up in Jinqiao, I’ve appreciated the duality of living in a quieter area while still having the opportunity to venture into a big city. Bryn Mawr truly fit all three of these points. Additionally, the inclusivity and diversity among the students at Bryn Mawr gave me some reassurance that I would find a welcoming community in a new environment. 


Is there a particular program or field of study you want to pursue? 

While I do not have a specific program that I am going into, I am interested in pursuing something in the social sciences, perhaps around political science, sociology, or philosophy. Bryn Mawr is part of a consortium, so I can take classes at Bryn Mawr, and at Haverford, Swarthmore, and the University of Pennsylvania. The variety of courses and opportunities that are provided is something I am looking forward to, and I hope to broaden my interests with the classes available.  

In your opinion, what made your application stand out?

I think my writing supplements may have contributed to my acceptance to Bryn Mawr. The turbulent period of essay writing during the application season really forced me to reflect on myself and my high school career in a way I hadn’t done before. I think that the pressure of trying to holistically represent yourself in a 650-word essay requires a bit of soul-baring/vulnerability, and that is what allows the AO to better understand who you are, separate from the GPA and AP scores. 

Learn more about University Acceptances for the Class of 2022Which classes, programs, and/or faculty at Concordia helped support your interest in your planned field of study?

In the last two years of high school, I have specifically taken as many social sciences classes as I could to immerse myself in topics I was interested in. The social science courses at Concordia are very intertwined/interdisciplinary, so there have been multiple occasions where content I learned in International Relations, for example, came up in AP Comp. Gov., etc. The social science program (and teachers at Concordia in general) have challenged me to expand my perspective of the world and actively question why things are the way they are. Along with the social science program, the teachers that I have had for my AP Lang and AP Lit classes have consistently shown me support and encouragement, and I have been grateful for them the past couple of years.


Are there any other activities (clubs, teams, projects) that had a significant impact on you during your time at Concordia?

I’ve been at Concordia since 1st grade, so the community here has practically nurtured my education and growth. While there are a couple of different activities that impacted me, I would say one of the most profound has been the swim team. I joined the Concordia swim team around 7th grade and continued throughout high school (this was my final year swimming). Swim has taught me a lot about perseverance and commitment, and it was both a challenging and rewarding experience to have. I’ve been able to watch the swim program grow tremendously, and I am thankful to have been a small part of it.

How do you anticipate your college life?

My attitude towards going to college has shifted a lot. Initially, my general feeling was pretty crowded with fear and anxiety. But as we’ve gone closer to graduation and actually going, I've gotten more excited. I'm excited to go to a new environment, meet new people, and it's a lot of opportunity. And I think if we take control into our own hands, we’ll have a good time.

Do you have any advice for high school students? 

High school is a period of change and growth, and you are going be a lot different senior year than you were freshman year. Most likely, you are going to make new friends, meet people, and join different groups and stuff. But it is okay for things to change and to not go as planned. It is what life is. It will be okay in the end. 

Stay tuned for more stories from the Class of 2022 as they continue their journey on the road to college.