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Photo by Elke Schmidt, Senegal Bridge Year Program.

Introduction Letter — Sophie Slutzky

Hello, my name is Sophie Slutzky! I am incredibly excited to be part of Bridge Year Senegal, and I can’t wait to begin this amazing adventure a few days from now. My entire life, I have lived in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, a small town around 15 minutes outside of Princeton, so one of my major motivations for applying to the Bridge Year program was the opportunity to expand my view of the world before beginning college so close to home.

A little about me:

  • Physics is probably one of my favorite things in the world. I spent a lot of my time over the past few years participating on my school’s Science Olympiad team, mostly studying Astronomy and Astrophysics. During my senior year, I also studied the representation of physics within fine arts, exploring the relationship between the artistic movements and physical discoveries of the same time period. I eventually want to pursue a major in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, which will hopefully allow me to challenge myself creatively and scientifically.
  • I really enjoy reading and writing poetry. I used to participate in a recitation competition at my high school, and it was always my favorite event of the year! My personal favorite poets include Sylvia Plath and Kevin Young, but I also greatly appreciate the work of John Donne. While in Senegal, I am very interested in learning about the role that poetry plays within society and how a poem can reflect its writer’s culture and beliefs.
  • Creating music is a large part of my life. I mainly play piano and clarinet, but I am also somewhat trained in trumpet and love to sing in my free time. I was a member of my school’s marching band for four years and was honored with the responsibility of conducting the band during my last season, which I think really taught me a lot about how music can be used for many purposes besides entertainment (like to influence emotion or to act as an aid during religious ceremonies).
  • I love working in an educational setting. I have volunteered with children in my local community for the past five years, and it is definitely something I wish to continue in the future (hopefully after college). During Bridge Year, I would love to volunteer at some type of school where I would be able to gain experience and skill in working with children, and I hope to return home nine months from now better suited to help students of all ages and abilities.

I would just like to add that I didn’t actually know of the Bridge Year Program until I was accepted to Princeton. Although I was originally too excited to start college to even consider applying, I am so glad that I did! I am excited to see how much I change and develop—mentally, emotionally, personally, and otherwise—over the course of the year, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn more about myself and the rest of the world before I start another four years of school. I can’t wait to meet everyone who will accompany me on this journey. See you all in a few days!