Hey there! I’m Emily Wolfe, and I’m currently a sophomore at Pitt. Like a lot of students, I got to Pitt with a general idea of what I want to study, but no real specifics. I initially applied as a prospective linguistics major. By the time I started class my first semester, I had decided I wanted to double major in nonfiction writing and French, with minors in political science and German. Currently — halfway through my four years of college — my plan is to graduate with majors in fiction writing and religious studies, a minor in French, and a certificate in medieval and Renaissance studies. But there’s still a chance for it to change a couple more times along the way.
The thing that’s delighted me about my time at Pitt is that I’ve been able to pursue all my interests here — even the ones I’m not studying in class. Sure, I haven’t taken any actual linguistics courses, but some friends and I spent time tutoring a local Syrian family in English through the group FORGE, which helps connect Pitt students with opportunities to volunteer with refugees in Pittsburgh. Same with theater, which I love but don’t study: I was able to spend a semester helping a faculty member research theatrical productions in 19th-century Belfast through the First Experiences in Research program, and I’ve participated in a 10-minute theater festival with the fun and chaotic Redeye Theater Project. And although I ditched my political science minor, I’ve reported on local politics and more through work as a writer and editor at the student newspaper, The Pitt News.
None of the programs I mentioned above are directly run by the Honors College. But being immersed in the Honors College community since I arrived has encouraged me to take an interdisciplinary approach to my life at college, not limiting myself to one or two things. If I discover an interest in something new, I pursue it. Last year, I found out I loved looking through archived editions of the Pitt student newspaper, which led me to apply for the Honors College’s summer Brackenridge Fellowship — thanks to the Honors College, I’ll spend this coming summer researching World War II-era college newspapers across Pennsylvania.
There were a number of reasons I chose Pitt. I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, but I have family in Pittsburgh, and I already loved the city. Pitt’s campus is beautiful and, to me, the perfect distance from downtown Pittsburgh. But what it really came down to was that it was clear that Pitt and the Honors College had resources available for students who wanted them and were willing to work for them. I hope every high school student working on making their own college decision finds a place that’s going to help them pursue their personal and professional interests — even if they don’t really know what those are yet. I definitely didn’t when I got here, but I’m loving the process of figuring it out.