Y HMC: Kaitlynn
March 15, 2023
Hello, my name is Kaitlynn Gray (she/her) and I am a Sophomore Computer Science major at Harvey Mudd. A bit about myself: I am from the San Fernando Valley, so I am relatively close to home! The climate is noticeably cooler and drier here in Claremont. This allows me to be up close with beautiful, snow covered mountains in the winter at Mudd, which I enjoy very much.
So how did I hear about Harvey Mudd? My high school would send out weekly emails with college and career information. After being prompted by my mother, I happened to read one of said emails, which advertised HMC’s FAST Program. This program, which occurred virtually during the pandemic, introduced prospective students to students and staff at Mudd. I applied to the program, got accepted, and the rest was history. I think fondly of this story as I did not know Harvey Mudd existed before this point – and this was senior year in high school. I wonder what would have happened if my mother did not happen to prompt me at that moment.
While HMC is rigorous, I appreciate choosing this school. After attending FAST, I spent time researching the school and attending other events. I was drawn (and still am) to the collaborative culture here at Mudd. I experienced a /steep/ learning curve when transitioning from high school to Mudd, but I was surrounded by people who loved to help. I was surprised about how friendly and helpful people are at Mudd. There are those that welcome you to their dorm to work on homework, who will stay on the phone with you as you think through a problem set. There are those who will ask you to lunch or to go to tutoring (Academic Excellence or AE) with them. I’ve seen freshmen wake up early to simply watch a show together. In my friend group, we played group just dance, watched movies in our lecture halls, and hosted presentation nights. It’s these things that help make the large academic commitment at Mudd feel more bearable. I’ll be honest – there were a lot of hard times, but Mudd is filled with so many amazing creative, driven, hardworking, intelligent people, that there is someone to support you when you need it.
Here is my advice: Do your research about Mudd! Talk to people who go here to get a clear understanding of the college. This is a STEM school, yes, but there are many of us who are passionate about art, music, history, and more who would love to talk to you. There is something here for you if you are willing to look for it. My grandfather told me, “don’t miss out on the journey for fear of taking the first step.” This wisdom encouraged me to take the first step, and I now give the same wisdom to you.