Natasha started in BioE as a Direct Freshman Admit and now a senior,  she is preparing to study at UW’s School of Dentistry next year. During her time in BioE , she worked on Denatured, a student-run journal, and researched amyloid proteins in Dr. Valerie Daggett’s lab. She also co-founded the Right Brain Campaign, an organization that engages BioE students in artistic activities as a break from the daily rigor of their coursework.

“The first quarter of BioE core was really hard for me because you are plunged into this cohort system. A lot of people don’t talk about it but it’s really hard at first if you don’t find your group immediately. I hadn’t made a lot of friends in college thus far because I had a lot of anxieties about social things. As a DFA, I heard from upperclassmen that you needed friends in the cohort to make it through BioE core and I worried that I might fail because I hadn’t found my group yet.

One of my classmates was really great. She just told me ‘I’m going to be your friend,’ and I became friends with her and I found people I studied well with. Having that helped a lot during fall junior core, which was my most difficult quarter. In retrospect, I can understand what people meant when they said you needed friends in the cohort system.

After that, I kind of realized that you have to reach out to people and you have to talk to people about problems. This whole year, I’ve made a big effort to reach out to people. Especially because I’ve always been really closed off in terms of that. It’s hard to feel like you have that support.

This year, I’m doing a lot of interviews, talking to a lot of strangers, doing a lot of projects, and there are a lot of things I’m in charge of. That kind of stuff still makes me anxious. But by doing more of it, I realized that you can separate the thoughts and the fears from the actions, and realizing that has been really important for me. Because while I have these fears and these anxieties, that doesn’t need to affect the way that I act.”