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I am Smith

Chloe Bollentin ’15

Chloe Bollentin

Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
Classics major


I’m definitely surprised to find myself majoring in the classics. Entering Smith, I thought I’d pursue the humanities—English, history or something. But my first semester—out of curiosity, really—I took a course on the Trojan War, which I loved. My professor suggested I follow up with another course in the classics, and that sealed the deal. That’s the thing about Smith; you have one-on-one relationships with your professors. They get to know you and help you follow up on your interests and strengths.

“Because there are no core requirements at Smith, I’ve been free to sample many different things.”

Because I was accepted as a STRIDE scholar, I began working with English professor Naomi Miller in my first semester. I’ve helped develop syllabi for two courses: one on adaptations of literary classics for children and a second for a comparative poetry course. This semester, I’m working as a classroom facilitator for a classics course called Roots: Greek and Latin Elements in English. These experiences have definitely given me an insight into what it would be like to be a professor, and I can see a future for myself in academia.

Because there are no core requirements at Smith, I’ve been free to sample many different things. Being in small classes with supportive professors encourages me to speak up more in class. I definitely get more out of a class when I’m asking and answering questions rather than just passively absorbing information. Trying and being successful in classes that are out of my comfort zone—like neuroscience and economics—have helped me realize my potential as a student. I love that I have been encouraged to try new things at Smith since the very beginning.