Alumni: Bianca Shrestha (c/o 2014)

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Alumni: Bianca Shrestha (c/o 2014)

Bianca wearing her Georgia Tech T-shirt

Bianca wearing her Georgia Tech T-shirt

Bianca wearing her Georgia Tech T-shirt

Bianca wearing her Georgia Tech T-shirt

Lina Lin

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What year did you graduate from Grace King?


Are you attending college? If yes, which college?  

“Yes, I attended Xavier University, then transferred to Georgia Institute of Technology. I am not currently working, but I’ve tutored and did undergraduate research (both of which were paid positions).”

Why did you choose this college?

“I chose Xavier because I thought I wanted to become a physician, but within my first semester there, I realized it wasn’t for me. I talked to my academic adviser about switching to another major, and she recommended me to look into biomedical engineering. Xavier doesn’t offer engineering courses, but they have a 3+2 Program where you received two bachelor degrees in the span of five years. I finished the first three years at Xavier, pursuing a Biology degree and currently finishing my second degree at Georgia Tech in Biomedical Engineering. To add, I am also minoring in Industrial Design at Tech. Tech is well known for its excellent engineering programs and their BME (biomedical engineering) undergraduate program is ranked #1 in the nation.”

What are you majoring in? How many years of college will that take?

“I am doing a dual degree in Biology and Biomedical Engineering with an Industrial Design minor. I believe I will graduate in December of 2019 or May of 2020. It’s quite difficult to graduate within the traditional four years as an engineering major haha.”

What is college like? Is it different from what you imagined back in high school?

“I think I had a slightly different experience in college compared to others. My first college was Xavier, which was a very small community of students and was pretty heavily academically centered. I worked hard in high school, especially in taking AP classes. There were a few notable teachers that inspired me to reach my full potential: Dr. Steen, Ms. Dyer, and Mr. Curran. I don’t think they work at GK anymore, but they were phenomenal role models, and I think of them often. I believe I was sufficiently prepared for college because of them. I had a good work ethic and knew how to manage my time well. At Xavier, I honed these skills and also got exposed to research.  By the time I got to Tech, I didn’t have too much difficulty in managing my time. However, Tech is definitely worlds away from Xavier. It’s a larger campus, has more resources for academic/research needs, but more importantly, has a diverse student population. I think going from a small college to a large college is an interesting jump because you almost switch mindsets. You think more globally and really begin to think you can make an impact. My first semester at Tech was very academically rigorous. Over time, however, I adjusted.”

What is the biggest difference between college and high school?

“I think the bigger the college, the bigger the difference from high school. For Tech, it was just the amount of people that shocked me. It was like stimuli overload. At the same time, though, it was also comforting that so many other people are going through the struggles of engineering as you.”

“Academically, high school doesn’t really challenge you the way college does. High school is more or less, “Can you regurgitate these facts?”; it’s very surface level. College forces you to think critically and tests whether you’ve actually deeply learned something. If you want a taste of college in high school, take an AP course.”

What is your favorite place to study or just to relax?  

“I try to study in different locations as often as possible. Most college libraries have quiet floors, so I usually do heavy studying there. If it’s just busy work, then a coffee shop or my room.”

Which class is your favorite/coolest class?

“So far, the coolest class is my BME Design class which I’m currently taking. In teams of four, we were tasked to improve/innovate upon a medical device that is already in the market. My team chose prosthetic legs, and so we are conducting interviews and performing engineering analysis in order to understand how prosthetic legs work. I recently got to interview a prosthetic leg user and got to understand what kinds of daily obstacles he had to go through. The class also makes students practice their sketching skills (which takes hours to perfect) as well as learn a software called SolidWorks. It’s the coolest class because it’s the first instance where I feel connected with my project because I’m talking to real people outside of my school in order to learn.”

Are your classes lecture based or discussion based?

“As a biology major, the majority of it was lecture-based. As a BME major, the majority of it is discussion-based. Lecture-based classes are pretty boring in my opinion. I just feel like I’m paying thousands of dollars to look at slideshows.”

“Discussion-based classes are more fruitful in that I get more out it. I get to think out loud and get instant feedback; there’s just more room for learning.”

What is something you have on your college campus that you would have liked to have on a high school campus?

“Many college campuses have an academic resource center where students can get help in classes if they need to. I think it would be cool to introduce this in high school too.”

“Upperclassmen can tutor underclassmen in classes like math, science, or English. It can give upperclassmen a feel for what teaching is like.”

What is a typical day as a college student like?

“I wake up around 7 am, eat breakfast, go to maybe a class or two depending on the day, eat lunch, study or go to my last class of the day, study more, eat dinner, and then study more. Depending on the day, I might have club meetings or appointments. I also try to go to the gym at least four times a week in between classes. I try to stop working around 10pm because that when my brain shuts off.”

Do you live on or off campus?

“I live off campus, but I can walk to campus easily.”

What do you miss about Grace King?

“I miss being on the Irish Eyes. That was a huge part of my high school experience.”

What club(s) were you in at Grace King?

Student Council (Executive Board)

National Honor Society (I served as Vice President.)

Cross Country for a year and ran in the state competition

What is one thing from Grace King that set you on the path you’re on today?

“It would definitely be being on the Irish Eyes. It taught me so much about myself. That’s why I really think being involved in something you’re passionate about in high school is so important. It gives you a sense of purpose.”

Is there something from Grace King you will always remember?

“I liked the amount of diversity at King.”

Do you plan to stay or leave the New Orleans area? If leaving, where are you planning to move to?

“I prefer not to live in NOLA. I like being out of state; I like my freedom.”

Do you have any advice for students who are unsure on what to do after graduation or feel indifferent about college?

“Try to challenge yourself as much as possible. For some, that may not mean a college degree, which is definitely okay. If you are interested in college, you can apply as “undecided” as your major. You’ll be taking your general education courses in the first semester anyway, so you get to have a little more time to think about what you want to do. They say “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Whether you want to go to college or not, remember that you are the master of your journey, and you are the one who can change your life.”