Gayatri Malhotra ’14

Gayatri Malhotra

My Lawrence University experience remains etched in my memory as a transformative journey from the arid landscapes of Arizona deep into the heart of America's dairy state. As a prospective student, I was drawn to Lawrence not only for its stellar academic programs but also its tight-knit community. The prospect of being part of a smaller, more focused classroom where I could receive individualized attention appealed to me. However, it was the warm and welcoming environment that truly stood out. From my initial interactions with the LU tennis team, I felt as though Lawrence was more than just an educational institution; it was a supportive and caring home where I could see myself grow. Although I vividly remember all of the late nights studying, fueled by Toppers Pizza, what remains most prominent is the sense of belonging and the freedom I discovered during my time at Lawrence.

Lawrence has had a profound and lasting impact on the person I am today-- it not only provided me with a strong academic foundation but also instilled within me the values of social impact, health equity, and perseverance. I learned the art of writing, questioning, researching, exploring, and expressing through discussions with peers and professors throughout my classes. Lawrence also nurtured my creativity and encouraged me to explore diverse paths, from organic chemistry and anthropology to tennis. Here, I discovered my capacity to pursue multiple passions and shape my journey according to my aspirations, leading to my career today as a gender and health researcher and photographer in the international development sector.

But the most enduring lesson Lawrence imparted was the art of building a supportive community and speaking up for what I believe in. I discovered how a community can provide the space and freedom to express your authentic self and reach your full potential. The friendships and sense of belonging continue to influence the relationships I build in Washington, DC, and worldwide. Lawrence was a blissful bubble of growth where I immersed myself in different cultures, subjects, languages, music, and art forms. As I reflect on my Lawrence story, I am grateful for the support and freedom I found there, and I carry those lessons with me in my life today.