Meet Sophie Pilkington ’15

Sophie Pilkington ’15
Currently Attending: University of Colorado Boulder
Years at Shipley: 6

Activities, Positions, Awards: Glee Club, Environmental Club, Bryn Mawr Tutoring Program; Tennis Co-Captain

Something for Everyone
The community of Shipley is extremely supportive and encouraging of everyone’s abilities and interests. Whether it is academics, athletics, or the arts, there is definitely something here for each student.

Trying a New Sport
At the end of my sophomore year, I decided I wanted to switch from playing lacrosse to joining the crew team. I remember feeling extremely anxious and nervous, but after my first season, I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t tried the sport earlier. The team was extremely welcoming and helped me transition into a completely different sport with ease. It was definitely more challenging to balance my schedule with the time commitment needed for rowing but I believe that this taught me one of the most important tools to have in life, which is being able to prioritize your time efficiently. I had to learn how to balance my work with extracurricular activities

The Art of Learning
I did not picture myself becoming such a huge part of the art department, but after my freshman art class, I decided to continue with it for all four years. The art department is very flexible and open to allowing students to explore any type of medium. For our second semester of junior year we were assigned an independent project. I chose photography and am so glad I decided to do this. Working in a dark room and developing photos was such a unique and different experience.

Size Matters
Overall, my time at The Shipley School has been amazing. Being at a smaller school has allowed me to develop more personal relationships with my classmates and teachers. With my participation in different clubs, I have been able to develop friendships throughout every grade. I know that if I am struggling in a class I can always ask a classmate as well as that specific teacher because everyone is extremely approachable. I believe that Shipley has definitely prepared me to take the next step into a bigger institution and I am extremely excited yet sad to leave such a great place.

Teaching Creativity
My art teacher Mr. Baris had a huge impact on my career in the Shipley art department. I was fortunate enough to have him during both my sophomore and senior years, and I enjoyed both of these classes. In my senior photography class he constantly encouraged us to take as many photographs as possible. He always encouraged us to dive deeper into our projects and knew the exact type of feedback that was needed for each of us individually. His classes were unique in that we didn’t necessarily have the typical homework assignment every night, yet they definitely challenged us to think more creatively and to organize our time efficiently so that we were able to finish each assignment on time.

An Unforgettable Race
My most memorable experience at Shipley was during the spring of my senior year. The crew team was going to race at the Cooper Cup, which is a regatta in New Jersey. Senior year was actually my first year on the Varsity team and it was the first time in many years that the team had a girls’ varsity eight boat. I was fortunate enough to be one of the rowers in this boat. I was extremely nervous going into my first race that day, but we ended up qualifying for the finals and placed second overall. It was my first varsity race, so this was a huge deal to me. The girls on the team were so supportive and especially excited that it was my first race and that we had done so well. Even though I was only on the team for two years, it had such a huge impact on me and I am forever grateful for the experience.

Plans for Fall 2015
I plan on attending the University of Colorado Boulder in the fall. I am going in undecided and am excited to explore everything the University has to offer.

Future Ambition
I would love to become a National Geographic photographer. Photography is a huge passion of mine and I have been involved with the art department at Shipley for all four years of high school. During my second semester of junior year I decided to focus on this specific medium and work in the darkroom. I am so thankful to all my teachers I have worked with in this department who have helped me to further my skills in photography.
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.