Camden Vassallo '17

Varsity Soccer
Varsity Tennis
Community Council, Vice President
Mathletes
Games Club
Voice Magazine
Theater
Jazz Combo
Peer Advisor

Hometown: Norwell
Attending: Duke University

What were your favorite classes at Thayer?

My computer science classes were really fun because it was a smaller group and we became really close.

Last year I took AP Programming. So this year, it's like a post-AP class, so it's a little less structured, so we can kind of can choose what to do. We also learned some Perl, which is pretty crazy. Because Java and C++ are pretty similar, and Perl is completely different.

What are your plans next year?

I’m going to Duke and I’ll be in the engineering college. I may do biomedical engineering and computer science, but I have freshman year to decide.

Has Thayer helped shape these interests?

Yeah. If you pull up my application from when I applied to Thayer in 9th grade, you would see my favorite classes were English and Latin. Freshman year I was in Mr. Chiari's Algebra II Honors class, and prior to that, math had just been something easy that I check off, like I know I do it but I've never really been super-challenged before. But in Mr. Chiari's class I got a C+ on the first test. I slowly worked my way up to a B+ first semester, and then I was like, "I can do this. I'm going to work hard in this class." My freshman advisor asked if I wanted to drop down a level, and I looked at her like, "Why would I do that? I know I can do this.” So I worked hard in math freshman year, and in second semester I ended up doing really well. I got an A in the class. That class, along with freshman physics, challenged me. And they were fun classes that I felt passionate about, and I did a 180 from being a humanities person to being math and science oriented. And then I picked up computer science, and now I just finished BC Calc, and I double up on science. So it's a complete shift.

What are you going to miss when you leave Thayer?

I think I'm gonna miss a lot of individuals here who made this place really special for me, including the teachers in the math and science departments. I think part of the reason I chose what I wanted to do, was because of how they taught the class and how they didn't let me off easy and pushed me to be the best that I am.

What’s your favorite memory from Thayer?

A great memory is when I finished the production of Rent. It was a great feeling being part of something that was really special. It was a great cast that came together well. And we put a lot of work in.

If you could give advice to incoming freshmen, what would you tell them?

I would give them two pieces of advice. First, now's the time to try something new. I don't mean reinvent yourself to someone who's not you, be yourself but try and broaden your horizons a little bit. If you've said, "Oh, I've always wanted to try this," just go for it, because then even if it doesn't work out ... I know a ton of kids who played freshman thirds soccer with me, who stopped playing soccer after that year. But you get to meet new people, you get to try something new.

And then my second piece of advice would be to start good habits early. If you have a class that you’re struggling in, see that teacher on a regular basis. Make sure that if you play a sport and you're doing the play, or you do one or the other, that you get home, you get your homework done at a reasonable hour and get good sleep. There were some times in my sophomore and junior year, that I just had a lot going on, and sometimes if you get in a good routine it's helpful. Even for me, I always do my homework in the same order every night. I'm a person of habit.

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