Golden Gate Bridge

Willa Collins ’16

"It was about carving out a place for myself that felt perfect and unique to me.”

Willa chose Grinnell for its academic rigor but also for the camaraderie and kinship she knew she’d find. Long conversations in the Spencer Grille were as important as the three substantial research papers she authored in her multiple history seminars. Willa decided to go to law school because it would allow her to “build an arsenal of tools that [she] could use in a very client-centered way.” She also knew she’d need to choose a law school that would offer her what she’d found at Grinnell — and “couldn’t live without” — a progressive, tolerant, and welcoming environment.

Campus Visit

Willa Collins ’16 under the Golden Gate Bridge

“My prospie host took me to Dari Barn with some friends, and then we went to an open mic night at Bob’s [Underground]. Being in that room with those walls and hearing people read poetry, read stories that they’d written, sing, perform — I felt this simmering energy where everyone was so focused on what was going on onstage, and that made me really pay attention to Grinnell.”

Grinnell’s Lasting Influence

“Stanford Law was an emotionally inspired choice to challenge myself and to put myself in an uncomfortable position. And that was what was right for me. And that was also a part of my decision to go to Grinnell. I had no idea what four years in Iowa was going to be like, and that turned out to be perfect for me. So I trusted myself to go a little farther west this time. The discomfort [of being in a new place] had in fact turned into comfort, and that comfort is way more resilient. It was about carving out a place for myself that felt perfect and unique to me.”

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