Checking in with the Class of 2021

A lot has changed for international student Astrella Sjarfi of Jakarta, Indonesia, and football player Tim Tague of Orinda, Calif., since they each shot a second of video during their first 40 days at Washington University in St. Louis in 2017. Here, they share their new goals and reflections on their first year.


What’s up with Astrella Sjarfi

Sjarfi was well into her first year before she felt at home in St. Louis. Every weekend, she goes out to dinner and loves exploring St. Louis’ Asian restaurants.

“It was weird for me to say that I Iived here,” Sjarfi said. “I felt like I was in this trial period for a long time. But now I say St. Louis is my home.”

Sjarfi, who never played Ultimate Frisbee before she arrived at Washington University, is now the club’s fundraising chair. She also has joined Sigma Iota Rho, the honor society for international studies.

Additionally, Sjarfi has changed course academically. She still plans to major in economics in Arts & Sciences but no longer plans to pursue a second major in art history.  But she has picked up a minor in writing.

“I really enjoyed writing my college essay, so I took creative nonfiction last spring and loved it,” Sjarfi said. “Now I’m taking fiction. It has been fun to discover how much I love writing.”


What’s up with Tim Tague

Since we last met Tague, he has changed majors from mechanical engineering to systems engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science and now plans to minor in the business of sports at Olin Business School. Tague is a member of both the football and baseball teams and hopes to work for a sports team or a technology company that works in the sports arena after graduation.

“I had never heard of systems engineering, but then I took a freshman seminar and learned how systems engineering uses applied math and computer science to model and maximize various systems,” Tague explained. “In sports, that can mean anything from how to maximize ticket sales to where to place outfielders. A lot of people think data analytics in sports is excessive, but I find it fascinating.”

Tague said his first year at Washington University reaffirmed his decision to play Division III ball. He is a quarterback for the football team and a pitcher for the baseball team.

“Being able to play both sports that I love and attend a school with the academics of WashU was really the right choice for me,” Tague said. “And our athletic director, Anthony Azama, is a huge positive. He was new when I started, but I don’t think there is a better AD at any school or in any division.”

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