Alumni Spotlight: Natalie Kulak
North Penn class of 2017 graduate, Natalie Kulak, is currently striving as a sophomore at Mount Holyoke College. As a North Penn student, Kulak was a cabinet member of NHS and a Link Leader in her senior year. She was also involved with Shakespeare’s Sister and the Literary Arts Magazine. For Kulak, the one extracurricular that stood out was School of Rock, which gave her performance opportunities and allowed her to make outstanding friendships in high school.
Kulak takes pride in her college and is proud to say that it is the oldest women’s college in the country and was a part of the Seven Sisters throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She and her peers now refer to it as a “traditional women’s college” due to the mix of students who do not identify as female (non-binary, trans).
Kulak is currently a History major with Art History and Italian Studies minor. She serves as the president of the Mount Holyoke College Chorale and is the Graphics Editor for the Mount Holyoke News. In addition, she plays bass for their Big Band and Chamber Jazz Ensembles which gives her the opportunity to arrange and perform her own pieces with other students in the chamber group. Next semester, she will be the Italian Language Assistant, which she hopes will prepare her to study abroad in Florence in the spring of junior year.
For her future, Kulak is considering grad school and plans to travel after. She wishes to move to Europe and do curatorial or archival work and also hopes to have her writing published.
“In between working for a museum and somehow making enough money to live in a grand Parisian apartment, I’ll find time to pen my magnum opus,” said Kulak.
Favorite part about college:
“Being away at school has provided me with a sense of confidence I didn’t know was possible. Having lived in the comfortable Montgomery County bubble my entire life, I was never pushed to do any real self-discovery or soul searching, but rural Western Massachusetts will do that to you. I’ve become a lot more self-aware and critical about the things I see and consume and how it affects my mentality. The walk back to my dorm, late at night after watching Bake Off with my friends across campus, is one of my favorite moments of the day because our campus is beautiful and the stars are brighter than anywhere back home, and it feels as though I’m the only person in the world as I cross the bridge over Lower Lake.”
What do you miss about North Penn?
“I really, truly, miss the people who helped shape the passions I have for literature and history and the creative arts. It feels so special to still keep in touch with teachers I had years ago, and know that they genuinely care about my life even though it’s so distant and removed from the hallways of K-Pod. And the football games. Tiny liberal arts college of <2500 people = no football team.”
Advice to High Schoolers:
“I spent so much time scrutinizing my outfits and my hair and the makeup I poorly applied before rushing out the door, feeling like every person in the hallway would notice my clothes and how greasy my hair looked that Thursday morning, and I can now confidently say it was an utter and colossal waste of time. I wish I had felt more comfortable chopping all of my hair off (did that in college!) or wearing a weird sweater I found in my attic because it’s what I wanted, not what I figured other people would deem “cool.” There’s so much pressure in high school to fit into this distinct image of popularity and effortless beauty, and it stems from people just wanting to fit in and be liked, but it only creates a toxic, competitive nature incredibly destructive to self-worth. TLDR; wear the weird sweater and cut all of your hair; you’ll be the most beautiful because you’ll believe it.”