Meet the Majors

Krystal Bagnaschi

Environmental Science & Policy and Sociology

About Krystal

Class of 2022

Hometown: Winsted, CT

Environmental Science & Policy and Sociology

House: Capen

Other clubs, sports, activities:
Botanic Garden Intern, Pedagogical Partner, EcoRep, House Council Member

Describe your major completely incorrectly. 
How to use ArcGIS, community engagement and Engineering

                                                                   to Save the 

                                                                    entire Planet

What’s one piece of advice you’d like to share about your time at Smith?
Whenever you feel like you don’t have a second to rest, or you’re so stressed that you start to go on autopilot, that’s when you need a break the most. Slow down, take care of yourself, and don’t forget that work isn’t everything. (Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help—that’s when you learn the most!)

Describe one moment with friends or classmates that particularly sticks with you.
It’s really corny, but during my first year, all the first-years in my house worked together to produce our “first-year song” to sing at the Winter Weekend talent show. We did a parody of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” which we filled with Capen lore, jokes about the seniors, and of course, the two-minute burn time. All the first-years came together to write the parody, practice and perform, and I’ll never forget the looks on the upperclassmen’s faces while they recorded us, simultaneously laughing and crying at all the things that had defined our first semester. 

What has been your favorite spot on campus to brainstorm great ideas? What spot will you miss the most?
Some of my best ideas at Smith have come out of Chuckett. (That’s the Chase-Duckett dining hall). I’ve spent countless hours there with friends doing the NYT crossword and eating chocolate croissants, but it's also one of my favorite places to hole up and work on midterms or finals because I know that when I hit a wall, my friends are there to help me work through it, either by workshopping ideas with me or pulling me away from my computer screen. The constant supply of coffee helps, too.

When I hit a wall, my friends are there to help me work through it, either by workshopping ideas with me or pulling me away from my computer screen.

What was the most challenging moment in your time at Smith?
It’s hard to think of anything other than getting the email that we were being sent home in March of 2020. Being just three-quarters through my sophomore year and learning that I wasn’t getting the college experience I expected was definitely challenging.

What did you like best about your house?
I originally wanted to live in Capen because of Capen Garden, but I stayed for the community. My first year I was amazed by the number of people in the house council, the “Capen table” that I often had dinner at in Lamont, and especially how open and welcoming the upperclassmen were. One of my favorite traditions is our senior banquet, but especially the “wills,” which are passed down from seniors to underclassmen. Wills come in the form of posters, wigs, fake rats, and even wrought-iron spearheads (which are definitely not stolen from Smith fences). The wills are passed down based on friendships, personality traits and sib families, and a lot of times, they come with instructions. This is just one way we connect the house community with humor and warmth, what I think is the Capen way.

What do you think has been the most “Smithie” thing you’ve done in life so far?
After being sent home due to the pandemic, I started working on a goat farm close to home. It just so happened that my boss's aunt was a Smith alumna, class of 1956. This past summer, I invited three of my close friends from Smith to visit the farm, and we all visited Aunt Kerry. We had afternoon tea and reminisced about all our favorite Smith traditions, and we even traded some book recommendations. That was definitely one of the most “Smithie” things I’ve ever done.