Pei Pei Barth Wu, Class of 2018, joined the Ellis community in ninth grade. At Ellis, Pei Pei is an active member of Student Diversity League, the Debate Club, and the Asian Student Union. Outside of Ellis, Pei Pei is an intern at the Mattress Factory and Pittsburgh Filmmakers and involved in the Pittsburgh Student Activism Coalition. In the fall, Pei Pei will leave the changing seasons on the East Coast to study at Pomona College in sunny Claremont, California.
How has your Ellis education impacted you? What do you think is special about attending an all-girls school like Ellis?
I chose to come to Ellis because I knew it would be the best decision for me. Before high school, I was really concerned with what other people thought of me and how I would be perceived. But once I started at Ellis, I was given the room and freedom to find out who I was for myself. Ellis has taught me so much not only academically, but about myself, my goals, and my values. If I went to another school, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today and I’m so grateful to Ellis for that.
What is your favorite Ellis tradition?
Heritage Day! Mostly because of the food, but also because whenever I was considering Ellis, Heritage Day was the day I visited. When I walked in and saw all the families and food and fun—I thought to myself “I’m definitely going here!”
How do you spend your free time?
Hanging out with my friends and going for walks around Pittsburgh with my headphones on. I love all genres of music and I’ll listen to podcasts too, but I’m generally very picky about those. I also love the website, Man Repeller
—it’s my favorite thing. The women who work there are so cool and I feel like they’re a little mini Ellis!
What advice would you offer to future seniors?
Do your own thing! By the time you’re a senior, you’ll hear a lot of advice on what you should and shouldn’t do, but just remember to figure out what you want because you’re going to have to live with it.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Optimistic. Existential. Empathetic.
What is the last book you read?
I’m currently in the middle of reading I Remember Nothing: A Collection of Essays by Nora Ephron. The last book I read was The Circle by Dave Eggers.
What is your best Ellis memory?
This sounds really mundane, but it’s all the little things! Like walking down the hallways with people and singing loudly for no reason or going to Mrs. Dotson’s office to talk. I’m going to miss Ellis so much!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I’m doing something I love in a city that I love. Hopefully I’ll have a really aesthetically pleasing apartment and a tight knit group of friends.
What will you miss most about Ellis when you graduate?
The community. There are so many amazing, funny, and smart people here—I love it. My classmates are like my siblings and Ellis really is like a second family.
If could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
San Francisco. I was born there and I just love the city.