Lauren Antonelli ’16 entered Hopkins a timid freshman, but by taking advantage of the artistic opportunities that the school offers, she has evolved into a dynamic force on The Hill.
As a freshman, Antonelli, inspired by her grandmother’s musical devotion and interest as a piano teacher, decided to join one of Hopkins’ a capella groups, the Spirens. “When I first joined, I was very shy, and they [the rest of the group] actually had to sit down with me to tell me that I needed to talk more,” explained Antonelli. Now, a little over three years later, she is one of the heads of Spirens and reflects on her experiences saying, “Spirens has really helped me come into myself and my personality. Also, having been new as a freshman, and now a head, I’m able to see things from a different perspective.”
Her interests in music have also grown, leading her to compose her first piece last year. From this, she continued on to compose about half of Spirens’ current repertoire.
Antonelli came to Hopkins with an interest in theater, and continued to pursue this by earning a role in the play, Urinetown. “The first time I met her she was timid and big-eyed,” describes Hope Hartup, a Film and Theater teacher at Hopkins. During her Hopkins career, Antonelli has acted in a total of 10 plays, each allowing her to mature from that long-ago shy freshman. “Acting has allowed me to grow more confident and outgoing in my social life,” stated Antonelli. Hartup described her increased comfort in and out of the theater: “Lauren has really come into herself, and it shows. Her personality blows me away.”
During her sophomore year, Antonelli took the standard English 10 course. It was during this class that she was inspired to write creatively, leading her to take a Short Stories and Memoirs class the following year.
“I feel like I can express myself most through creative writing. I learned that it was more important to write for me than for other’s entertainment,” explained Antonelli. This mentality has also carried into her personality, allowing her to be whoever makes her happy, regardless of what others think. Along the way, Antonelli gained inspiration from comedy writers, in particular Tina Fey, leading her to write more comedically. Now, looking into the future, Antonelli plans to pursue her comedic writing in college.
Branching out into the internet, Antonelli developed a YouTube channel by the name of “Beautybylaur22” before starting her Sophomore Year. The channel started with its main focus on beauty, but over the past few years, it has slowly morphed into a more comedy centered channel. Beautybylaur22 demonstrates Antonelli’s evolution from a shy girl trying to find her place into a vibrant and affable leader. Early videos were described as “awkward” and “uncomfortable.” However, after watching one of the latest videos, Sana Patel ‘19 commented: “That was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.”
Antonelli uses her vibrant personality to comfort and inspire others on the hill. Emma Pham ‘18, another member of Spirens, described Lauren as “always nice and inviting, even when I first met her. Her attitude and amazing style has a great effect on the Hopkins community, giving people confidence to be themselves.”