I love to cook, so when I had some spare Groupon dollars on hand, I purchased a Groupon for Hello Fresh, a meal subscription service. Every week, they send me some fresh produce along with instructions to prepare these semi-elaborate meals. It’s not that I can’t find recipes and go grocery shopping alone. I just wanted to see whether such a service is of any value to me, or another college student with a similar lifestyle.
The package came in a giant cardboard box with three mini cardboard boxes inside – one for each meal. At the bottom there was probably 10 pounds of ice. It was such a pain to drag the package from the mail pick-up center to my dorm kitchen. My first complaint would be about the packaging. It is pretty wasteful, but I can’t think of a better alternative.
Going on about packaging. It is kind of clever how they have spices packed by the teaspoon. This way you can control your seasonings and also not have to have additional utensils like measuring spoons to prepare your meal. On the bright side, these were packed in paper envelops which is recyclable.
Photo from Hellofresh.ca
The meals I got were: Crispy chicken Milanese, linguine with sausage and zucchini, and turkey lemongrass satay. They were all absolutely delicious. The portions aren’t huge – enough to fill you up, but still leaves me peckish for another granola bar after. I guess it helps with portion control if you are concerned with that.
The amount of produce you get for the price you pay is not worth it if you are paying in full. However, the produce is fresh and good quality. If convenience is a huge factor I would consider trying it out, but it shouldn’t be since Pavilions and Trader Joe’s are both within walking distance. I won’t be renewing my subscription after these boxes since they are beyond my budget. However, I am eager to try a produce subscription that comes without recipes, which is actually half the cost of Hello Fresh.
If you want a more detailed review, you should check out this one by The Kitchn. It was this review that convinced me to give meal subscription a shot. Apparently subscription boxes are all the rage these days because you can get monthly deliveries of anything and everything, from cosmetics, books, snacks, to art supplies, razors, and underwear.
SURF, short for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, is a quintessential experience for any Caltech student. It is a widely accessible research fellowship for Caltech students that funds your proposed research for one summer term. While many of my classmates did their first SURF the summer after their freshman year, I sent in my first application to the program as a sophomore. As a CS major, I was trying to chase meaningful work that intersected computation with the field of neuroscience. I ended up doing a SURF at the Stanford School of Medicine that first year, studying hand gestures in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Since then, I’ve been working in the research space of applying computational analyses to ASD.
This summer, from the confines of my Brooklyn apartment, you could find me typing away on a tiny 13-inch laptop screen. At times I was looking for answers on countless Stack Exchange pages, editing a Jupyter notebook, or making blood flow measurements on a software called Arterys. This was my 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURF) experience.
Almost a year ago now, I was just about to start my first Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) at JPL. NASA had sent out an email to all of their summer interns containing a social media template to announce that we had been selected as NASA interns. Excited to show my NASA pride, I posted it on my Instagram story, unaware of what would come out of this small action.
Hey hey! We’re starting a series where I walk you through my best finds for food and drinks in the Pasadena region, and in the LA metropolitan area. Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, if you will (although, for copyright reasons we can’t call it that). As you explore your college options, I firmly believe that food and location are more important than your high school guidance counselor may lead you to believe. And I’m here to share my best finds from my time at Caltech with you.