**I can’t believe I just am wrapping up my LAST spring break as a Techer!It feels like yesterday that I was coming home for my first spring break three years ago, after just finishing up pass/fail and preparing to begin a life on grades. Well, let’s just say it really sets in the fact that you have to enjoy each and every day cause it goes by so quickly!
Anyway, enough musing and philosophizing - let me tell you what I did on my Spring Vacation (like those middle school projects you used to do but the spring edition). So it started off, as Dannah said, with her visit to my quaint part of NJ. We had a packed itinerary, going to Atlantic City (to eat some good food and try our luck on the slots), New York City (to eat some good food and go see a show), Sunday Dinner (prepared by my mother, for some GREAT food), and then around to “where I grew up.” Do you see the common denominator in all those activities?? All in all, a fun (and filling!) trip for her.
However, when I dropped Dannah off at Newark Airport to head back to San Diego, I did not just sit bored with nothing to do in my house - I got to see lots of other family and friends! I made a trip (again!) to New York, this time to meet up with Lisa, my neighbor in Fleming House (and her friend Gazal), to eat some Korean food and stroll around the city.
But all roads do not lead to New York - I also was able to visit my friend Rachel, who is a senior at Princeton. She’s majoring in English (what?! you can MAJOR in that!?) and doing her master’s at Oxford. Sounds pretty impressive! Unfortunately, we had a bit of a winter relapse so we were a bit chilly.
Well, I think that’s pretty much what I did over this break (just maybe throw in a couple more family meals and such). Now that I’ve successfully eaten my way through NJ (and NY, too!), it’s time to go back to school and begin the FINAL term!
Oh, and don’t worry - I’ll be posting a med school decision update soon :).
This summer I had the incredible opportunity to do a 10-week internship at Gilead Sciences in Foster City, CA. For those unfamiliar, Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative medicines.
With 45 Nobel Laureates on its Faculty Roster, it’s not surprising that research is an integral part of the Caltech undergraduate experience. One of the programs that promotes such research is the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). There is no minimum knowledge or experience required to participate in a Caltech SURF. In fact, students can participate in a SURF as soon as the summer after their freshman year. It is not difficult to get a SURF. All you need to do is find a mentor who is working in an area of research that interests you and willing to mentor you through a research project. The mentor can work in a Caltech lab, at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), or at another participating institution. Once you find a mentor, you work together to write a project proposal that you later send to the SURF office for review and approval. About 98% of the SURF proposals get approved. This fellowship is a great way to explore various fields of research and obtain real, hands-on experience where you get to apply the theoretical knowledge you’ve learned in class. Not only do you get to work and learn alongside your mentor, but you also get compensated for your time. The length of the SURF is ten weeks, and it starts at the beginning of the summer. However, it is not uncommon for many students at Caltech to continue their research project throughout the academic school year.
Like many students at Caltech, I suffer from a slight boba addiction, where side effects may include over caffeination, minor sugar highs, and of course, a large toll on one’s wallet. This addiction is not helped by the fact that there are at least three boba shops within walking distance of campus. So, after an entire term’s worth of boba runs, I came back from winter break with a new year’s epiphany: it was time to get a job. Rather than try to curb my addiction, I decided to find a way to subsidize it.