I was really nervous going into this term because I thought it was the most difficult schedule that I had so far. I’m actually loving it. I am so thrilled to finally be in classes that I’m really interested in. On top of that two of my classes have bi-weekly sets, giving me so much more flexibility in my schedule.
This last weekend was really fun. The highlight of it was definitely Sunday, when a few friends and I went hiking and climbing by some rock pools in the Santa Monica Mountains. I was really craving some time outdoors. We walked around for a couple hours before we followed a stream into an awesome set of rock pools. The rocks were white and volcanic, so there were tons of crevices for climbing and they looked really cool. The mountains were in the background too, and it was super beautiful. It reminded me of pictures I saw of my friend in white rock pools in Italy, but with a California twist. I would definitely go back!!
**This week was also the start of boxing club, which is a club I started last year with funding from Caltech. We hire an instructor to teach a class once a week and then we sometimes practice casually outside of that. I really miss martial arts and having a regular team to practice with so I love boxing club. I would do it every day if I could! I thought the first practice went really well, and I hope that people keep coming regularly.
The club flyer.
I also got my absentee ballot in the mail which is pretty exciting since it’s my first time voting. I have to say I’m not that into politics. I know my opinions about various topics but I really don’t follow who does what. I did watch most of the first two presidential debates though so I’m not completely out of the loop regarding Obama and Romney. I’m actually thinking about going on a trip to Washington DC through the Caltech Y for a Science and Policy trip, which I think has potential to be really interesting. I just have to see if I have the time to do it with the other things I have planned for break.
If things keep going like the past week it’s going to be an awesome term!
My favorite part about Caltech is the Houses! The easiest way to describe them is as Hogwarts houses: each has their own personality and group of people and the first thing you do at Caltech is go through a “sorting” process. The people are what makes the Houses at Caltech so great. As a frosh, it’s amazing to be able to come in and immediately have a group of 100+ people to support you. Because the Houses have students from every grade, you make friends with upperclassmen and can ask for help on tons of things like:
It’s crazy to think that it has been four years now since I was applying to college. I remember it vividly. This week we’re spending some time reflecting on our personal admissions processes, and how we ended up at Caltech. There’s one question though that I wanted to spin out into a separate post: “what advice would you give to the admitted class of 2025?” And I think the best way to do this is to tell a more detailed story than I did in my other post.
These past six months have been a whirlwind- from having to move out of Caltech housing in March within a week’s notice due to COVID-19, to starting the first term of my junior year, I’ve definitely experienced a lot of change. When I went home in March, it was to a completely new state-my family moved from Chino, CA to New Jersey in January (great timing, huh?). While I missed seeing my friends from home, it was fun to have the chance to explore a completely new place. The pandemic obviously limited what I could see and do, but I got to experience walks through nature and along rivers normally foreign to a SoCal native and had some time to focus on bioinformatics research for the lab I work with on campus.