This is my first time posting this year – my first time posting on the admissions blog as a college senior. Sounds cliché, but time flies! If you’re reading this as a prospective student, I’m getting major senior feels (and also thesis-ing – more on that later), so take my ramblings with a grain of salt, please.
It’s been a long week so far. (It’s also Monday. Well, Tuesday now, technically.) Today, I spent a decent chunk of my time in lab, working on my biology thesis, trying out a new procedure that neither I nor my advisor have done in the past. It didn’t exactly yield the best results, but that’s science! In all seriousness, one major lesson I’ve had to learn (and am still learning) as a student who’s done her fair share of lab research is that one has to get real comfortable with the prospect of failure. Developing this comfort, as well as infinite patience in dealing with assays and samples, is still a work in progress for me.
Between my two periods of lab time, I also attended a really fun event put on by some student leaders of the Asian Students Association. It was a cooking night, where they had set up a ramen bar as well as catering from a local Indian restaurant, and we could build our own ramen cups or pile curry on top of basmati rice. Our dining hall, Valentine (or colloquially just Val), is definitely not the worst of campus dining halls – but once you’re a senior and your brain has already synced to the predictable pattern of Val meal menus, variety is a relief. And this was some really good variety, too. Afterward, students, staff and faculty present were split off into groups to get to know each other and talk about questions pertaining to Asian identity (and Asian food!), but I had to bounce early to get to a film screening for my history class.
This class, which has a really long course title but is just called Therapeutic Transformations for short, is a history seminar taught by a professor here (John Servos) who specializes in history of science and medicine. As a pre-med student who’s also passionate about science, his classes have been really great ways for me to take a look at subjects so familiar to me from a different perspective. We had some pizza (yay, second dinner!) from Antonio’s, a beloved nearby pizza joint, and watched an old black-and-white British film (“The Third Man”). After that welcome break, it was back to lab for me.
In the next couple of weekly entries, I’ll take you through the finer details of what I’m doing: my classes, my thesis, my extracurricular activities, as well as some introspection on what brought me to Amherst and what I’m taking away.