When thinking of SSP, what comes to mind?
Perhaps an image of hardworking students diligently completing their research and lectures. Maybe the faces of wonderstruck young scientists, socializing through Zoom games and virtual lunch tables. Or, alternatively, sleep-deprived eyes staring at an assignment list may jump to the forefront of your mind.
As we approach the end of our second week of SSP, I have learned countless things: that sometimes the most challenging paths are the most rewarding (no taking shortcuts here!), that our infinitely patient TAs are saviors against the endless perils of MOE, and that my fellow SSPers are extraordinary—not just in their affinity for science, but in their assorted talents and interests. And although I can confirm that all of the above descriptions are true (we are indeed conscientious, fascinated, and, by the end of each day, exhausted), I have also learned that none of them can capture the laughter of teammates, the sense of accomplishment from completing a homology model, or the absolute chaos of the Late TA Block.
This morning, still dazed from the previous night’s TA Block, I logged onto Campus Block and eagerly anticipated the day’s social activity, which turned out to be…guessing baby pictures! As we analyzed every part of every picture (seriously. eyebrow analyses were done.) I began to truly understand the beauty of SSP: each of us, with our diverse experiences and backgrounds, have been brought together by an unwavering love for science. In a space where we have the freedom to nurture our passions with the support of amazing peers and faculty (and Dr. One!), the possibilities are limitless.
The rest of the day was filled with just as many revelations. During our Class Activity Block, my team was reminded of the harsh reality that Microsoft Excel does not, in fact, want us to excel at the creation of standard curves. Later, the TA block brought discoveries of wholesome fungi blogs, fluffy cow enthusiasm, and Colin’s karaoke playlist (I warned you it would be chaotic, or rather entropic…). Nevertheless, amidst these very important findings, my team still managed to complete an entire Lightning Talk presentation before laughing our way to the end of another busy day.
It’s funny, really. Though each day seems jam-packed with activities, time truly flies. But for now, here’s to many more discoveries, TA blocks, and smiles to come!