Final Day @ SSP Purdue

Creator: Yujie L.

Hello, I am Yujie Lu and this is officially the last day of SSP. I am truly grateful for having the opportunity to meet everyone. Before arriving, I was worried and nervous. I thought SSP would be just like any other research program I’ve attended, but it was certainly not. The SSP experience is truly special, bringing together 36 participants, each with their own unique backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. It may not seem possible, but with only five and a half weeks, we were all able to connect and make lifelong connections.

As I woke up this morning, everything felt unreal. SSP was supposedly a 6 weeks program, but it only felt like a moment. After spending every second of the last month with everyone, I was about to simply return to my normal life. While departing from Purdue, we said our final goodbye to Selin, Grant, Nirbaan, Nikhil, Evelyn, Sophia, Ethan, Harika, Melike, Rachel, Austin, Paige, Hugo, Martin, Mrs. Latus, Dr. M and Dr. Das. The realization of leaving everyone had finally set in and the entire hour-long ride to the airport felt silent. 

In the airport, I had the chance to say final goodbyes to the participants who were not driving. Due to a SouthWest policy, Justin, Kieran, and I were not able to get past security until 1:40. As soon as we passed, we were told that we missed Kai, Conan, Angela, Rachael, Georgia, and Sophie. However, we still had time to say goodbye to Kat. Afterwards, we met up with Josh and Ephraim and we ran to say goodbye to Steven and Andrew as they were already boarding. Next to leave were Eric, Allen, and Liam, and then, Stephanie and Haleigh also left. Soon after, Nina left, followed by Ephraim, Audrey, Aberam, Saketh and Gaston. It really felt like we were losing someone each hour. Finally, it was Justin, Kieran and my turn to leave and we said our goodbyes to Jones, Abby, and Josh. I will truly miss everyone and I cannot wait to meet them again. 

After a day filled with heartfelt departures, I want to emphasize the impact that this experience had on all of us. As I return to my normal life, I know that I am not the same person who first arrived at Purdue. The countless hours in the lab, challenging class activities, and the many memories we all shared have left lasting influences. In contrast to a rather gloomy day, I want to end SSP emphasizing these great memories. 

Thank you all for making these past few week’s amazing,

Yujie Lu