When I chose today, July 21st, to be the day I would write my blog post, it didn’t occur to me that it would be the final Thursday of SSP. So officially, it’s the beginning of the end. I remember the moment I chose the 21st on the first day of SSP. I couldn’t even imagine how the next couple days would go, let alone how I would feel at the end of the program but I expected to have enough experience to reflect on my time at SSP. Yet as I sit here writing this blog post, I don’t really know how to sum up this entire experience in a couple paragraphs.
I guess because this is the beginning of the end of SSP, I want to talk about the beginning and the end because so much has changed in the last 5 weeks. I remember the first day so vividly, because everything felt so wildly unfamiliar and almost like a fever dream (definitely not the last time it has felt like a fever dream though). There are parts of my day to day routine that felt so new and strange at the beginning, but now feels so natural that it would feel weird to go home and not do those things anymore.
Such as morning walks to the C4C. That first morning, it was all so new – seeing the Flatirons in the morning and finding our way to the C4C in what felt like a confusing maze of brick buildings (though maybe we’re just directionally challenged). However every morning now, we follow that same path, reminding ourselves to “Be Boulder”.
The first evening at dinner, walking into the C4C, I was overwhelmed by all the options, and all the basketball camp kids that flooded the lines. Now I’m used to the crowds and can recognize the same meals that each station rotates through regularly.
The first time I opened a Jupyter Notebook to work on my OD code, I didn’t even know where to start. Now I can look back through my many lines of code, painfully remembering all the struggles that I went through while writing each function.
The first night, I was worried about going to bed before 12. Now 12 is the time of the day that I feel most awake.
I didn’t know what to expect when I came to SSP. I now know that I couldn’t have ever imagined my SSP experience would end up the way it has gone. I never imagined the ungodly hours of the night I would be awake at, in study rooms or talking to my roommate, Elisa. I never would have imagined the friends I would make (shoutout to the guitar man from Pearl Street and the H2O/agua/water man from the turf), or dancing in the rain just to escape SBO for a couple minutes. I’m going to miss movie nights, egg in a hole’s, watermelon slurping (The Big Slurp?), all of the pancakes (even the green ones), waffle cone bowls and syrup. Then there’s the bipolar Boulder weather that makes observations unpredictable, but I’ll miss that too because I’ve experienced more thunderstorms in the last 5 weeks than I ever have in my life (shoutout to Bay Area weather). I’ll miss the other half of my brain cell, swimming in the pool, jumping off the diving boards,
scary aggressive pool basketball, and our cult-like circles. Not only have I learned so much physics, math, and programming in the last 5 weeks, but I’ve also learned how stylish electrical gloves are, how much Target scams you, and how to ice skate properly. I learned all the orbital elements of an asteroid’s orbit, along with the importance of reading the reviews on the front of the book and the value of quarters when you’re doing laundry.
It’s going to feel weird going back home and sleeping in, instead of sitting in lecture, answering endless clicker questions. It’ll feel weird being at dinner and not being in business casual. It’ll even feel weird when I go home and get more than 5 hours of sleep every night.
So with all of that and to everyone here at CUB SSP 2022, thank you so much for the last 5 weeks and making this wild fever dream something to remember.
Above (top to bottom): open house, formal-wear Minions movie, electrical gloves fashion, the dark sky trip, after dancing in the rain, and Troll themed juice bottles.
My name is Miranda Becker, and I’m a rising senior at Dublin High School in Dublin, California. I love learning about space and programming. But I also love reading, drawing, driving, traveling, hanging out with friends, being outdoors, and swimming.