The Last Day

By Alvina Z. and Natasha B.

SSP 2021 is actually over… I’ve procrastinated many times during this program (whether it was starting the 8 pm lectures at 10 instead or correcting our group’s final figures the day before the paper was due), and this blog post is no different! It’s currently 2 days after I was supposed to turn this in, but better late than never!!

After a weekend of finishing our final paper and editing the many, many, many comments on our papers, we entered into the last SSP Zoom ever with all the IU participants along with the professors and TAs. We were first introduced to the SSP alumni network, heard some heartfelt thank you’s from the professors, and went into breakout rooms to thank the staff individually. I think the Paper Plate awards were a highlight of the meeting (Sid’s Excel Exceller was definitely one of the most accurate ones and Ellen’s Swim Champ mindset really encapsulated her talent show performance in Truth Hurts- link here: ). After the meeting ended, I felt super sentimental and reflective on such an amazing experience and I sobbed for a little while in my room afterwards.

Last meeting ever 🙁 with everyone dressed up 🙂

I don’t think I can truly describe a month of crazy memories in a page on WordPress, but I’ll try to express my gratitude as well as possible. It’s actually crazy to think that a little over 30 days ago I was having a small mental breakdown about downloading MOE and organic chemistry worksheets and today I’m having a much larger mental breakdown that SSP is actually over. Whether it was singing lots of Taylor Swift with Group 5 (no more slander @ Jack, sorry you had to hear us sing @ Sid), rapping about random words with the TAs, trying to answer scary Dr. Martha questions or attempting to pull an all-nighter with both the IU and Purdue campuses on the last day discussing some weird things about tests, I’m truly so thankful for each and every memory that has been made. 

I couldn’t be more thankful for all of the TAs, professors, or participants for pushing me out of my comfort zone everyday, and helping me grow as not only a student, but also a collaborator and person. I never thought I’d miss hearing mass Discord notifications every time I entered TA or Campus Block, hearing random rock music come from our breakout room, or recreating our homology model at 11 pm at night (don’t want to talk about it), but I guess it’s time to return to sanity. I think Dr. Martha put it best on the last day when she said “It was the fever dream of a lifetime.” Thanks for all the memories SSP- you’ll be missed and remembered forever!

All nighter with the iconic Ms. Latus Supreme Court backgrounds and after scaring off all the Purdue kids

Ayo, Natasha here! Probably sound a little too enthusiastic, given that this is the final blog post of the program!! :(((( 

To recap what happened today, we’d have to start in the early hours of the morning with the all-nighter. It began with karaoke in the main room, followed by attempting to intermingle with Purdue SSPers, which proved to be pretty challenging. I still met some interesting people and learned that I’m not as fast at typing as I thought I was. Next, we switched rooms and played some melodramatic trivia games on jackbox. I’m struggling to remember what happened immediately after, given that it was 1 am in the morning. Sometime later, most of IU gathered in one room and did some pretty sus stuff. A couple Purdue kids unfortunately decided to come in at this time and observe the chaos—I feel sorry they had to witness that.

At this point, a lot of us were feeling pretty sleepy. It was probably about 3 am CST (the superior time zone) at this point. We decided to watch some Netflix shows, during which a few of us (definitely not me) took naps. Then, we all stressed about AP exam scores – College Board decided to favor the west coast again and release their scores first while us CST kids waited in anguish. Finally, at nearly 6 am, scores were released and we all seemed to have done okay. After struggling to stay awake for another 30 minutes or so, I gave up and hopped off the call. After the all-nighter, I tried to get some sleep before the closing ceremony, which Alvina already covered. 

SSP was the most incredible experience, from the talent show to attempted all-nighter. I’ll miss working with my team—all the chaos with figuring out Excel and the recombinant plasmid, Jolyn’s coffee addiction, Andrew providing us with classical piano music in the background as we worked through class activity, me snacking on something literally every TA block. And thanks so much, Team Jokkmokk, for putting up with me overthinking everything as we scrambled to finish our report. I’ll miss yall <333

I’m already missing all the chaos. I’ll leave you with some more memorable screenshots 🙂