by Victoria S.
When I boarded my 5 A.M. flight to Raleigh, I had no idea what would be in store for me (I had no idea that within a week, I would know precisely what A.M. actually means).
Sure, I knew that I would be learning how to do science and eventually calculating the orbit of a Near-Earth asteroid. However, I was unaware of just how much content we would be going through each day. Working 10+ hours every day both in lecture and in the computer lab, I learned more in the past five days at SSP than I did this past school year in many of my classes combined. To someone like me, who finds joy in simply learning and exploring new topics, this was extremely exhilarating. It was also incredible to get to take pictures of where our asteroid was supposed to be (unfortunately there was too much cloud coverage to see it) with the telescope last night – or I guess this morning since our observing shift was until 1 A.M.!
That’s yet another part of SSP I had not been prepared for. The late nights and early mornings coupled with the packed schedule allow for little sleep. I think it’s just part of the experience, being at SSP is like living with permanent jet lag. So yes, I have started drinking coffee despite my previous caffeine-free lifestyle. Don’t worry though, I put more chocolate milk and creamer than actually coffee.
Finally, I could not have foreseen how many life skills I have learned here. I was prepared to go shopping on my own for most essentials (snacks, erasers, more paper, etc. ) and do my own laundry. But I have also learned practical skills from living on my own in a dorm and ways to stay healthy in a high-stress environment. Don’t get me wrong, my 35 peers and I were all more than prepared, both by our unique academic backgrounds and passions and also our independence we have acquired. All in all, I have immensely enjoyed being surrounded by like-minded, motivated students.
Hello! I’m Victoria and I’m from Rhode Island. I love to figure skate competitively, play tennis, puzzle through math problems, and travel the world. At SSP, my time is consumed by attempting to get enough sleep to function, walking to Chase Dining Hall, trying to visualize the celestial sphere, and calling my parents (Happy Father’s Day!).