By: Beverly M
Each day, SSP never ceases to amaze me with how much information they can cram into a short amount of time. What is taught in a week (perhaps even longer) in a college class all can seemingly fit into one 2-hour-long lecture. With such a fast pace, there will undoubtedly be complications.
During the days leading up to SSP, I often found myself fantasizing about how much fun I’ll have and all the amazing people I’ll meet. I visualized myself having a blast socializing and learning the material. Don’t get me wrong, the material is all really interesting and the people are great, it’s just very different from what I had in mind. On the second day of SSP (when we had our first lecture and really met up with our groups), all of my plans went completely out the window when I got too nervous to even say “Hi” to people in breakout rooms. The reality was that I was sitting there, quaking in my boots (metaphorically speaking), waiting for someone to say the first word because of course it CANNOT be me. What if I say the wrong thing? Do I really fit in at SSP?
In my mind I knew that if I asked, I would get help; yet every time I opened my mouth no words would come out. One simple equation can sum up my entire first week: Psets + lectures = CONFUSION. Everytime someone (whether it be faculty, TAs, or my own teammates) ask whether I understand, I would just ceaselessly nod my head even though I couldn’t even comprehend what was even being asked on said problem.
So yeah, the first week was nerve wracking to say the least, but this week couldn’t have been more different. As I got to spend more time with fellow SPPers and took more chances to ask people for help, I found it easier and easier every time. Initially, everybody seemed so intimidating and it didn’t get any better as introductions went on (because everyone is so STACKED), but as I got to talk and learn more about them (like how Vinny is actually born in the wrong decade), I learned that these (SS)People are actually really cool and down-to-earth. With that said, I would like to share my daily schedule: wake up, overdose on coffee, lose brain cells trying to comprehend lectures, open Pset(s), lose more brain cells trying to comprehend Pset(s), consult the highly intelligent, restore brain cells because of the SSP CARRY, sleep for 5 hours, repeat.
Other than grinding out Psets and lectures all day, SSP also has a super cool guest lecture series. The most recent one with Dr. Nick Suntzeff had me on the edge of my seat. From discussing antiparticles to questioning the big bang, by the end of the lecture, my mind was blown but also overwhelmed by the concepts presented. Here is a meme to sum up my experience:
Random quote from TA Alan when we were debating about sandwiches in the middle of the night: “I like to eat my sandwiches open-faced”
As the second week nears its end, I cannot express how grateful I am to be surrounded by amazing people everyday (although virtually) and I hope to get to meet more SSPers in the coming weeks (reach out to me! dm me on discord!!). So no (but actually yes), SSP is shaping up to be a really fun experience.
Hi! I’m Beverly M, and I’m from Anaheim, California. I love bowling, paper modeling…..oh, also chilling at the beach! Always down to watch any movies or TV shows and coming up with wild theories on them(give me some recs). Also a big fan of GROOT (he’s so cute 🙂