This past week was phenomenal. I can say this fairly because bad events occurred as well, but ‘tis life – nay – ‘tis a great life because I’m perfectly ecstatic with how things unfolded.
As I’ve stated (desperately) before, my well being was basically dependent on whether I go abroad this summer. At this point, I truly can’t think of any better way to improve my Spanish proficiency other than forcing myself to think, breathe, speak, and eat Spanish. I’m more than happy to report I’ll be doing all of the above for 8+ weeks this summer!
I’ve been scrambling to research and apply to many summer opportunities (including research and interning abroad) ever since my return to campus after J-term (January break/winter break) – so much so that it felt like a fifth class! Being a research assistant at the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory, which is more of a social science lab, has really made me miss wet labs (pipettes, microscopes, etc.). This isn’t to say I don’t like my job there because I definitely do and intend on working there for many more semesters! Seeing the economics/psychology behind so many common, daily tasks (such as first impressions) has truly propelled my curiosity. Nonetheless, wet labs were my focal exploration point throughout high school and this is an area I feel like I’ve been failing to pursue during my precious and fleeting time as an undergraduate. Therefore, I applied to various REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) programs at universities and companies as a Plan C.
Plan A and B were quickly formed after further investigation of the DRCLAS (pronounced Dr. Class, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies) Summer Internship Program (SIP) as well as Sustainable Development Programs. I applied to work in Latin America and Mexico, and with luck on my side, I got accepted into both programs. My first choice is definitely interning in Latin America so that I can join my friends and teammates on Refresh Bolivia (a student run organization here at Harvard College) after my internship ends. Fun Fact: Refresh Bolivia was founded by a current senior who will be heading to Harvard Medical School this fall!! He’s been my friend since my freshman fall, but now I’m just star struck by him!!!!
Returning from my tangent, the real kicker is that my funding request was accepted as well! One of the main factors that initially attracted me to Harvard College was its incredibly generous financial support – both in and out of the classroom. Many have heard of Harvard’s renowned financial aid in the classroom, but during my first tour of the undergraduate campus, I was in shock that Harvard also financially supports its students in endeavors that make/keep us happy such as partying (safely of course!!!!) and working abroad!! I’m so beyond eternally grateful that my summer adventures will be partially funded so that I can avoid being an actual adult for that much longer by putting off organizing my finances.
The plot twist (cue scary music here) is that my funding request was approved for the Mexico Sustainable Development program when I prefer Latin America. When I spoke to a few friends, they only worried me by emphasizing how inflexible the protocol for summer funding is. Thank goodness they set my expectations low because that only set me up for a higher rise after I spoke to the faculty in the DRCLAS and OIP (Office of International Programs) offices who are currently working so that my funding can be transferrable in between the two DRCLAS programs. Everyone affiliated with Harvard University has been so kind and helpful that I doubt I could ever be thankful or appreciative enough!
I’ll definitely update when my summer plans are set in stone. For now, I can happily enjoy the present. Spring was here last week with temperatures in the high 60s(?), but now Spring is just near as everyone busts out their puffy jackets with a pout once again.
Things I’m looking forward to: my best friend from home visiting me this weekend!, catching up on sleep and classes (I feel guilty when I’m so behind on lectures!), my sorority’s (Kappa Alpha Theta) Spring formal, YardFest, Relay for Life, PreFrosh weekend … DUDE I LOVE SPRING
Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our very own Jesse Sanchez!!!
Double also, best of luck to everyone waiting on decisions tomorrow. My judgement day was April 1st (April Fools Day – which is pretty cruel) so consider yourself lucky! Know that the Admissions staff is really in an unenviable position because there are SO many qualified applicants! Keep your heads up and whatever happens, happens for a reason!
Tags: break, Extracurriculars, funding, international, International opportunities, Office of International Programs, OIP, Research Experience for Undergraduates, REU, study abroad, summer, travel