Home Sweet Home

I’ve only been home for a week and a half, and now I need to start packing to move back to Cambridge for the summer. Wow, time really does fly by. Before I know it, it’ll be the start of my second to last semester at Harvard. Scary!

As I’ve mentioned, I’ll be proctoring for Harvard Summer School and doing some independent research in the undergraduate labs on campus for the next seven weeks. Before all of that starts, though, I wanted to make sure I was really taking advantage of this 3-week, no commitment window. It doesn’t happen often! I was invited to speak at my community’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life, which was happening the day after I got back from my filming trip overseas (ouch, jetlag!). I’m sure many of you have (or had) things you were super involved with in high school. Two of my greatest passions are volleyball and public service, so I really structured my high school extracurriculars around them. In 2009 (senior year), my best friend, Madison, and I started the first Relay for Life in our community. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Relay, it’s an overnight event when teams of about 10-15 people camp out and walk around an indoor or outdoor track. The goal is to keep one representative from your team on the track at all times for the entire 24 hours. The premise behind this idea is that cancer is a disease that never sleeps, and therefore, the walkers don’t either. Fundraising occurs months and months before the actual event and Relay itself is filled with live music, games, food, and more. Each one that I’ve been to is unique in its own way; Harvard has its own Relay and it’s extremely different from my community’s event. However, it’s all for the same great cause, and at Harvard’s event, fraternities, sororities, and other student groups come out to fundraise, support, and walk. I think both are awesome. The reason why I flew back from my filming trip specifically for my community’s Relay is because this year was a special one. In just four years, we hit a total of $1 million raised. Unfortunately, the day was filled with wind and rain, but over 1,000 people still showed up to walk! It was almost like it was 80 and sunny outside. The event was truly unbelievable.

Madison and I speaking at my community's Relay for Life!

Madison and I speaking at my community's Relay for Life!

Attending Relay was the last thing on my agenda while at home, so it’s been nice to finally be in one place without anything to do. Since then, I’ve been bumming around, relaxing, working out, and soaking up boredom while it lasts. I think everyone needs a bit of “me” time after a period of hard work (i.e. my spring semester) in order to rejuvenate and reflect on your experiences. I can’t believe it’s almost over though! Two days ago, Madison and I went up to Mt. Sunapee, closer to northern New Hampshire (I live right on the border of MA and NH, right on the southeastern corner) and went on a (relatively) easy 2 mile hike. Hiking and being outdoors are some of my favorite things to do, so it was sweet getting away and being surrounded by nature for the entire morning and afternoon. For those of you who will be attending Harvard in the fall, you should consider the First-Year Outdoor Program (FOP) for pre-orientation! I did a different one called Dorm Crew, and don’t regret it at all because I met some of my closest friends through it, but if I could have done more than one, FOP would have been next on my list. Caroline has written a lot about the program in previous blog posts and I know a lot of amazing people who’ve loved it. By the way, it’s her 21st birthday today!

I’m traveling to New York this weekend to see a few of my blockmates (people you choose to live with in the same dorm building after your freshman year) who are all working internships there. One reason I like college summers better than high school ones is that I’ve been lucky enough to have friends in different cities, so it’s nice to see some familiar faces when you visit somewhere new. The next time I write will be from campus, and I’m sure I’ll have something about New York or being back at Harvard to write about. Until then!

At the top of Mt. Sunapee awkwardly using self-timer!

At the top of Mt. Sunapee awkwardly using self-timer!

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  1. YJ’s avatar

    Hi! I’m a high schooler and I love reading your blog posts–thanks for making them so interesting to read 🙂 I had no idea Harvard had Relay for Life! We have Relay4Life at my high school as well and it’s almost always rainy every year, but I think it’s more fun to walk when it’s drizzling slightly 🙂 Is pre-orientation something all freshmen participate in to get to know each other? I wish my high school had something like that because a lot of new people come in at the start of 9th grade and we don’t really get to mingle with the new people unless we have same classes with them. By the way, do you speak Korean? (I call my mom umma too cuz I speak Korean with my family.)

    1. Scott Yim’s avatar

      Hi YJ,

      Yes, Harvard definitely has a Relay for Life. I’m so glad you’re involved at your high school; it’s an incredible event (and fun!).

      Pre-orientation is an optional commitment that students can sign up for. There are 5 different programs that are detailed here: http://fdo.fas.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k3806&pageid=icb.page467740. You have to apply–however, I think they try to take as many people as possible and you can apply to several (but only participate in one).

      I do speak Korean and try to whenever I can. It’s very important to me 🙂

      Thanks a lot for reading!

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