I know it’s not quite 2015 yet, but I never post anyway so it’s not like this is a huge deviation from my general neglect of this blog. Nevertheless, I wanted to look back on the past few weeks of the semester (which I haven’t said a word about yet) and the year as a whole. Of course, reflections of this nature are prone to a sort of warping in which more recent events will be given more weight, but I’ll do my best to recount the major milestones.
- I conquered Spring semester, finishing out a handful of tough CS classes while maintaining a 4.0 GPA
- I finished my first real summer of research with Dave in the Mather Lab and learned a ton about my research interests, which was a really cool experience. It certainly doesn’t hurt that I also secured my first research grant > $1,000 for the summer, which made the long hours much easier.
- I joined Cross Country in the fall and was promptly promoted to captain; I ended up leading practices and deciding on workout schedules for our (somewhat limited– only fielding 7 or 8 runners) team. I’m not sure if I’ll return next semester, but it was definitely a cool experience.
- Related to the previous bullet point, I set a personal best for longest run ever at 16.5 miles from USC to Griffith Observatory and back. It was a brutal run, and it actually caused a season-ending injury, but I’m happy I managed to finish it (and relatively quickly too! Went through the half marathon mark under 1:45:00).
- I had another really fulfilling academic semester in the fall. Tasked with two tough CS classes, one of the hardest core Neuroscience classes, my honors seminar and around 20 hours/week of research, I emerged as top of the class in my neuroscience course and easily secured and A in the rest of my classes. The end result– a 5th 4.0 semester, preserving my cumulative 4.0 for at least another 4 months.
- I decided to take the plunge and change my major from a BA in Neuroscience to a BS in Computational Neuroscience, a decision which came at the cost of more than a few letters on my diploma. To do so, I had to give up a guaranteed spot at the University of Melbourne in Australia as a study abroad destination, and chose to stay in LA instead.
- Consequently, in what turned into the hardest decision of the year, I left the Mather Lab with Dave to join Dr. Biederman’s lab in hopes of pursuing research more directly related to computational neuroscience.
So, a lot of changes, and at a time in my life when I’m having doubts left and right about my career path and general happiness, it’s nice to reflect on everything I have to be proud of. My focus is now shifting to bigger and better things, and I hope that next year’s summary is even more impressive than this one.