So it’s about the time of year when we start planning ahead for the summer. For sophomores, it’s usually a given – staying in Hanover! But how about freshman summer? We asked the DOSCs what they did their freshman summer, to give you an idea about the various things that people do, whether it’s relaxing at home or scoring some sweet research opportunities.
Jingna says: “I took organic chemistry at Harvard. This option allowed me to get both credits that I needed for orgo in one term. I’m glad I did it because I was able to just concentrate on orgo without other classes or extracurricular activities to worry about. It was definitely intense, but it felt kinda like I was back in high school. We had class or lab for half the day and exams every week. Other schools also offer a speed course in orgo like this, but I loved being in Boston.”
Angela says: “I was pretty uncertain about my major and I was pre-med at the time. I didn’t want to go home and I didn’t really know what I was interested in, so I wound up staying at Dartmouth over freshman summer and taking classes – namely, Biology 13 (Genetics), Biology 14 (Physiology), and Digital Game Studies. I learned fairly quickly that 8 hours of lab a week was not for me, and it pretty thoroughly convinced me that I was not as interested in Biology as I thought and that pre-med is also not what I’m interested in. It was one of those things where you find out you don’t like a subject, but you have to take it to find that out. On the other hand, I made some great friends and I got to explore my interest in video games academically (totally recommend Digital Game Studies for anyone who’s at all interested in video games). Plus, Hanover during the summer is totally gorgeous.”
Jihan says: “I worked at a human neurogenetics lab at National Institute of Health on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, making DNA libraries from ethanol-treated neural stem cells. The laboratory was within the walking distance of my home – so I didn’t spend money or time wasting on transportation and food, which really helped my financial situation. In many ways, it was my first REAL laboratory experience, where I had a chance to plan the experiment, order the needed materials, do the experiment, troubleshoot, repeat the last two steps infinitely, and finally make a poster and have it presented to others at the end of the summer. Rumor has it that research experience can be a ‘hit or miss experience’ for pre-med students. For me, thankfully, it was a hit, and really helped me appreciate the art of scientific investigation and the reality therein. I would have not had my first year summer experience in any other way. To find more about what I did, check https://www.training.nih.gov/trainees/summer_interns”
Caitlin says: “I worked as a lifeguard freshman summer. It was a good experience; I made money and got to hang out at home with my friends. The best part was I got a tan while working.”
Akwugo says: “I worked as a fiber optics research assistant with Professor Elsa Garmire. It was a very enlightening and rewarding experience. It was definitely a good way to begin my major. It is never too early to start researching!!!”