How did you choose your major? Neuroscience is a field of study that tries to find organization and meaning in the lump of matter that sits behind our eyes and shapes every experience, feeling, sensation, perception, thought, and action that exist in our world. In this lump are around 100 billion funnily-shaped cells that have over 100 trillion connections between them. Our brains are the most complex things we know, but it’s the thing that lets us know about anything.
In high school, I had a hard time narrowing down exactly what I wanted to focus on in college. I enjoyed all my classes, but found myself gravitating towards STEM. My science and math teachers enriched this passion and after trying out Introduction to Neuroscience my first term in college, I felt more confident that this was the direction I would have the least regrets dedicating my studies to.
Since then, I’ve loved studying the brain. Neuroscience is a relatively new field and there is so much we don’t know about. The major will enable me to build a growing body of understanding of how the brain works for myself, and then maybe contribute to the growing body of understanding for others in the field. I hope to use my knowledge to better understand the underlying processes which give us consciousness, emotion, sensation, and the other building blocks that make us who we are.
What is your relationship with your ZF Coach like? Karen has been an incredibly helpful resource/mentor that I know I can rely on. Every conversation I have with her leaves me with something positive – whether she is giving a piece of advice based on her own experiences or the experiences of someone she knows, offering a different perspective to frame my own experiences, or just being a friendly presence that keeps me connected to the Zenie Foundation and the beginning of my path into college.
Most recently, she supported my efforts to challenge the financial aid office at Dartmouth on specific items on my bill. We were able to notice some discrepancies and ensure we understood the (needlessly complicated) way that Dartmouth accounts for different charges.
Most importantly, I know Karen will only be an email or phone call away. She makes me realize the value of having a dependable and knowledgeable guide that can help me work through any sort of challenging or unexpected circumstances that arise as I navigate my time in college.
Tell us about a time you made yourself proud. I am proud of my high school’s track team performance during our four years. Without an actual track to practice and compete on at our school, collectively and individually we were able to achieve many memorable accomplishments that make me appreciate my athletic performance, the performance of my friends and teammates, and the performance of our school. I loved seeing us all grow from the young members forced to compete in undesired events to being captains of the team and leaders in competition against other schools. Along the way we each achieved personal and school records that were sometimes surprising and unplanned and sometimes worked for long-term and finally achieved. In both cases it was really rewarding, and I’m proud of it all.
Tell us something you are excited about! In general, I am very excited for the full “reopening” of my school. I didn’t come to college anticipating that I would spend so much of it taking classes on a screen, and really look forward to the learning, social, and extracurricular environments that I’ve been away from for so long. I have a “sophomore summer” term I will be completing on campus with essentially just members of my class, followed by a very full and active fall term on campus, an internship in the winter term, and then studying abroad in Spain for the spring term. It is a lot to look forward to, especially in comparison to the previous 4 terms I’ve had.