Things I Conquered this Summer: Mountains, Oceans, and Lyophilizers

Shuntaro Nishi Beach, Best of LA, Chemical, Free Time, Hikes, Shuntaro, Viterbi Plus, Viterbi Summer Leave a Comment

I don't really know if conquered is the right word, but reflecting on my summer it seems like a perfect way to describe how I felt. One of the first things I conquered was the mountain (specifically Mt. Baldy). It is a close drive from USC and a popular destination for many college students to hike as part of the Six Pack of Peaks Challenge.

My friend, Rhodri, and I began our journey at 5 AM and we finished the hike at around 2 PM. We ate granola bars and dried mangos as we took in the beauty of the nature as the winds remained relentless on top of the mountain. Attached is the picture of my friend and I as we reached the summit and had to begin the descent.

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The next thing I did this summer was learn how to surf! Thankfully, I had a couple of friends that were planning on spending the whole day at the beach so I followed them and went longboarding down in San Ofre State Beach all morning. After we got out of the water, we munched out on some burgers and hotdogs and just had a nice BBQ where we shared updates on our summers. Full from the meal, and exhausted from being out on the water, I set up an umbrella and fell asleep on the sand as I listened to the Eagles. It was one of the moments that made me feel so present within the moment and appreciate such a simple part of life.
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Lastly, my last activity this summer was interning at Gilead Sciences and working on the lyophilization machine. Lyophilization is a freeze drying process where the drug, Ambisome, is turned from a liquid to a solid paste! I was able to learn about the process, the machinery itself, and propose a solution to an issue we were having with fluctuations in temperature values on one of the valves.

Looking back on my summer, these activities are what come to mind. I will cherish these memories, but I am ready for school to start!
About the Author

Shuntaro is a junior studying Chemical Engineering. Lover of nature and Game of Thrones. Click above to find out more.


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