I spent most of the summer back home in Chicago. While I wasn’t doing a formal internship, I’m really glad to have had the time “off” – I think it’s important to take time every so often to recenter and really consider what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. College goes by really quickly, and it’s too easy to let it fly by without being mindful about the days you’re here. With that said, the five things that I wanted to get done coming into summer were:

  1. Lose the Freshman 15 (or 18, in my case).
  2. Start reading again.
  3. Work on personal CS projects and learn as much as possible.
  4. Have a successful Unite conference for Spark SC (more info below).
  5. Find a dope ramen shop.

It took a lot of grinding, but I made it through all five. Pro tip for losing the freshman 15: don’t get the freshman 15. Losing it takes a long time, and it sucks. With that said, I’m definitely glad it’s over with. Lifting and cycling, on repeat, for 8 weeks.

On the topic of reading, I think it’s something that people in general don’t do enough of today. If you’re looking for some book recommendations: The Golden Compass; Siddhartha; The Way of Kings; The Forever War (sci-fi); and White Coat, Black Hat. All amazing and all definitely worth getting.

I’m studying Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science, and one thing (among many) that’s amazing about CS is that even if you’re not interning at a tech company, you can do/learn/code just as much working on personal projects from home. All you need is a computer and some discipline. I’ve spent a lot of the summer working personal projects and learning more Python, JavaScript, HTML/CSS, and refining my knowledge of C++. What exactly have I been working on. Top secret, check back in a few months if you’re curious.

The Unite conference was a three-day, two-night conference USC students organized as part of a group I’m involved in called Spark SC. Spark SC is USC’s student-driven hub for entrepreneurship and innovation – we run the Startup Career Fair, Hack SC, 1000 Pitches, and many other projects). This summer, we set up a conference with students from Princeton, UCLA, Stanford, Georgia Tech, and U Michigan to bring together students who were involved with groups which have missions aligned with Spark SC’s. The conference was amazing and I met some incredible people – keep an eye out for outcomes from this too!

Dope ramen shop was located. Furious Spoon in Wicker Park, Chicago. If you’re even in the area, you will go. No questions asked.
And that was my summer. A lot got done, and a lot’s to come.