Sneakpeak from Within

Next week marks the beginning of my seventh of twelve finals weeks. It is my first time taking final exams here at Northwestern, and as I think about the looming exams and projects due, I can’t help but feel like a freshmen all over again, at UCLA, sitting there being terrified of the one (yes, one) final exam I had during my first fall quarter in college. It was my math 3B exam and I had all week to study for it since the test was on Thursday. I remember sitting in the lecture hall in Humanities (A29 or something?) and staring out in front of me, the exam sitting there waiting to be filled in. By the time I had gotten off the plane and walked around the Apple store at Valley Fair, my exam score had come in. I didn’t fare too badly.

Thinking of this, I am terrified of walking into my first final exam here at Northwestern next Monday at 9 AM. I shouldn’t be worried but yet I am. I have done this so many, many times already. What can be different about these next four exams next week?

Regardless of whatever this fear is, I wanted to share a bit from inside the lab. I snapped some photos using my phone when I had downtime during lab and thought some of these images were really cool. Hope you all enjoy them as much as I enjoyed performing the tests 🙂

Test tube racks

Test tube rack — eluting DNA

Visualized gel

Imaged protein gel

Making protein gels

Making protein gels

Running protein gels

Running a protein gel

Plating E. Coli on LB agar plates

Sterile technique

Playing with fire

Playing with fire

Plating E. Coli

Plating E. Coli

Resuspending a pellet

Resuspending a cell pellet


One Book One Northwestern Day in Chicago

As part of the One Book One Northwestern program, new students were invited to participate in a day out in the greater Chicagoland area. The book that we were asked to read this year explored the various neighborhoods of Chicago.

On a whim, I decided to take this chance — 7 hours away from my academics — to take a look at what there is to offer in Chicago. And I am so glad that I did. The group I was placed in went to Fuller Park, in the southern part of Chicago. The topic of our adventure today was Leadership and Community Development. In this, we visited a place called Eden Place, where it is an oasis within the city. Fuller Park is bordered by the highway and a newly built train wall.

Driving through the city, I noticed how rundown the place was. It is so different to be in a less fortunate community. The community is in need of further development and much help. This has been a truly humbling experience, to be able to see a less fortunate part of Chicago, to know that there is so much of a disparity even within Evanston and the greater Chicago area.

But more than that, today was a day of learning and self discovery. More than anything, it has been a chance to learn about the city that I am going to be calling my home for the next two years, or maybe even more.

I spent the day in a small community in Southern Chicago. I got to meet some amazing professors and a prominent leader in the Fuller Park community. Things can be rough, but sometimes the brightest diamonds are the ones found in the roughest of areas.

Here are some pictures to share from my day, though:

Animals raised at Eden Place:


 Houses along the main street in Fuller Park

 All kinds of tomatoes grown at Eden Place

Trip to Chicago and more!

There are only a couple days before classes are set to begin. We attended President’s Convocation yesterday. The weather has been absolutely perfect these past couple of days. Taking some time away from campus, the transfers and their Peer Advisors spent the afternoon in Downtown Chicago.

Everything about this city has captivated my heart. How can you not fall in love with a city where there is a river that runs right through, where there is the shores of Lake Michigan right to the east of the city?

It isn’t your typical big city. Sure, there are a lot of people and a lot of traffic and tall buildings, but it is clean. It is welcoming. It is inviting. And it is absolutely gorgeous (at least the parts of town I have been to). There is nature embedded into the city, starting with the trees lining the streets to the river right through town to Millenium Park.

I won’t say more; pictures are worth a thousand words. Take a look for yourself. What do you think?


NU Arch


President’s Convocation




Lake Michigan



Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza @ Gino’s East



Downtown viewed from Michigan Street



The Bean @ Millenium Park

Countdown to Junior Year

My Fall classes are set. The countdown has started. After speaking with the Dean yesterday to register for classes, I am convinced that the people at NU genuinely care about your success. Okay, I had to get that out.

The people at UCLA are great as well. But being at a large public school in a very large city just isn’t for me. I grew up in a town of 50,000 residents. I am able to walk outside at night and breath fresh air, not air polluted by smog and impurities. Don’t get me wrong, my two years there were great. But now, as the countdown to WildCat Welcome has started (19 more days!), the excitement (and anxiety) is starting to build.

I have spent the past couple of hours looking up various labs on campus and in Chicago and I must say, the opportunities are endless. But now, it is up to me to catch each opportunity and grab hold to the ones that appeal to my interests the most.

For now, I will leave it at here. It is almost time for orientation. It is almost time for the quarter to start. Let the countdown begin.