Class of 2016
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June 1, 2016
As a graduate of GSSM, I have seen a lot, done a lot and learned a lot about myself and the world around me. Through my summer research experience in Germany, I learned what it would be like to be a scientist at a world-class biomedical research laboratory. Through an academic course load more intense than I ever would have imagined, I explored the boundary between what I can and cannot do - granted sometimes at two or three in the morning. Through my social interactions with forty other guys on my residence hall, I learned the importance of friendship, community, and camaraderie that is necessary in order to live together. In just a few months, I will graduate and leave GSSM more experienced and knowledgeable than I was when I came here, but there is still one question that remains unanswered: Where is my anywhere?
I applied to GSSM largely for the same reason as so many others before me. I had hopes that the opportunity to take more advanced, harder classes would help me to narrow down what exactly I wanted to do with my life. During my time here, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to take advantage of many of the advanced elective courses GSSM has to offer. Taking Computer Science with Mrs. Bunn proved to be like solving puzzles with symbols and numbers instead of with cardboard pieces. Environmental Science with Dr. Wagner introduced me to the joys of grazing in nature. Genetics with Dr. Taylor trained me to not be scared of reading thick, intimidating research papers on complicated topics. Finally, the famed Organic Chemistry with Dr. Jones-Cooper not only taught me how simple chemical reactions have really complex mechanisms, but how to persevere through a seemingly impossible task. (S/O to all the Orgo kids out there!)
Although I have had countless academic experiences since coming to GSSM, I cannot begin to firmly answer the question, “where is my anywhere?” Many of my peers have very specific career and life goals, and are talented enough that they can undoubtedly accomplish them if they set their mind to it. Some days I envy them, but most days I’m glad I still have the intellectual freedoms to follow my interests and passions. I love and appreciate many subjects, from molecular biochemistry to music, and no matter what field I end up going into, I will face my responsibilities, duties and personal interactions with energy and enthusiasm.
So a hundred-ish cups of coffee, around fifty Cookout milkshakes, too many bowls of easy-mac and an arbitrary number of sleepless nights later, I still don’t have a clear path laid out to where my life is heading. But at the end of the day, my “anywhere” could be, well, anywhere and GSSM has put me on the right path to get there.