My last class of my undergraduate career: Anatomy and Physiology 9-10am, Park 127. It did not feel like an ending to anything yet because I still had 3 assignments to hand in later that day: Microbio summary on my microbe P. shermanii, Physics problem set, and an exercise physiology lab for A & P. On top of that, I had my usual internship at Center for Asian Health.
I honestly did push myself really hard this semester. A little too hard. 3 really hard science classes. 3 dance ensembles. 8 hours of unpaid research internship. 3 campus jobs. Applying to close to 90 postgrad jobs. Attending networking events even on weeknights. All while trying to spend some time with friends on the weekends so I can have a social life.
There’s no such thing as senioritis in college.
And working until the very end is what I did on my last day of class.
9:00am – 10:00am: A & P
10:00am – 2:15pm: Microbio summary paragraph, Physics set. My last physics set ever!
2:50pm – 3:35pm: Commute to Center for Asian Health at Temple University.
3:35pm – 5:30pm: Data entry for mental health responses from a Chinese community center. (I usually spend 3 hours at my internship, but my advisors were not in that day, I was behind on my schoolwork, and my internship work load was lighter.)
5:50pm – 6:45pm: Commute back to Bryn Mawr. There were Amtrak delays on the SEPTA regional rail so I took the MFL and Norristown High Speed. I experienced 2 strange train encounters: 1 with my ex from 15th street to 30th on the MFL (end of story on that one), and 1 with a Biology postdoc at Penn who researches ovarian cancer. This story’s more interesting. I sat next to the postdoc on the Norristown High Speed and noticed he was reading a scientific journal article. A few figures stood out to me in particular — the ones outlining RNA transcription at a binding site and the PCR Western blots. I had just learned about that in my Microbiology class! I then struck up a conversation with him on his research. The article he was reading about was on a gene mutation that inhibits several pathways to cause lung cancer. It was just published 2 weeks ago, and he wanted to find out if he was convinced by the authors’ claims of causation. I also asked him questions on his career path into biology and what his lab is like at Penn. Fun fact: Did you know that a tiny vial of cancerous tissue cells can be bought from cell banks in Japan and Germany for over $400? They must be shipped overnight to ensure survival.
7:00pm – 7:20pm: Dinner in Erdman. I ran into my lab partner, which was perfect because we had to finish up our lab report together.
7:20pm – 10:19pm: Finishing touches on our exercise physiology lab report. Submitted and done!
11:15pm: I finally had time to pick up my May Day scroll from my campus mail box. The feeling of being so close to done with undergrad was starting to sink in.
12:30am: I painted my nails in preparation for May Day. I had been meaning to treat myself to painting my own nails as soon as the dance concert was over last weekend, but I just could not find the free time to do so until now.
And that was how I spent my last day of undergrad!