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Hi everyone! I hope you all are doing well. I'm very excited to be writing on the blog regularly again taking off in the summer. Campus life is definitely a bit busier now that I am a sophomore, but before I get into some of my newer commitments and responsibilities this year, I wanted to use this week's post as a quick recap of my summer. It was amazing to be home after three terms at Dartmouth, and I'm very grateful I got to spend some quality time with my family and friends in New Jersey. 

working in lab

My main commitment this summer was working in a lab at the Public Health Research Institute at Rutgers University. After taking an infectious disease course in the winter (BIOL11), I fell in love with the course content and how the field is so interdisciplinary – it seemed to pull several of my interests together. So, I reached out to my professors and they connected me with the PI who I would work with over the past three months. Since the lab specializes in tuberculosis research, I was tasked with identifying biologically significant genes for M-TB bacterial growth so that knockdowns could be made with CRISPRi technology. The resulting trends in growth and survival could then be used to better understand drug resistance, tolerance, and development. One of my favorite parts of the research was how there was an optimal balance between independence and collaboration; I felt as though I was learning to be self-sufficient but always surrounded by people who were willing to help. 

me and brothers
friends at pool

Outside of work, one of the highlights was simply being home. As a triplet, it's very hard for all of us to find time to spend together with our busy schedules. I very much appreciated how much quality time we were able to spend as a family, whether that was spontaneous beach day trips, concerts, or drives to some of our favorite hometown spots. We kept ourselves busy, but to me, that's what makes summer fun. 

hiking a mountain
dog on the table

I also spent a lot of time outdoors. I took my dog for a lot of walks and even had Murphy meet up with our friends' dogs for a little "play" date. He just fought with them the whole time, though. I also went on a few hikes, visiting my girlfriend up in the Berkshires, and then driving up to see a few local Dartmouth friends was very fun. 

museum in london
park in paris

Because my work schedule was not super strict, I luckily had time to travel to places I'd never been before. At the beginning of the summer, I went to London to visit a few Dartmouth friends who were living there. It was my first time in Europe, so I enjoyed exploring the different regions of the city. Several other Dartmouth students were coincidentally there doing the summer program at the London School of Economics which made adventuring even more fun. After visiting Paris too, I definitely am more inspired to take advantage of Darmtouth's study abroad programs whether that be in Europe, or maybe one of the offerings in New Zealand or Costa Rica. 

me and 2 friends at lollapalooza
1975 at lolla

Another fun moment was when a few friends and I drove from New Jersey to Chicago for Lollapalooza. It was my first time (1) driving that long and (2) attending a music festival, but it was so worth the commitment (and the intense sleep deprivation.) I got to see a lot of my favorite artists (Backseat Lovers, Mt. Joy, Noah Kahan, the 1975, Kendrick Lamar, and ODESZA), and I can proudly say that I have gotten the proper festival experience. Because I will likely be on campus next summer, I'm so glad I got to spend this time with the people and places I love. I feel properly refreshed and excited for the terms to come. 

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