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    Student Testimonial: UC San Diego Research Scholars

    Posted December 26, 2023, 8:00 am by TeenLife

    Olivia Le - UC San Diego Research Scholars

    Why did you choose to participate in UC San Diego Research Scholars?

    In the last few years, I had become really interested in marine science but did not have much experience in pursuing that field. I hoped that by taking this summer program, I would be able to venture into research in an immersive and engaging way. I was excited to be amongst other students that were also passionate about this subject and see what it would be like to collaborate for a research poster as well as receive a glimpse of college life at UCSD.

    How did you decide which summer program was right for you?

    Marine biology is a subject that particularly interests me because it applies the concepts I learned in high school, such as thermal ecology, to ecosystems that are rarely discussed in the classroom. It also touched on themes of climate change and restoration which is a focus I really wanted to incorporate into my studies. I knew that UCSD was well known for its marine science programs especially with Scripps Institution of Oceanography being so close by. I also was very excited about the opportunity for students to form their own research projects which was unique to this program specifically.

    What was a typical day like at UC San Diego Research Scholars?

    We woke up around 7:00 each day and after sometimes grabbing a quick breakfast, we headed to the bus that would take us to Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Even though it only took about 10 minutes to get there, it was always really fun to blast music and sing with the entire class. Once we arrived, we walked along the beach and always had a little bit of time to enjoy the outdoors before going into the lab. We usually received a lesson or set of instructions for the morning session with extra time to work in our groups for our research project. We then took the bus back to campus for lunch at the cafeteria which had a wide range of good options. Afterwards, we took the bus back to Scripps and this was usually the time when we would run experiments for our project or continue our write-ups. Upon returning to campus, we would take a quick break and finish up homework at the Geisel Library, make a fun Target run, grab fro-yo, or play volleyball at the sand court. There were a variety of activities to do within walking distance, but we had a lot of time to hang out with friends and grab dinner before making our way back to the dorms. Every night, we had a floor meeting which included a short discussion relating to college and usually a fun or reflective activity. We then prepared for bed.

    What was the most memorable moment of UC San Diego Research Scholars?

    One of the most memorable moments of my program was when my friends and I spent the evening at the recreation center. We were at the volleyball courts, and it was just a really fun way to hang out with the friends we grew really close with through the program. After a long day of work, it was a great way to relax and really enjoy these experiences with living at a college.

    What advice do you have for teens looking at summer programs?

    If students are seeking a program that focuses on an immersive experience and applying their knowledge to a project or presentation, then I would highly encourage them to review the course descriptions and testimonies or examples from years past to ensure that the objective is aligned with their own. I would also advise students to really consider what a residential program would entail because if it is an experience that they really want to have in high school, it can be the perfect opportunity to get a glimpse of what it means to navigate life away from home while also allowing them to form new friendships and have fun. I would also advise students to really take advantage of the programs they are in by putting in the effort and time that the course requires as well as being active in pursuing relationships with instructors and getting a truly full experience.

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