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summer days

Reflections on a summer of growth and learning

last updated on august 5th

As the golden leaves of autumn start to replace the vibrant greens of summer, I find myself lost in reflection, reminiscing about a summer filled with profound learning and growth.

Summer represents the exuberance of youth, a season filled with boundless energy, exploration, and the full bloom of life. It is a time of brightness and intensity, where days are long, and nights are filled with promise. Then, slowly but surely, the page turns. The light softens, the air cools, and autumn starts to make its subtle entrance.

Autumn is a time of reflection, a season that invites us to slow down and take stock of what has been. It's a period that celebrates the wisdom of letting go, as leaves fall, teaching us the graceful art of release. Autumn whispers the poignant truth that all things have their moment, their season, and that change is not merely an end but a gateway to something new.

A photo of my course group at the University of Chicago

Similarly, as a freshman, you stand at the threshold of a new world, much like the beginning of summer. Everything is new, fresh, and filled with the excitement of discovery. There's an innocence to this time, a joy in exploration, an eagerness to soak in all that is around you.

But as the year unfolds, a subtle shift begins to take place. The raw novelty starts to settle into understanding, the initial excitement matures into deeper insight, and you grow. You learn not just from textbooks and lectures but from life itself.

This transformation is not just about nature; it mirrors our own inner journey. The transition to a sophomore is akin to moving from summer to autumn. It's a time to harvest the wisdom of the experiences you've had, to reflect on what you've learned, and to let go of what no longer serves you. It's a moment that acknowledges growth and preparation for what lies ahead.

As a sophomore, you carry with you the vitality of summer but also the profound insights that only time and experience can bestow. You stand at a unique intersection, one foot in the joy of what has been and the other in the promise of what's yet to come.

This summer has been a tapestry of experiences that has shaped me both as a learner and as a human being. At the University of Chicago, I embarked on an intellectual expedition into the realm of mathematical and computational research in biological sciences. LaunchX took me into a world where ideas were brought to life through creativity and collaboration. This was a space that taught me not just how to build something from scratch but how to envision, iterate, and adapt. Stanford's AI4ALL program made me see the boundless possibilities and ethical considerations that AI offers. It was an exploration of how technology can be harnessed for social good, how algorithms and data can be tools for positive change.

A photo of my LaunchX dorm group at the Michigan Stadium

Looking back, I am filled with gratitude for the mentors who guided me, the friends who accompanied me, and the challenges that molded me. These experiences are not just memories; they are integral parts of who I am and who I aspire to be.

These transitions, from summer to autumn, freshman to sophomore, are poetic reminders of life's cyclical nature. They teach us to embrace change, to see it not as a loss but as a continuation of a journey that's rich with possibility.

They invite us to be present, to celebrate each season of life for what it is, and to recognize that every stage has its beauty, its lessons, and its purpose.

So here's to the grace of transitions, to the wisdom in the turning of the seasons, and to the beautiful dance of growing, both in nature and in ourselves.

In the words of the great poet Taisen Deshimaru: "Time is not a line, but a series of now-points."

Here's to the University of Chicago, LaunchX, and Stanford AI4ALL.

Here's to the friendships, the struggles, and the triumphs.

And here's to a summer filled with curiosity, innovation, and discovery.

A photo of the boys at LaunchX Innovation Day