8 weeks just flew by. Wow. It just seemed like we arrived at Stanford yesterday. I remember us squeezing into the Super Shuttle with all our luggages, arriving at Stanford and getting checked in and finding out I had been assigned to a single room. Now, at the end of 8 weeks, we’re all saying our goodbyes to our friends and hall mates for the past 8 weeks. What Dean Whobrey said did come true though. He said that after 8 weeks, none of us would want to leave, but we have to leave anyways. It has been a magical summer. The sights I had been waking up to, I can’t forget. I see hills and the sun creeping up on them slowly. So just like that, on the 14th of August, the Branner lounge, where all of us had chilled in at some point in time or another, was filled with our luggages and farewells.
I remember when I first received the email to say that I had been offered a spot at the Stanford Summer International Honours Programme. I was in disbelief at first. Since I was checking the results from my friend’s phone, I thought I was looking at his email instead by accident. Yes, I did go “Uhh, I think you forgot to log out from your email account”. When I checked and saw that I was indeed in my email account, I was thinking that I would probably not go. My thoughts then were about the recent news of plane disasters, bombings, terrorism, etc. Plus, I had never been abroad before by myself and I had roles which would require reshuffling if I were to go abroad. I thought it would be best if I stay put and not go. My friends, on the other hand, were encouraging me to take it up. After all, such an opportunity was rare. I did take it up in the end, but up till the point when I was saying goodbye to my family members at Changi Airport, I still had my doubts. I was travelling with 15 other SUTD people whom I knew not. I was thinking then to myself, “It’s just 8 weeks. You can do it. Think about all the adventures you’re going to go on!”
To maximise my time there, I had to strike a balance between my adventures and studies. After all, since I’m already there, I should make full use of my time there and do as much as I can, no? What I did was to set aside Saturdays and Sundays as adventure days, Mondays to Thursdays as study, homework and school days and Friday as a buffer day. I’ve managed to visit so many places without neglecting my studies too much. I’ve visited places like Half Moon Bay, Yosemite, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Alcatraz and Berkeley, just to name a few. There are so many places to visit but so little time! Sacrifices have to be made too, like waking up early just to go on a trip, some meals from the meal plan (hehe oops), etc. The earliest I had to wake up for a trip was 3.30am (the travel time to the pick up point for the tour was really long, like 3h-ish). It was hard, but so exciting. No regrets there (sans the headache I got in the end from lack of sleep). The trip to Yosemite was so worth it, though I wished I could have spent more time in the park at the end of the day. I would have loved to visit the Dish as well, located just outside Stanford’s campus, a few other national parks like Land’s End, but time was short and I had to prioritise.
I’ll end off with a few pictures of the places I visited.
I’m so missing this already