Congratulations on the Golden Bell Award -- the ILC definitely deserved it!
I am amazed that my third semester at Cal is already over. In fact, it hadn't hit me until recently that I am now a sophomore in COLLEGE; it really goes to show you how time flies...
Overall, this semester was quite a change for me. For one, I am no longer living on campus at Clark Kerr. I, like Julie and Jessica Tran, now commute from home. Most of the time, I take the BART which is much faster than taking AC Transit and probably cheaper than driving and paying for parking/gas. Indeed, living at home has had its benefits, especially financially; nonetheless, it definitely takes much more time for me to get to and from campus which can be a hassle.
As I mentioned previously, I am going to be a Molecular and Cellular Biology major. Though a lot of students under this major are pre-med, I am aiming to be a researcher and will probably look into going to graduate school. With this in mind, over this past summer, I found myself a research position in the He Lab at UC Berkeley. Luckily, I was able to continue working for them throughout this past semester and will hopefully stay until I graduate. The lab focuses on the functions of microRNAs and their role in tumorigenesis so a lot of the research is cancer and immunology based. I have learned a lot of different techniques from my peers and the graduate students/post-docs in the lab and aim to start my own project soon. I spend more than 15 hours a week in lab so balancing school and lab work has been quite tough for me this semester; but I am sure everything I am doing is worth the effort.
For those who are interested in doing research, I recommend that you not only look into the research programs offered on your campus (like the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program at UC Berkeley) but also get to know some of the science professors who might be able to recommend you to some labs! (That's how I got into the He Lab).
I am hoping that this upcoming semester will be easier now that I know how to manage my time better with commuting, taking classes, and going into lab. It has been one crazy semester but it has been a blast. I cannot wait for more to come.