Three Things I Learned This Summer

Hi everyone! Since summer is almost over (and fall semester is here), I believe some reflections on how I spent the past four months are in order. Unlike most of my friends, I decided to stay on campus the whole time (and be a “real adult”). I gained some amazing experiences here while working, doing research, and just taking some time to think about the future. Here are three things I learned this summer at the University of Rochester:

1. Walking backwards gets easier with time…

Summer Meridians 2017!

Summer Meridians 2017!


This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to work as a Meridian (campus tour guide) for the Office of Admissions! If you have seen any of the tours before, you know that the Meridians walk backwards for most of the time. While this was a task for my gracefully-challenged self to get used to, I can honestly say I really enjoyed the whole experience. If you asked me what my favorite part was, I wouldn’t be able to give you any one answer. From meeting prospective students and their families and sharing my college experiences, to interacting with fellow Meridians and the counselors in the office, I loved these four months I spent in Wallis Hall!

2. Pig eyes are very similar to human eyes.

Welcome to the Buckley Lab!

Welcome to the Buckley Lab!


I like keeping really busy, so after finishing four shows on Netflix and re-watching all 10 seasons of Friends, I decided to do something more productive with my time (aka, research). My undergraduate advisor, Professor Buckley, was looking for a student to help with a project, and that was the perfect opportunity for me to kickstart my interest in doing research in biomedical engineering, my major. For my project, I got to dissect pig eyes and take out the cornea, and ultimately, put it in a Rheometer, a machine that applies force on liquids. I was ecstatic at the fact that I got to do something “real engineers” do! Getting involved in a lab has been on my list for a while now, and this summer, I got to check it off!

3. It’s okay to be confused.

Rocky says hi!

Rocky says hi!


Like most college students, I have no idea about what I’m doing with my life. As a very high-strung person, I spent most of this summer internally panicking about what classes I should take, which internship and research opportunities I should apply to, what career path I should follow, etc. I even decided to go pre-med, and am now somewhat considering the possibility of becoming a doctor. What I realized, after countless advising sessions and career talks, is that it’s perfectly okay for me to not know what my future profession is going to be. Even though it’s hard sometimes, I’m learning to relax and take it easy, and ultimately, take baby steps towards my future.

Overall, this summer was beyond my expectations! Though I didn’t get to go back to India and visit my family, I did gain a lot of experience working with people and discovered more about things that interest me. Looking back, I’ve become more confident in my abilities (both as a student and a functioning human being), learned to walk backwards and dissect eyes, managed to be a “real adult” for at least four months, and finally, share my love for the University of Rochester with hundreds of people!

About the author

Ananya Goyal

Hello! I'm a member of the Class of 2020 majoring in biomedical engineering and minoring in mathematics. Originally from New Delhi, India, I'm currently involved in the Meridian Society, the Biomedical Engineering Society, the EcoReps program, and research. I spend my free time walking across campus, making new friends, chasing groundhogs, and writing about the same. I'm so excited to share my experiences with all of you!

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