As a freshman, going to activity fairs was so overwhelming for me. I had a few hobbies, but I wasn’t too sure on what I wanted to pursue in college. I got into working out over senior year of high school and was on the lookout for some workout buddies. Consequently, I was instantly attracted to an exercise club called CHAARG. I loved the club a lot and believed in what it stood by, so I also took up a leadership position as a small group coordinator in the next semester. It is truly important to remember to exercise and eat healthy during college since you’re responsible to take care of yourself. This is a great community of girls pushing each other to have fun while working out and explore new kinds of workout.
In my sophomore year, I joined my service sorority called Gamma Sigma Sigma. This sorority was such a great place to find more people dedicated in serving others. I had always loved volunteering because I think it is such a good way to get to know a new area and the people living there. There are many ways to get involved with volunteering on campus, especially with PittServes. My favorite event was the ALT Break event they hosted in New York City. One of the rare gems was getting to work on a farm with chickens and produce in Brooklyn!
As I have mentioned numerous times before, Pitt is a great place for neuroscience. I have befriended so many passionate students in the neuro clubs and classes at Pitt. I attend events hosted by the Pitt Neuro Club and just got inducted into the national neuroscience honors society called NuRhoPsi. This is one of my favorite ways of getting to know more about the research other neuroscience students are involved in, and about the labs at Pitt. All these organizations are the way I connect with more students at Pitt as well.
Another way of getting more exposure to neuroscience research, and possible career streams is a non-profit organization I discovered called Simply Neuroscience. This is an organization founded by a current sophomore at Columbia University. This is such an innovating international, student-led organization and I’ve been working in the outreach and podcasts department since this year. We have so many resources (especially for high schoolers), and an amazing conference called NeuroCon in the summer.
Over the summer of 2020, amidst the quarantine, there was a new medical documentary show called Lenox Hill released on Netflix. These neurosurgeons at LHN took their summer program a step forward and made it completely online! It is called BRAINterns and essentially, it is a seminar-based program for 2 months. Even though I was not pursuing surgery, it was very motivating and immensely educational for understanding the way the brain works along with diseases that affect humans. My passion for this project led me to becoming a BRAINterns ambassador at Pitt.
These two organizations are so close to my heart because it promises to provide free neuroscience education for all. If someone introduced this to me in high school, I would be exhilarated because it is so convenient! In a lot of ways, this ties in with my love for volunteering and networking. As a future neuroscientist, networking is important and so is giving back to your community, and as a scientist I think the most valuable thing you could give to society is knowledge.
We get the opportunity to meet people in classes, but it’s not usually a place we get to talk about our passions or explore new hobbies with others. It’s easier to connect and make new friends through clubs/organizations because of its casual setting. Organizations like BRAINterns and Simply neuroscience help you go one step further and meet students from all around the world.
Lastly, It’s important to figure out what you actually like to be involved in, the way you like! Don’t get pressured into joining a million clubs and ultimately finding it hard to stick to one. I started with just one club and now my extra-curriculars/co-curriculars take up a big chunk of my semesters, but of course, I don’t mind it because I am passionate about every one of them.