The past, the present, and the future

The more I work with socioeconomic status (SES), the more I realize its importance and values. Not only does SES reflects people’s access to resources, but it also sets expectations for future social standings. Researchers believe that understanding one’s SES can lead to belongingness to specific groups and encourage individual development in the future (Destin & Richeson, 2017). But socioeconomic status is not unchangeable. Quite the opposite, it is something that changes throughout a lifetime. Thus, knowing where one stands initially can contribute to specific plans of how to improve one’s situation.

However, measuring SES is certainly time-consuming work—too much data to collect and too many aspects to consider. When I put “comprehensive measurement of SES” down on the application, I was expecting maybe five or ten more factors to look at, other than occupation, income, and education which are three standard variables to consider when it comes to the measurement of SES. But right now, we’re planning to pull at least five factors just from the census tract neighborhood economic characteristics, which are statistics of nations’ business and economy. During the summer, almost every day, I discovered a bit more about socioeconomic status—its complexity, its relevance to daily life, and how its measurement changes throughout the years. I love those discoveries because I would never know that marriage used to be a good indicator of SES. Still, since women nowadays are gaining more social rights, marriage has become weak at predicting a household’s status.

Moreover, without Brackenridge, I would not be able to share the same room with a group of young researchers who are ambitious and brilliant. Even sometimes, when I’m confused about the terminologies they used in conversations, I’m thrilled to gain more knowledge every time we meet on Tuesday. I think this summer got me more into research. Not only because I was working full-time in the lab and on my project, but also working and talking with my peers who are also passionate about research makes me wonder if the future could be just as good as this summer.

Now that Brackenridge is almost over, I really need to go on a vacation and a lot of rest. My friend and I are going to a music festival later this August, and I couldn’t wait to catch up with her. Academically, I was looking for a new lab to volunteer in, if possible, or internship opportunities for next semester. I also need to apply for the honor thesis before I leave for my vacation, so I hope that goes smoothly. Break, application and more application then I’ll be ready for the fall semester.

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