Harvard College ’11, in pursuit of a BA in Chemistry
It’s difficult to overstate the influence that attending PGSS had on my life; at the same time, it’s difficult to project how much more of an influence it may yet have–since, simply put, I’m still a kid. The best way to encapsulate the way that PGSS changed my life is to explain what I felt about my future before attending PGSS. It looked, in a word, bleak. I knew, subconsciously, that my greatest talents lay in science, that that was my calling. ButI looked around myself at school and noticed that the most compelling people I knew were in the humanities: in fact, many of my classmates in the sciences were intolerable. I faced a difficult decision: whether to pursue the sciences, and make the most out of my life, but surround myself with people I disliked, or to pursue the humanities, which comprise many noble vocations but none to which I’m best suited, and in so doing keep more enjoyable company.Before attending PGSS, I leaned towards the latter, and was quite sure that I would feel guilty about it for a long time. WIthin the first day of PGSS, I had realized just how false a dilemma I had posed myself: the best science students in the state were fantastic people to spend time with. I had found my calling. It seems inappropriate to ignore everything I discovered about the sciences, about how satisfying (and how hard!) research is, about other cultures and political beliefs (whether Philadelphian or ardent mainland Chinese), and about how to relate to people (I like to think I was as funny as I am now before I met David Shore, but then again, I’ve always liked to tell lies). But all that pales in comparison to the fact that I now know that I will find beautiful, enchanting people whatever field I pursue. Not only am I more comfortable in the sciences, I’m more comfortable in life. I can’t thank PGSS enough.