Dear Austin, Texas,
The past 4 years have been wonderful to us. They were filled with joys, change and professional as well as personal development, and I wouldn’t change these years in any way.
While I adore my time in Austin, it was scary at first. I was a teenager coming to a new city and attending UT-Austin when I moved into the dorm Jester West. I knew few people at UT, and as a student on a campus of over 45000 other students, I felt my individuality was getting swallowed up by the sheer size of UT. This fear was very real to me; however, I am grateful for it – it pushed me to create myself and in the way I wanted to do it. I explored avenues of personal creativity; I decided for myself what I truly enjoy; and I actively sought who I wanted to be. I am so happy for who I’ve become through Austin.
In Gregory Gymnasium, basketball became much more than a way for cardio and good times with close friends. Little did I know that I would become known as *that* skinny, tall guy who (sometimes) can shoot three-pointers well. The amount of self-expression and genuine fun I had through basketball was unforeseen, yet they were so worth it. I’ll always appreciate those basketball memories from just learning how to play the game to becoming an Intramural Champion (shoutout to APS lol)!
In the research lab, I started out as a wide-eyed freshman scared to touch almost anything in a fumehood, let alone approach one. Although slowly, these 3.5 years in the lab were filled with some of the best intellectual growth I’ve had, both academically and personally. I learned how to think like a scientist and developed a scientifically-driven mindset that helps me not only address but also solve obstacles. But my time in research had more more to it than only science. I befriended some of the most interesting people I’ve met in my life. From Spain to Korea, I was mentored by scientists from all over the globe; through these individuals, I learned that science can only be as effective as the people behind it. I will be thankful for all the knowledge they imparted onto me.
Last but not least, I wouldn’t be where I am without my friends and loved ones. To all the friends I’ve had in Austin, thank you for sharing good times and for challenging me to be better in any and every way. We all became better versions of ourselves, and of course, we had some awesome food in Austin. And to Annie, you’ve given me the best memories (and food) I’ve ever had and not just in Austin, but also Portland and Boston and life. I love you and here’s to many more memories 🍻🥂!
But now it’s time to say I will be leaving Austin to attend medical school in Houston! Austin will forever hold a special place in my heart, and I am excited for what’s to come in Houston, especially the food 😏.
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