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Autumn 2021

Hello UW!
Nice to meet you!

My First Quarter at UW! How exciting!

It was also a bit terrifying but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

SciComm fun with H220A with Dr. O!
One of my favorite classes of ALL TIME!

If you don't know me, there are a couple of things that you'll understand really quickly just from looking at my phone/laptop/iPad wallpapers or my dorm room walls: I LOVE marine science. Specifically, I love communicating marine science. Dr. Oliver's class "storytelling in the Sciences" was a literal gift from the SciComm heavens, and I knew I had to take the course this quarter. For my first presentation, I united my love for marine science and design to create this final presentation titled "Robots, Luca, and Exploring the Ocean: Robots go Blub Blub". In this project, I described the challenges faced by biological oceanographers and marine biologists when it comes to deciphering the true birthplace of life as we know it. With all these challenges come innovative solutions, including ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles). This was one of the most engaging projects I've had in a long time, and I greatly appreciated the amount of flexibility Dr. O provided his students in this class. It was obvious he really cared about the things we found interesting, and it was especially clear that everyone presented on a topic that was of genuine interest to them.

Bringing them in with some Boulders!
Meeting my online co-workers at UW and indoctrinating them into the wonderful world of bouldering

Over the summer, I worked with a Sustainability Education Organization called Sustainability Ambassadors. Serving as a Communications Fellow, I worked alongside a set of talented UW-bound individuals who would grow to be some of my closest friends. We often bonded over the silly circumstances of projects at work and bonded ESPECIALLY well over our collective complaints about some of the projects we took on as a group, but we got SO much done together. Since starting school here at UW, we finally met in person for the very first time within the first week of moving in, and my first plan of attack to greet my friends was to take them bouldering! Bouldering is a relatively new hobby for me, but incredibly addicting and volatile for newcomers. It was an amazing way to bond and let out all that pent-up work-related frustration with each other, and I think it was certainly a new hobby for all.

A Place to Call Home
Parents gone, Party's (not really) on!

One of the most liberating/defining events of this first quarter here at UW was the act of moving out of my house and into the dorms. Given that I only live about 6 minutes away from campus, I knew I was not going to be missing home because this was already home to me from the very beginning. Frankly, it was more of an adjustment for my parents than for me, but I enjoyed every moment of the process. From moving into my dorm room, to decorating the walls with my COUNTLESS posters, to tackling the dining hall foo. It was all a breath of fresh air after having such a stagnant life over the past 1.5 years of harsh quarantine. It was great to feel like I was being taken seriously, and the transition still hasn't settled for me yet. Attached to this text are a couple of photos that remind me of the place I've made here at UW with my roommate Ruth, and the little details that made our space a real place of comfort.


Fall Quarter Reflection

Looking back on Autumn 2021

As my first quarter at UW wraps up, there is so much to process, almost too much! I went into UW and Interdisciplinary honors with relatively loose expectations, and everything that has happened since my first day has surpassed all I anticipated. A huge part of me questioned my position in the IH program initially, and while I still have my doubts about my ability to follow through with all these requirements alongside my major/minor requirements, I've certainly gained some confidence in myself and my abilities because of the connections I've made with other honors students here at UW. I recognized how much students had on their plates, and heard about how they managed it all. It surprised me to hear about the amount of RSOs and informal events there are around UW, and how much some IH students could be involved despite their workloads.

One thing that I learned in Honors 100 that I want to investigate further is experiential learning. I feel like I already engage in multiple experience-based activities outside of academics here at UW, so I would love to figure out how they can translate into my IH requirements. Anything that can make my journey to filling all IH requirements as smooth as possible will be of great use to me down the line. The personal curriculum planning assignment put that fact into perspective for me, especially since I am already unable to follow much of that plan because of how badly winter quarter registration went. My hope is that I can take advantage of the little things that go my way when the rest falls apart. This is something that I'm reminded of on a daily basis here at UW.

Things don't go to plan. That's okay. It's life.

This is the first time in my life that I'm not getting "good" grades, and I like that I'm adjusting to the scale of college much faster than some of my other peers. I'm proud of myself and my ability to adapt to these new environments and understand that something going slightly awry is not going to end me. All I can do is try my best and listen to my own needs and preferences (especially when it comes to work environments) and develop the space, support system, and mindset that works best for me.

Of course, it's important to step out of your comfort zone as well. The majority of my time here at UW has been outside of my comfort zone. I know that old ways won't open new doors, so making sure that I give myself the opportunity to experiment is crucial with my time here. By the end of my first year with honors, I aim to have taken honors classes each quarter, and find satisfaction with all those classes. By the end of my time at UW, I hope to feel proud of myself about whatever degree I might end up pursuing, and be able to look back on my decisions over my time here at UW and think "that was the right choice, good job Samantha".

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