Bioengineering as a Sophomore:

Well, summer is officially over and it’s time to get back into the swing of Lehigh. Classes have only been in session for a little over two weeks and yet those two weeks feel longer than my entire summer break. Probably because there are WAY more things going on here at campus then there were in my little beach town in New Jersey.

Over the summer I didn’t do anything bioengineering related, unfortunately. In stead I worked at a summer camp as a swim instructor and a life guard. Since this was my fourth summer at this job, I can safely say that I want to start pushing for a job more relevant to my future career. Working 40 hours with primarily children that are between the ages of 4 and 10 can be more draining then you would think.

The rest of my summer was mostly spent seeing my friends that I had missed during the school year and taking weekend trips to visit some of my college friends who lived closer to me. Overall, a fairly uneventful three months.

Since I moved back onto campus, though, my days have been jam-packed with everything that I love about Lehigh. Before the semester started up, I was lucky enough to work as an Orientation Leader and help out first year students start the transition into the Lehigh community. Although that was the ultimate result of my position, I accomplished so much more than that through the Orientation program. The OFYE does a fantastic job of picking students who represent the larger Lehigh community to be on staff – I met students from all areas of campus, from other Greek chapters to athletes to academic superstars to people who are overall just involved on campus. Being around and becoming such close friends with such a diverse group of people truly made me evaluate where I stood in the Lehigh community and how I wanted to impact it.

After Orientation ended, it was finally time to start up classes! My classes are definitely starting to become more challenging, but since they are about topics that I personally find interesting, I truly don’t mind doing most of the work for the classes. As a sophomore in the bioengineering program I am taking Mechanics of Engineering, Physics 21 (focusing on electricity and magnetism), 3D design (to potentially figure out if I want to start pursuing a design minor), and my first real introductory bioengineer class!

Since it has only been two weeks into classes, we haven’t delved too deep into the main coursework. I feel like a lot of my time is spent recalling things I have done in previous years and applying them to different areas. For example, in Bio lab last year we worked a lot with plasmids and filtration. At the time, I know I just sort of went through the motions without really thinking about how these basic lab-techniques were used on a larger scale. Today in bioengineering, we talked about how plasmids can be inserted into bacteria to clone DNA and further amplify it. We also talked in-depth about how insulin is created through a very copmlex process involving plasmids and certain filtration techniques such as Ion Exchange Chromotography that we touched briefly on in both my introductory biology class last year and in lab. I’m happy that many of the things that I have been learning in introductory class is finally being taught to me in terms of how applicable it is to the real world, more specifically in jobs that I may one day choose to pursue. It definitely makes me appreciate all the memorizing and studying that I did last year!

I am truly looking forward to this semester and all the things that the bioengineering program and Lehigh as a whole has to offer me.

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