The past few weeks, I’ve been wrapped up in applying for research positions for this summer (commonly known in the college world as “Research Experiences for Undergraduates,” or REUs). The process was pretty tedious, but it was also exciting to think about all the possibilities of experiences I could participate in this summer.
For me, the worst part was asking two of my professors to write letters of reference… I hate asking people to do things for me, especially people I’m not very close to. But beyond that, my references both essentially asked me to bug them about writing the letters so I could meet my deadlines. Not only did I have to ask them to take the time out of their busy lives to write these letters, but I also had to remind them of it again and again, which was even more uncomfortable. However, it has proven to be completely, one-hundred-percent worth it.
This past weekend, my total list of programs that I had interest in was numbering about eight to ten… with only three of them completed. I was checking my email Saturday afternoon when I received an offer from Kansas State University concerning their Summer REU in Sustainable Bioenergy. I have since accepted their offer and I am so excited to be spending two months this summer in Kansas!
While most of my prospective research interests were in the mathematics field, the Sustainable Bioenergy program will have me focusing my studies on socioeconomic impacts, which ties closely to my other current major, Economics. K-State is located in the town of Manhattan, which they lovingly refer to as “The Little Apple.” Despite the fact that the Manhattan is relatively small, the campus is HUGE: more than two times the size of UB’s North Campus! It’s a research university with a big focus on engineering, so it sounds like it’s a lot like UB and I should feel very comfortable there.
I’m pretty nervous about being so far from home and my loved ones for such a long time, but I’ve handled college so this should be no problem at all! Plus, I know that it’s completely worth that little bit of homesickness that I’ll be dealing with. This is a great experience that I know I’ll not only learn a lot from, but really enjoy as well.
I’m sending lots of love!