April '23: the peacock and the tree
Explore mode on
What did you get done this month, Sofia?
Exploring new stuff: in my free time, I read and summarized papers in protein folding, watched lectures on bioelectricity, and learned the basics of programming in React. At the lab, I’ve mainly been playing with BLAST, which is lots of fun. Yes, I’m in explore mode. More on that in the reflection.
Visiting BOS/Cambridge for the first time: I was mainly a biotech-enthusiast tourist, getting a vibe of the city and seeing some labs and research institutes from the outside 🥲. Shoutout to Michael Trinh for showing me around Kendall Square! This reassured my belief that it’s the people and not the buildings who make cities like these.
‘Dating’ potential cofounders to solve for agriculture: if only there was a Tinder for this too… kidding! I’ve met some people but so far the best have been warm-intro’ed. Do you know of any cool folks interested in plants/agriculture? 👀
What I want
I’ve been thinking of underlying desires: do I really want to go to Harvard for the sake of learning stuff there or am I just seeking prestige and safety? Do I truly want to understand physics or just impress others? Is it urgent for me to start a company or am I doing it out of fear of being left behind?
I’m not evaluating whether these are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ things but I think it’s important to understand these drivers so we do more of what makes us happy. If I look back to the times when I’ve been deeply fulfilled, I can easily notice that the pattern has nothing to do with being in a specific place or working on a specific topic, but the simple and fulfilling act of creating and building things with and for people.
Now, you can tell that my reflections this year have strong tints of thoughts around college and life paths. Something I hadn’t shared publicly is that I started college at Tec de Monterrey in Mexico last year, first in my hometown, then in Monterrey. After my second unsurprisingly unsuccessful attempt to enter top US universities, I feel more free to share my adventures on that end too.
My first semester was by no means the sexy experience Americans show, mostly because I let myself become the worse version I’ve ever known. Today I’m incredibly grateful that to be in a bigger campus (thanks mom and dad!), where interning at a lab has allowed me to ultra-learn the practical stuff that I hadn’t had the chance to during the pandemic, plus meeting lots of more like-minded people.
“Sofia, in your last update you confidently stated your determination to build a cell ag company. What up with that?” I’m taking the cellular off the agriculture to solve for problems instead of solutions. While the means could change, the trunk is the same: to 10x agriculture through technology and entrepreneurship.
I’ve come to understand that this tree I’m seeding can and will grow many different, currently unimaginable branches that I’m no longer scared to step on. My happiness is now a function of actions instead of expectations. Rephrasing the ending of my last update, there’s no f*cking way that I cease to create. More on that next month, when the peacock has flown.