October 2, 2020, by khyx2lyn

Journey Through The Years: Harini

I cannot believe how quickly three years have passed since I first came to UNMC. I still remember how excited and nervous I was trying to find the induction room on my first day, meeting my new friends for the very first time. Sometimes it even feels like I still am in Dr Alex’s Cognitive Psych 1 class. The School of Psychology has been my home for the past three years, and I cherish every moment I have had here.

When I first got here, I knew next to nothing in psychology, let alone how to write essays or lab reports! I was intimidated by everyone in my class—they seemed to know so much from taking psychology in their high school. But the students here at UNM and my classmates were so kind and friendly, I went from having a grand total of 1 friend in high school to smiling and waving at almost the entire campus by the end of the first semester. I could find quirky friends at the most random of places—I met one of my close friends in year 1 social psych simply because we were asked to introduce ourselves to the person next to us and she told me she was a serial killer!

One of the most unforgettable memories I have of this place is the summer of our second year. A few of us were interning under our lecturers. I had the opportunity to intern with Dr Miflah. We had the best time ever! After practically claiming the CSL as our territory, we’d spend nights gossiping about everything, watching movies and having pizza parties (shh don’t tell Dr Steve J and Dr Jess) while drowning in papers for journal club and trying to ‘figure it out’ in the daytime. The CSL whiteboard bore proof of our very frequent breakdowns.

The project I was working on required us to collect data from the Orang Asli population in the middle of a forest reserve in Perak. This meant I had to sit through many hours with my tutor on the drive to Perak—and that was just the beginning of it! Initially, it was super awkward. But after listening to Dr Miflah do an entire carpool karaoke (no one believed me about his secret singing skills until the anniversary dinner), I got quite comfortable and had the most amazing internship experience ever! Not a lot of people can say they took a field trip to the forest to collect data for psychology. Jokes aside, I am one of the luckiest people in my class to have the opportunity to work with him. Because it was during this internship, in the middle of that forest, that I found my love for research.

I could go on and on about all the wild things that I got to experience as a student here. It’s no surprise we are frequently voted the best school. Although I would’ve loved a better ending to my degree than be right smack in the middle of a pandemic, I would not trade this experience for the world. While my parents got to brag (mostly lie) about the mountains and rivers they crossed to get to school, I get to brag about surviving two floods, a fire (though I wasn’t there, it still happened on campus), two trips to the forest, and a global pandemic just to get a degree!

Okay, I don’t know how to conclude this thing, and frankly, no one probably made it this far into my rambling. Vartika said I could write a message for my class, so here goes.

*Cue Oscar music*

I want to thank all my dearest lecturers and the resilient class of 2020 for being a part of this unforgettable journey with me. To all my friends and classmates, though we did not have the 20-20 vision we were all expected to have, (ten of us did have Active Vision, and that was quite nerve-wracking) we’ve somehow made it! I really hope to see you all at graduation, and I wish you the very best for everything that is to come your way. Not that I have any doubts about you—I know that we have what it takes to survive ANYTHING.

Article by Harini Sankar

Posted in alumnibloggraduatestudent lifeundergraduate