Reflections from 2020
Ok. So 2020 wasn’t what we all expected it to be….
Many of my new year's resolutions/goals from last year involved traveling to different countries to spend time in nature and attending my favorite conferences in person. I couldn’t make those happen, but I’m still happy with the way that 2020 turned out. Instead of looking outwards, I took a lot more time working to work on my own personal growth and development as opposed to focusing on optimizing external metrics.
Top reflection topics from 2020
- Consistency over intensity — How to set better goals
- Live life in the present
- The small things matter
- Why is gratitude hard?
- Am I really an introvert?
- My experience with college essays
- “Innocence” is nothing less than a superpower
Some highlights from 2020 — not in any particular order
- Receiving a 10K grant from emergent ventures
- Submitting a project to Regeneron STS
- Working with a mentor at Illumina to build a very simplified replica of SpliceAI.
- Building my first deep technical project – an LSTM to repurpose molecules for COVID (naïve looking back but wouldn’t be here without it :)
- Interning at a Canadian AI in medicine startup working to apply reinforcement learning to design synthetically accessible small molecules
- Spending a full quarter trying to learn how I might be able to design RNA aptamers (these three dimensional folded RNA structures as biologics) against COVID. I talked to a bunch of scientists at Novartis, SomaLogic, UCSB, and may or may not have hopped on an email thread with George Church.
- Attending the Harvard-Stanford Drug Symposium. (Summary Twitter thread)
- Consulting for a childcare provider in Kenya (Kidogo)
- Doing a short but sweet podcasting experiment with a friend (got to interview people from the Doudna lab and Steven ten holder, founder at Acorn Biolabs)
- Joining a community called Biodojo. Meeting other passionate undergraduate students and high schoolers working in areas from stem cells to gene editing to cheminformatics. Leading two brainpods — one on protein engineering and the other on Alphafold 2.0.
- Giving talks at BostInno and General Assembly
- Going from 0 to 1 with my Twitter network.
- Binging Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations
- Spending real quality time with my family (not just binging movies with my family, as my younger self would have thought is quality family time) in our last Christmas before I leave home.
I wish everyone an eventful 2021, filled with personal growth, reflection, happiness, and learning.