Taking a gap year from Harvard!

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Because of COVID-19, Harvard decided to plan for a completely online school year for sophomores and not invite us all back to campus. At the same time, I had the opportunity to extend my summer internship at Apple all the way through the year that I really enjoyed. As a result, I decided that it was a better choice to take a gap and spend my time at my internship instead of wasting one of only four years of college online without any social interactions — one of the main reasons I chose Harvard in the first place — which I hated for the second half of the Spring 2020 semester. So, I decided to take a gap, officially making me #Harvard2024!

During my gap, I did work as a Software Engineer Intern at Apple, as I mentioned previously, but here’s some of the other stuff I did during my gap!

  1. For the first semester of my gap, I was in my home in NY, but now I am living with my friends in an apartment near Harvard! Being on a gap really gives me the time to explore Cambridge and Boston (COVID safe) to a larger extent than I did while I was enrolled in classes and I am enjoying the area so much! Plus, there are so many people, gapping and enrolled, on and near campus, so I am getting to (again, COVID safe and social distanced) meet up with friends who I haven’t seen in a year. It feels so refreshing to finally have social in person interactions after so long!
  2. I started a podcast! (this really does deserve a whole post to itself lol definitely click the link and check it out)
  3. I wanted to learn about entrepreneurship and venture capital more, so I decided to join Pear VC as a venture fellow this year! It has been so much fun meeting the other fellows, talking to other student founders in the startup ecosystem, and generally learning about the sourcing, diligence, and platform aspects of VC firms. I have also loved learning about different startup spaces and figuring out what spaces I am especially bullish about. https://medium.com/@pearvc/meet-the-pear-fellows-of-2021-f9a0ffc5095d
  4. I’m learning how to invest my money! Starting off with Robinhood mainly, though I definitely want to move to a more legit platform at some point lol. I invested in Dogecoin before the huge spike (I invested the day before lol) at the end of January 2021, which is my biggest flex. I also invested in Bitcoin pretty early and as of right now, its doing well! I don’t want to jinx it, but it would be great if those trends continue into the future 🙂 I have also been experimenting with some ETFs, like clean energy ETFs for example, and I’m excited to see how those end up doing long term!
  5. I started getting interested in Marvel movies more! After WandaVision, I started to see all of the Marvel Movies that I haven’t seen before just because the series was so good that I wanted to see what else the MCU had to offer. I can now proudly say that I have watched all 4 Avengers movies at some point throughout my life! My favorite movie is probably Doctor Strange, and I’m REALLY EXCITED for the sequel to come out next year. It’s just unfortunate that Disney+ doesn’t have any of the newest Spiderman movies to binge because I love Tom Holland (Disney I hope you see this and fix this issue btw).
  6. I started really getting into Twitter and Twitter trends with spaces like VC/entrepreneurship, gaming, and just general news. The VC trends have kept me updated on general trends happening in the space, like the incredible interest of the Miami Mayor in bringing VC/Entrepreneurship to Miami. It has also led me to downloading and exploring apps like Clubhouse and Dispo and has taught me a lot about how some VCs build their brand.
  7. Gaming might deserve a separate point lol. I have been getting really into watching Twitch streams, even if I don’t play Minecraft lol. Karl Jacobs is probably my favorite streamer just because I love his personality (also love him in MrBeast content), but I also like Quackity, GeorgeNotFound, TommyInnit, and others as well. I included this in my Twitter bullet above because I’m mostly keeping up with gamers through their funny Twitter accounts more than Twitch haha. All things considered, gaming is a cool space that is growing, and I am also interested in the gaming space for entrepreneurship too 🙂
  8. Other stuff I do in my free time include working out (especially to Chloe Ting, Daisy Keech, and Alexis Ren!), going for walks, trying to bake and cook new recipes (banana bread chocolate chip muffins! meringue cookies! various egg and omelet recipes!), and slacking on TikTok lol (its kinda fascinating how well its algorithm works to give you curated content).

Wow, this list is longer than I thought! Some stuff more productive than others subjectively, but I was able to explore so much during my gap and really learn about what I am interested in, which I guess means that I have had a successful gap year! I say this to everyone I talk to, but its so nice to take a break from working on classwork and studying all the time since the workday has a hard stop once I am done for the day in the evening. After that, I have 5-6 hours to spend doing whatever I want, work-free, and I have my whole weekend to myself. It really allows me to explore side projects or other interests! Of course, all things do come to an end, and while I am so happy I made the right choice to gap, and would do it so many times over if I could go back, I do miss classes and am going to re-enroll in Harvard in the fall. That is a good thing though because it means that my gap year has been successful and has done its job in helping me truly understand my interests and preparing me to re-enroll in the fall, which I now feel fully ready to do.

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