Sophie Smith

DREU Intern 2017


Experiences Throughout My Summer

Featuring some pictures at the bottom!

First Week:

I was having such a fun time when my mom was here and work hadn't technically started. But once she left, the reality of work and research and being alone in a big city kicked in. I never felt more free and the first Friday I was alone I went and explored the area around campus and had such a fun time. I was so exhausted by the end since I hadn't walked that much in a long time, nor had I experienced very many hills in my life either.

Second Week:

I was exhausted. Pure exhaustion. I don't know if it was from all the exercise or from working my brain more than it was used to or what. I couldn't hanndle how tired I was. By the end of the week I was pretty depressed from lack of friends too. It was a rough week until one of my friends from school called and we talked for hours. He is also in a city where he doesn't know very many people. Talking to him really upped my spirits about the whole thing.

Third Week:

I met a boy this week. It was fun, but like I was so distracted from work and really everything. But finally meeting someone here that I could talk to about something other than work really made me happy. I am just excited about exploring Pittsburgh and whatnot. I also started my Stained Glass Class so I could have more structure to my life here. It was actually super fun and I can't wait to go back. I also had a fun time with Lindsay this week. I think we're friends now.

Fourth Week:

The short time with the boy has ended, which has allowed me to focus on work more. However, I look forward to the things I have planned for myself more than work for sure. I went to the Zoo and the Aviary and they were so much fun. I am looking forward to the 4th of July to spend time with my family.

Fifth Week:

I had such a great time with my family over the long weekend. It was a much needed mental break and I got to eat something other than the two items of food I know how to cook. I am feeling pretty recharged which is awesome.

Sixth Week: 

This week was pretty blasé. I have since contracted  a cold which stinks. I am made some new friends in the program as well which really got me excited to hang out with people again. One of the girls I met is going to a concert with me at the end of the summer! I was scared I'd have to go alone to another concert but I don't have to now! Yay friendship. Also I finally got to see Fallingwater!

Seventh Week:

It's really started to hit me how soon the summer will end! I am starting to really look forward to going back to school. But now work has picked up dramatically and I'm still getting over my cold. It has been a real mixture of emotions this week for sure. I am treating myself to a massage this weekend to get all the stress out of my body.

Eighth Week:

I made some friends from the REU program finally! We had a really big weekend and when to the Andy Warhol, the Mattress Factory, Deuschtown music fest, the Polish arts fest, and had brunch together. I wish I had met these girls earlier and I would have done so much more! But oh well at least I met them and they are really nice and welcoming. They even invited me to go to New York with them this weekend! It's just been a really positive week all around.

Ninth Week:

I went to New York this weekend with some friends from the REU program! It was interesting to hang out with people for that long when you don't actually know them that well. I liked New York but defintely will only roadtrip with people I know. Overall, good experience, spent a lot of money but I had never been before so totally worth it.

Tenth Week:

This summer I really have learned so much about myself and what I need to survive and be happy. My experience was not all sunshine and rainbows, actually most of the time it was lonely and stressful. However, I really valued my time in Pittsburgh and at Carnegie Mellon. I know that having friends and social interaction is really important to me and I need to talk to people on a regular basis in order to stay sane. But I also learned that I can entertain myself and I am comfortable being alone with my own thoughts for extended periods of time. I originally thought this experience would be filled with fun and friendship but it was a struggle to find people I connected with on a deeper level the entire summer. Overall, it was a good experience for me to complete this program, but it wasn’t easy and it isn’t for the weak hearted. I am glad I was given this opportunity to learn more about myself and computer science.