As summer semester winds down to an end and students slowly begin to tackle one final exam after another, a different season gently approaches. No matter how stressful finals week may be, there is one thing that students look forward to, which makes the finish line so much more rewarding; summer break.
Some may spend it with family, friends, catching up on rest and relaxing, or going on daring adventures. Summer break can be devoted to anything a student desires. But making the absolute best of the break before fall semester begins is what matters most.
Amongst individuals who spent their summer exploring the outdoors, UC Merced student Miriam Gaytán dedicated her time participating as an intern at Yosemite National Park. By shadowing Ranger Chris Raines, Miriam and her partner Kevin Herrera were able to offer educational programs to children who visited the park.
Although backpacking over eight miles may have led to seriously sore legs the next morning, Miriam admits, “I chose to intern in Yosemite because I was not an outdoorsy person and I was scared of nature and being out in the wilderness.”
Ultimately, with this internship Miriam was not only able to confront her fears, but also to overcome them and gain experience that could benefit her career in the future.
In contrast to the outdoor adventures of Miriam, fellow UC Merced student Roya Pourmand had a completely different experience as the Chief of Staff for the ASUCM External Office.
Traveling from UC Irvine for the United States Student Association 67th Annual National Congress, to the University of California Student Association Congress in Oakland, CA, Roya was definitely kept on her toes this summer. Although having to sit through an 18-hour plenary may have been tiresome, it was worth it. Roya and other representatives were able to vote for what they believed UC Merced students want to see on a National level.
“These experiences were significant because I felt I could make a tangible impact in not only the USSA and UCSA, but eventually these changes could translate into large actions that Bobcats could feel,” explains Roya.
Like Miriam and Roya, many students have dedicated their summer time to take action in something that not only benefits themselves, but also others.
So, what have you been up to this summer?
Leave a comment, and let us know.
Jessica V. Garcia