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As my DukeEngage summer comes to a close, I am thinking forward about what comes next. Because I am planning to take the MCAT exam this next year, I will start studying for it now. In addition, I want to spend my time exploring hobbies that I am interested in while I have the time. For example, I am currently cooking for my family every couple days and getting better and better with each dish, and I recently began to learn American Sign Language through online videos. Furthermore, I have goals to learn how to paint or draw, gain more knowledge about skincare, and learn more languages (hopefully either Korean or Japanese) by the end of quarantine. Ambitious, I know, but I would be happy if I at least start one of these.

A large personal development that I experienced during DukeEngage was to be able to work from home, and even the comfort of my own room. At Duke, I would have to drag myself to the library or a common area so that I could fully concentrate on my work. I always needed to be around other working students so that I could find the motivation to also finish my assignments. Since we had transitioned into home life, it was even harder still to find the motivation to finish my work on my own. However, after sitting and working with my parents, I learned how to work in a more personal environment. Now, I am able to work hard in my room and finish my projects on time. If it weren’t for DukeEngage, I think I would be much less productive with my work and less used to working remotely/from home.

Although this is our last week of DukeEngage, I am not necessarily sad that it is over. I think I learned valuable lessons from my projects and also from remote volunteering, such as data analysis and collaboration. After eight weeks of working for our Chilean community partner, I am finally ready to move forward with the list of goals I have for myself this summer, both academic and personal.