“I’m Adam and I am in Dr. Ruikang (Ricky) Wang’s lab. The lab does OCT (optical coherence tomography) research. The goal of my  capstone is to design an image processing tool for the lab. After I graduate, I am going for a Ph.D at Purdue University because I want the freedom that a Ph.D. offers to choose what I research. I might go into academia afterwards.

I like to ice skate in my free time. My ice skating journey began way back in the winter anime season of 2017 when a certified fresh classic “Yuri on Ice!!!” came out. It was a good time, and then my good pal was like, “Hey, wanna take ice skating lessons with me?” and I was like, “Yeah dude, I love skating now,” and it’s been a wild journey ever since. I’m still terrible at it, but it’s fun. It’s a rollercoaster, dude, just like the show.

BioE is a tough major, but I would do it over again. There are some cool people in the department and I still like the material. BioE in general is still really neat. I may be jaded about school, but I still like science. This probably isn’t typical for students in this department, at least I hope it isn’t, but classes and schoolwork haven’t really been the biggest struggle of my college career.

Starting about three years ago, somewhere between freshman and sophomore year, my mental health started to steadily get worse. At first I just thought I was getting more and more lazy and that not having the energy or willpower for anything was normal. From there it only got worse, but it was something I didn’t recognize at all. I thought that was just how I was as a person, as opposed to it being a real, treatable problem. When I was growing up,  things like depression and anxiety were really never talked about or seriously addressed. People just tried to ignore it I guess, so that’s what I tried to do. It all came to a head over that summer when I became suicidal. It had to get that severe for me to finally accept that I had a problem. I’m doing a lot better now and have started to go to therapy. It’s nice to talk to someone about this stuff, because I don’t really discuss it with most people. It’s still not something I like being open about. Although bringing it up for this article kinda makes that a moot point. I don’t want people to suddenly become concerned about me because it’s kind of weird. Nothing’s different, I’m still a goofy kid who falls asleep in class sometimes and says dumb stuff; that’s the gist of my personality. I don’t even know if people would treat me differently, but it’s weird to think about.

I think the most important things I’ve learned in college have been to understand more about other people, the systems we live in and how to navigate life. Every once in a while, I try to comprehend how every person I see has a whole life that they’ve lived and that’s a strange perspective to try putting myself into. It’s overwhelming to think about the sheer magnitude of the experiences of everyone I walk by in a day.”