Describe an “aha” moment where you felt transformed by a particular academic interaction or intellectual experience.

Read how a variety of BU students responded to the same question.

Describe an “aha” moment where you felt transformed by a particular academic interaction or intellectual experience.

Kevin Reiss, Class of 2022

Kevin’s Answer: The research I mentioned earlier was one of the biggest reasons I changed my major. It was a decent amount of computer engineering, which is what I thought I wanted to do, but after doing the research and reading a lot more about the physics, I realized I wanted to focus on the actual nitty-gritty of physics.

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Surya Pulukuri, Class of 2021

Surya’s Answer: I was taking courses in psychology, general chemistry, and biology. In all of my classes my professors were talking about vision. In psychology, we were learning how vision is processed as particles or waves of light that your brain interprets. In biology, we learn that certain cells in your eyes capture energy and change its form into information that your brain then processes with neurons. And in chemistry, we were learning about how different kinds of molecules in your eyes capture light in different ways, training your body to process the light. I had that moment of realization where by complete coincidence I was able to see that all my classes were talking about the same concept, but in different ways. And it’s just a very different understanding when you look at a subject through multiple lenses together. That’s definitely not something I would have discovered on my own.

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Emma Jacobson, Class of 2022

Emma’s Answer: I went to India the summer after my first year, and I interned at a five-star luxury hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. I lived there for nine weeks. I was doing a rotational internship, so I worked in food and beverage, housekeeping, and the front office. That internship made me realize that I did not want to work in hotels specifically. It was a fantastic internship, and I’m so grateful for the experience. The hotel industry is great and vital to tourism, but I just saw that my passion lay more in working with people who need help. I really wanted to make a difference on a larger scale. After my internship, I started taking Sargent courses and it was so interesting to learn about diseases and global health. Right now, I’m taking a class on special events where I’m planning a wedding, but I’m also taking a class on nutrition. Having both of those mindsets at the same time is really cool.

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Dena Ciampi, Class of 2022

Dena’s Answer: My study abroad summer in London with CGS. I loved my classes, especially social science, because we would read about WWII and then go explore London. The city’s countless museums and memorials brought history to life every time I stepped out the door. I left my social science discussions many times thinking how right in front of me there are connections to what we just talked about—the Zimbardo prison experiment, for example. Even though the experiment may only seem a historical event, the lessons we draw from it and its legacy live on today.  

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Brandy Moser, Class of 2021

Brandy’s Answer: I was a sophomore when I decided on a dual degree. People outside of BU would always say to me, “How is that going to work? How are these two degrees working together? What is your end goal?” So, my “aha” moment came when I was applying to grad schools and realized how everything that I pursued at BU was coming together. I’m going to the University of New Hampshire, and I was offered a TA position, full tuition, the opportunity for a master’s in nutrition, and also a dietetic certificate. But I will also be working with a professor who is doing research in nutrition and biochemistry nutrition. So, she is combining basically both of my two degrees. I saw that everything I had done at BU had interwoven itself into this amazing opportunity.

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Victoria Gonzales Canalle, Class of 2023

Victoria’s Answer: It was my writing class, Writing 120, a First-Year Writing Seminar. I wasn’t just writing mediocre things. I was actually writing pieces that people enjoyed reading, pieces that I could feel proud of. It felt really awesome because you could talk about your writing struggles, what you wanted to convey, what wasn’t working. I came out of that class a much better writer than when I came in. So I would say that the whole class was an “aha” moment for me, and that was just my first semester. It was a very revelatory class, for sure.

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