Sophomore Fall Semester at Tufts

Photo by Ante Hamersmit on Unsplash

🔴 Beware LONG post!


Looking back, I don’t think I achieved any of the goals I set out before the semester.

My body fat is definitely way above 15%. I stopped posting music demos/covers. I haven’t been reading or exercising consistently. I’m not an expert of Boston.

But, goals change. And as the semester went by, new priorities arose, and I shifted my focus accordingly.

In this post, I want to reflect by asking myself these questions:

  1. What went well / what I’m grateful for
  2. What didn’t go well
  3. What to improve

P.S. Personal information won’t be shared. Let’s value privacy. But, iykyk ;)

This is a long one, so let's begin! 

What went well

There’s quite a lot to be grateful for. Here’s all:

CS15 + Discrete Math

Dropping these two courses early this semester was one of the best decisions I made. Ended up taking CS20 Web Programming and learned so much more practical skills that’ll help me as a designer.

Some of my CS20 works 😎

Product Studio UX/Design Lead

As the UX/Design Lead, I got the opportunity to shape the club’s brand and identity! I also saw this club as my chance to break away from the traditional Tufts design bubble of transportation and medical devices. I’m definitely more interested in the tech and UX design side...

Glimpse into the Product Studio Style Guide 👀

Public Harmony guitar performance

Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I got to perform once at a Public Harmony concert! Honestly, that was one of the most heartwarming experiences I’ve had at Tufts. Everybody was SO nice and supportive!! I performed like i need you by keshi that day :))

keshi's songs are all so good 😭

Better World x Design Conference

Kind of surreal knowing that the last time I went to this conference was two years ago... Anyways, had a great time there and met up with high school friends I haven’t seen since graduation! :))

Beautiful scenery in Providence 😍

Engineering Psychology major

I declared my major! This semester, I solidified my passion for design and went ALL out on searching for design internships!

Engineering Psychology = fancy name for design 🙈

Networking Calls

Honestly, this was pretty mentally draining, especially because I’m an introvert (INJF).

I remember on my busiest week, I had ten calls. TEN.

This semester, I talked/connected with almost 60 designers / design managers through LinkedIn or cold email. Along the way, I met some amazing and kind designers that I will continue to keep in touch with! :)

A section of my long list... 😅

Call with Bryan Berger

Amongst all the calls I had, my second call with Bryan Berger was the most memorable one I had.

As the Senior Designer at Discord, Bryan is an expert in building design system. So when my PEGA spring internship interview was coming up, I asked for his advices on my take-home assignment about building a design system.

What was mind-blowing was that at one point, he literally shared his screen and showed me the entire Discord design system. It was real-life behind the scenes, and I was SO fascinated by what he showed me.

Sneak peek into Discord's design system! 🤩

Spring design internship offer

After a recruiter call, portfolio presentation, and take-home assignment + presentation, I got an offer for PEGA's spring design internship!

I worked SUPER hard for this one, and I’m so grateful that I got the position! 


Thanksgiving Break

Went to New York for thanksgiving break and stayed with my family friends! To be honest, all I can remember from the trip was that I ate A LOT. I guess the only bad part was that I had to work on take-home assignments for internship application during the break.

That sucked...

I definitely gained weight after break... 😫

Final round interviews for two amazing companies

Thanks to referrals, I got the opportunity to interview at Roblox and C3AI as a sophomore, and I finished their final round interviews before winter break!

I’ll likely get the results next week! #Fingerscrossed

All I need is just one yes... 🤞

TAST Dumpling Night

Dumpling Night was a great success! Though we couldn’t make dumplings ourselves this semester, we catered over 500 dumplings, and they were all out within 30 minutes!

I’m also pretty proud of the big dumpling props I made using cotton felt! Thank god they do look like dumplings, and people really liked them!

E-board members! 😆


Posted 11 posts this semester with a mix of Boston and NY cafes! It’s always a pleasant surprise to find good cafes in new places :))

Tbh lowkey still miss Taiwan cafes... 😥


I felt like all of my courses went relatively well this semester. There weren’t any course that took up a substantial amount of time. If I had to rank, I would say CS20 took me the most time, and Intro to Music Theory was the most challenging course out of the five I took.

Section of one of my compositions 🎵


I’m really glad that I made conscious efforts to continue chatting with my really good friends despite not being at the same school! I would literally track the time since our last call and follow up accordingly.


I’m pretty sure I commented on or liked every single SKRPresent IG post this semester! :)) Least I can do as a fan! Super glad I bought W.M.L’s first album, and can’t wait to go to 金陶獎 on 1/15!

What didn’t go so well

Of course, I did not have a perfect semester, so let's reflect on what didn't go so well...

sQ Audition

Yep, I sent in my audition video for Tufts sQ. As expected, I didn’t make the callback. But after learning about the insane time commitment, I’m actually quite glad I didn’t get in...

Internship Applications

Not gonna lie: Balancing out school work and internship applications was hard. I remember when I got rejected by Facebook after the recruiter call. Knowing that I didn’t make it to the actual interview round, that was kind of rough...


Joining Turbo during freshmen fall was one of the best things that happened to me in college.

But, there were simply too much things on my plate this semester, and I couldn’t handle the time commitment very well. Thus, I stopped going to TURBO after a few practices this semester.

It is unfortunate, but honestly I would have done the same given another chance.


I was definitely not in my best shape this semester. I pulled some all-nighters, didn’t really care about what I ate, and barely exercised.


Wait, but I saw this in your “What went well” section above?!

Well yes, I think I did a good job keeping touch with old friends, but not so much in terms of meeting new people.

Of course, I met some amazing people this semester and made new friends. But, sometimes sitting alone in my room at night or hanging out with my high school friends, I sometimes wonder

Am I limiting myself too much? Should I meet more people? Should I join more clubs / go to parties to meet new people?

These are some of the questions that linger in my head sometime. But for me, quality is always over quantity.

What to improve

Budgeting + Personal Finance

I did not track my spending this semester, and I ended up getting UberEats way too often...

Since I’ll start earning money next semester from my part time design internship, I REALLY need to start to up my personal finance game and even start investing! Have to be smart about money!


Definitely not a priority this semester, but I really need to start exercising...

After running this morning on the treadmill for 20 minutes at 6:45am, I was tired. But, I felt absolutely amazing knowing that I finished a workout this early.

I’m going to try to implement this into my days in spring semester for sure. Feel like I’m definitely favoring early morning workouts over late afternoon ones because I would end up not doing them...


Again, this was something I wanted to do, but just didn’t end up doing...

Going to slowly build up my reading habit this winter break, and hopefully will continue during spring semester!


Sitting in my quarantine hotel now, I still feel like this semester passed by extremely quickly.

If I were to give this semester a grade, I'll probably a relatively high one. Something like a 8/10. As my first semester back from gap year, honestly I had a good time and accomplished quite a lot! 

With a part time internship next semester, I'm definitely going to be busy. So I'm really hoping that next Monday/Tuesday I can get an offer from either Roblox or C3AI 😭 Really don't want to go through the time-consuming application and networking cycle again...

Anyways, glad to be back to Taiwan and more to come! :) 

🎉 And that's a wrap!

Thank you so much for reading :)

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