Like many others, I had an internship lined up for this summer which I was really excited for. Unfortunately, it was cancelled due to COVID-19. But, while pandemics don’t happen every so often, unforeseen circumstances arise all the time. So, the best thing I can do is make the most of the resulting situation and continue to learn and be productive over the course of this summer — which is what I would have done anyway.
So, what will I be doing this summer? Well, currently I’m continuing to hunt for any other internship opportunities that might be open. While having an internship with some structure would be great, it’s not something I can bet on doing this summer. As a result, I have to think of what else I can do.
The only thing with any sense of structure I do have is a research project I’ll be working on with a professor at my university. While the amount of structure it will provide is minimal, being able to talk to someone about my progress on a weekly basis is something that will definitely help me stay productive over the summer. Additionally, the project I will be working on is something I’m interested in and excited to do. If I work efficiently, I may even be able to produce a finished product and/or paper by the end of the summer, which would be great. But that remains to be seen.
The second research-oriented project I will be working on is continuing a paper I worked on with a friend of mine during this past semester. We built a system that actually did extractive summarization quite well and I think with a bit more work and research, I could push our results over the current best extractive system on the leaderboard that we were comparing our system to. This is one project I’m very much excited to do this summer.
After these two more solid projects, there are a host of other things I have been meaning to work on that I think I’ll finally be able to get to. First is finishing the idioms website I’ve been working on since my Freshman year. I have made a very poor version of the site in the past, but I think I have enough knowledge to make a much better site that can actually be used by people. Another website I want to finish is the Need It / Got It website I started working on during the Winter break. I have the very basic building blocks, but I still need to finish some features which will allow it to be used by others. Finally, I currently use Medium as my primary blog (along with another Wordpress blog) but I really want to make my own simple blog site where I can post much more regular updates both for myself and for anyone interested in seeing what I’m up to. I plan to make it an extension of my already made personal website which I also need to update and re-design.
Finally, some other side projects I can work on include a game inspired by this online multi-player game my friend showed me, a website for the summarization paper, and fleshing out the numerous ideas I have stored on my Google Keep.
Besides this, I want to get back to practicing my piano a lot more alongside playing my guitar. I have a bunch of pieces I want to learn so, I might as well do that now.
Finally, I’ll just say that this is one of the most uncertain summers I will likely ever experience. Up until March I was way more confident about my current and future prospects, but after losing my internship and not being able to join another structured program, I felt a lot less sure about what my future will look like. I’m sure many other students who are in my situation feel the same way. But, the best thing we can do is make productive use of the time we have this summer.
Phew, that’s a lot I just said there, but thanks for reading all of it! For my fellow CS students out there, I’ve been meaning to create a community for people doing projects at my university for a while now, and just as I was going to launch the first meeting, the world fell apart. But just because we can’t meet in person, doesn’t mean this kind of community can’t be created. In fact, now more than ever, I think it would be important to have a community like this. So, if you’re working on a project this summer, no matter how large and complex or small and simple it is, let me know if you’re interested in joining this community I’m making!
I haven’t made the monthly updates I planned to over the past few months, but keep a lookout for that post in about a weeks time. See you then!