Maria Han is a rising senior at Rutgers University double-majoring in Psychology and Sociology. After receiving a package in the mail about Project L/EARN, she thought that the program would be a very good opportunity for her. As a first-generation college student, Maria believed having a mentor would be best for her to have proper guidance and advice on graduate school and life after college. The best thing about Project L/EARN for her is the support system of her cohort members and instructional staff who were always ready to alleviate any impending stress.
Maria found keeping on track and waking up early the most challenging aspects of Project L/EARN. Though anxious about her presentation, she believes the experience is very much worth it. She has hopes to become a clinical psychologist in the future. Project L/EARN has helped Maria realize her ability to do research. She says, “My perspective of research has definitely changed! I was never particularly interested in research because I personally thought it was too much work and I abhor writing papers; but the breakdown of this program made it possible.” After her experience this summer and realizing research could be fun, she is now considering both applied psychology and research.
This summer, Maria worked with her mentor Dr. Edward Selby on a project exploring how grit and distress tolerance are associated with depression. Maria describes her mentor as very laid back and appreciates his constructive criticism and patience in answering questions thoroughly. In encouragement to future interns, Maria says, “Don’t get too stressed over the workload. Stressing is unnecessary because it takes away from the time you could spend being productive. Also, make sure to have fun with your cohort and have each other’s backs when needed!”