Feature Week – Purdue University: Rutva Shah

I quietly trudged back into my room for the night, hoping I wouldn’t wake up my roommate. Pretty much every day this week I stayed up past 2 a.m. and was up by 8:30 a.m. Anyone who knows me personally can attest that I sleep pretty much ALL the time, so this week was a little crazy for me.


Loeb Fountain

Monday morning, my classes started at 9:30 and were over by 12:30. Usually, right after my biology class is over, I hop over to the dining courts for a quick lunch. However, the weather was absolutely gorgeous so I decided to have a quick lunch (a crepe from Freshens in the Purdue Memorial Union) by the Loeb fountain instead! After I finished my lunch, I went back to my dorm at Third Street Suites and took a quick thirty-minute power nap. Once I was up, I went to the study room located on my floor right next to my dorm room and began my homework. Monday’s homework mostly just consisted of online calculus and inorganic chemistry; the assignments only took about three hours to complete. However, I was far from done with my daily studying. Because I plan to take the MCAT (an admissions test for medical school) next semester, I try to study approximately two to three hours additionally every day, and today was no exception. By the time I was done studying, it was around 5:30 p.m. This left me just enough time to get ready for a callout meeting (an informational meeting clubs have to recruit new members) for Purdue University’s chapter of the National American Medical Student Association. Because our president had a medical emergency, I was in charge of the callout today being the Vice President. The meeting, which had a decent turn out of about 30 students, was pretty short since we only ran over the PowerPoint and answered questions potential members had. After the meeting was over, I went to Windsor Dining Hall for dinner with a couple friends and then spent the rest of the night hanging out with them and studying for my biology exam on Thursday.


Hot chocolate and pasta from Windsor

Tuesday mornings start a little later than Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for me. I end up having class from 10:30-12:00 in the Armstrong Building and then a lab from 2:30-5:50 p.m. in the Brown Building. In between my classes, I go to either Windsor Dining Hall or Wiley Dining Hall for lunch and studying. After I’m done with my classes, I go back to my dorm for a short nap and then get ready for Model United Nation weekly meetings. Despite having a long day, I always look forward to our club meetings! We use the meetings to discuss important international policies and issues. It’s a great way to stay on top of what’s going on in the world and to also learn about the different perspectives associated with the issue. I believe it’s really important to find something you love to do and make time for it in your college schedule!



Purdue Model UN

In Tuesday’s meeting we debated about the North Korean Nuclear Crisis. Once the meeting was over, I stayed back for the board meeting as the secretary of the club. We discussed which external conferences to attend in the following semester and the logistics for our internal conference, Boiler MUN. By the time I got back to my room, it was about 10:30 PM. I spent the rest of the night finishing up by biochemistry homework, studying for my Biology exam on Thursday, and prepping for MCAT.

Wednesdays have the same class schedule as Monday so I was done pretty early. I ate lunch at Fiesta, a Mexican restaurant in the Purdue Memorial Union. I then ended up going to study for the rest of the day at Krach Leadership Center, a building that consists of offices and a bunch of study rooms right by my dorm. Afterwards, I went to a Purdue Fashion Show Model tryout.


Purdue’s Fashion Show 2015. Photo cred: Piamony Photography

I decided I wanted to be a model again for the show after I had a blast modeling in last year’s Purdue Fashion Show, an event for the apparel design major to show case the work of talented fashion designers at Purdue.  The tryout consisted of headshots, measurements, and being judged on a quick catwalk. While it sounds intimidating, it was actually really relaxed and a great way to branch out. Once the meeting was over, I went to dinner at Olive House, a quaint Mediterranean restaurant in Chauncey (kind of like a tiny downtown packed with restaurants for Purdue University). Later on, I went back to my dorm room and studied for the Biology exam on Thursday.


Dinner at Olive House

On Thursdays, I have a relatively similar schedule to Tuesday. Classes run from 10:30-12:00 and then I have recitation from 1:30-3:30. In between my classes, I went to the Purdue farmer’s market, which comes to Purdue every Thursday with freshly grown local produce, flowers, and home cooked meals on the Hello Walk. After my classes were over, a friend and I went and booked a study room at Krach Leadership Center to cram for the biology exam later that night. We pretty much holed ourselves up in the tiny room until the exam. We felt kind of nervous for the exam so we decided to skip dinner and keep studying. The exam was held in a big lecture hall in the Lily Science building, and even though the exam was allotted two hours, mostly everyone was done in an hour. While I was exhausted after the exam, I was so relieved to be done with the first exam of the semester. My roommate, who also had an exam earlier in the day, ate hummus and pita with me while we watched Ratatouille to celebrate.

img_6552Fridays are the same as Mondays and Wednesdays. After class, I came back to my dorm for a nap, responded to a couple emails, and then got lunch with a couple friends at Chipotle in Chauncey. After lunch, I went back to my room to study for a Calculus exam on Monday (the cycle never ends) and then took the rest of the day off to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We took him out to the mall and then went to his favorite Italian restaurant, La Scala, for dinner. Once dinner was over, we went to our friends’ house to relax and hangout.

While a long week can be tiresome, the feeling you get reflecting back on everything you have accomplished is so worth it. Regardless of which university you go to, to make your college experience truly meaningful you have to put yourself out there and grasp all the opportunities available to you. And while this can be a little much at times, don’t be afraid of feeling overwhelmed—embrace it and discover what your potential is. From my experience, this is probably one of the most difficult, yet vital lessons college will teach you.


A spicy flower wrap I got at the Purdue farmer’s market


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