First Year Winter Break Highlights

The dynamic class of 2021 spent winter break taking part in some extremely fun activities. Five first years have decided to share their experiences with you! Read on to find out how they spent their winter break.

Liam Brennan Burke ’21


For the first part of winter break, I traveled back to Rochester, New York for the holidays. It was great to be home during this time because I had a chance to spend time with my three older siblings and my high school friends. Once the holidays were over and my two older siblings returned to work, I had the opportunity to travel to Thailand with my parents and older sister. In Thailand, we explored many ancient Buddhist temples, went snorkeling off the coast of Phuket, and went on a trek stay with a hill tribe family outside of Chiangmai. After an amazing two weeks in Thailand, I said goodbye to my family at the JFK Airport terminal, and began my journey back to CMC for the spring semester, rejuvenated and super excited!

Christine Chen ’21


Ahh… Morning glory. Okay, get your mind out of the gutter! It’s actually one of Vietnam’s most loved vegetable dishes, served with garlic and herbs, and offered from breakfast to dinner. Nevertheless, the delectable Vietnamese cuisine was merely a side attraction to what my two-week journey in Vietnam (through EnviroLab Asia) had to offer. Tasked to explore the intersection between the environment, rural vs urban living, and culture, this painfully short yet extremely eventful excursion led me to delve into the interdisciplinary aspects that affect the environment in Southeast Asia on a daily basis. I could not have asked for anything more than the bonding conversations that I had with my fellow EnviroLab student fellows and the warm-hearted locals that welcomed us into their homes.

Andria Chiu Tattersfield ’21


Over winter break I worked at a skate & snowboard shop, visited family and friends, snowboarded, and did a job shadow in Seattle at Mercer Consulting before coming to campus early for the Women in Physics conference held at Pomona and Mudd. The job shadow was a really eye-opening experience and I learned a lot about an industry I knew nothing about. I also got to go to a drag show with a friend for the first time afterward! The Women in Physics conference was an inspiring and empowering experience because I did not have a lot of role models for women in STEM before (Keck only has one female Physics professor). This experience made me feel like I can succeed in my field. Overall, my break was the right mix of relaxation and learning!

Daniel Hayon ’21


For my winter break, I spent a total of six days at home (Malibu, California) with friends and family. Then I hopped on a plane to Cabo with my parents and two sisters for a very beachy Christmas. Being Jewish, it didn't matter much anyway. Now let me tell you, six days at an all you can eat/drink resort is dangerous. I don't remember a minute where I didn't feel full, in fact, I gained 13 pounds in the process. Luckily, it didn't last long, and I spent the last 20 days of break here on campus for swim training camp. Five hours of practice a day and cooking healthy meals for yourself will whip you back into shape in no time. From team parties to swim traditions, training camp was the most amazing experience of my life. Swim team really knows how to make the best out of any situation. Sco'CMS! I can't wait for training camp next year, it truly made my winter break.

Walter Brostrom '21


Over Winter Break, I went home to Berkeley, California. My entire family—my parents and five siblings—were all home together for the first time in a year. We celebrated Christmas together with some of the other extended family. I also went skiing a few times up in Tahoe and went to a horse race on New Year's Eve. I got my wisdom teeth out. Overall, it was a great time being home for a while!