Youth: Meet Suruchi, a Harvard Graduate from Kansas

Interviewer: Shaurir Ramanujan; May 29, 2020

Interviewee: Suruchi Ramanujan, Harvard A.B. '20 in Molecular and Cellular Biology

Suruchi Ramanujan at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA (Suruchi Ramanujan).

What are your thoughts on virtual graduation and what were your immediate reactions?

It has its pluses and minuses. I enjoyed being able to sit on my couch and graduate and not have to bear whatever poor weather Boston throws at me. I also wish I could have graduated alongside my classmates and friends. When we were first evacuating Harvard, my reaction was, "There is no way that this is going to last until graduation and there’s really no need for me to worry." I was sad about the virtual graduation but I understood why it was happening. One good thing Harvard did is they promised for us an in-person event later on, which is hopefully soon.

What have you been doing with your time since you left for break? Have you found any new hobbies?

Well, initially I had some school to finish, but I have been reading a lot and drawing a little but. I have also been cooking and baking, just as everyone else seems to be doing. I definitely think I have been enjoying having some down time to try new ideas.

"I definitely think I have been enjoying having some down time to try new ideas."

What are some new adaptations that medical schools have been doing in order to respond to COVID-19?

I know some medical schools have already declared that school will be virtual for the first semester at the very least. My medical school has not made any changes, but I assume that since they are used to doing a lot of virtual work that there will be a lot of online classes. I know some people who are in their first couple of years of medical school, which do not involve going into the clinic, and they are instead having online courses.

Suruchi recently graduated from Harvard College in 2020 and is on her way to medical school (2U).

Do you think that the curriculum will change at all, as a result of COVID-19?

I definitely think that there will be at least part of a module dedicated to COVID-19, given that this pandemic has created very unique circumstances. Also, for my particular medical school, there is an exercise for incoming students asking how they would respond to a pandemic, epidemic, or an emergency disease setting; I would assume that a lot of other schools will adopt similar exercises when we return.

Do you have any advice for incoming students currently affected by COVID-19 that you wish you had known going into this experience?

I think this is definitely a time to adapt and recognize what privileges you have and how you can go out of your way to help other people who may not have similar privileges. To elaborate, I think most people who want to go into medicine know that it is a profession that emphasizes serving others around them, and I think the coronavirus has made ways obvious in which some populations have more opportunities than others. So, I think recognizing how much still needs to be improved in the medical world is very important.