Riya Kumar – Humans of TAMS

What was your old school like?

How would I describe it…? It was very competitive, a bit too competitive. People started basing their entire lives off of grades and whatnot. Imagine TAMS on steroids, especially when it came to the competitive environment. It wasn’t the best in that aspect. They had some pretty okay teachers, just maybe not when it came to science. I liked my friends there a lot, though! It was a nice place, just not the healthiest environment for me.

How do you feel about the semester coming to an end?

On one hand, I’m really excited to go home for an entire month. On the other hand, I’m going to miss being surrounded by the constant buzz of classes. At TAMS, it feels like you’re constantly occupied. There’s never really a free moment which is sort of bad, I guess, but I also don’t know what I’ll do with myself without having to go to class, do volunteering, and study. I don’t know how I’m going to occupy myself.

What has been the happiest moment of your life?

Meeting you * laughs *

I have a lot of years to my life. At TAMS, at least, since this is Humans of TAMS after all, I would say just the first week of school, you know? Meeting everyone was so exciting, I still couldn’t believe I was here. Even now sometimes I wonder if I’m actually at TAMS. It was so cool meeting everyone and people were so friendly! That wasn’t always the case at my old school, so it was really great to see that.

Tell us about your research!

Currently, I work in the sleep lab with Dr. Daniel Taylor. He also works with Kirti Veeramachaneni, another student at TAMS. It’s really interesting! Currently we’re looking at how influenza vaccines affect nurses and sleep patterns. Right now, we’re still in the phase of collecting data but things will get really interesting soon once we get that in. We’re finishing up interviews and whatnot. It’s a little more on the psychology side of things.

If you could choose any career right now, what would it be?

Well see, part of me wants to be a neurologist, but another small part of me wants to be a hobo. * laughs for like 30 seconds * In all seriousness, I want to be a neurologist. Probably not a neurosurgeon because I don’t think I’d be able to handle having a human life on my hands at the moment. However, I find it really fascinating how the brain works. Ever since I was small, I always had this fascination with how things work. That eventually transferred to how the brain works. One day I just work up and was like “How do I even move my fingers??”. That got me into the whole idea of how nerves work and how our entire biological system functions together. I think the brain is the best place to start with that. I also want to help people. It’s both scientific interest and a way to help people that’s more direct.

Do you want M&M’s? * hands M&M’s *

…. yes.


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