#SoCaltech: Melissa Gutierrez


"Having been here for a few years, I know it’s not easy for anyone. But during my first term, I was really intimidated and still under the impression that everyone was a lot smarter than me, and that I was the only one having a hard time. But then, in my sophomore year, I was taking organic chemistry. It was said to be a really hard series, but I actually felt like I was doing well. And I was doing it on my own, studying on my own. When I got my final grade, I felt like that was a breakthrough. I thought, 'OK. I am more than capable of handling the work here. I made the right choice.' Through it all, running has been a really big stress reliever. I noticed that the times I gave it up were the times when I was having even more trouble with school and focusing and just feeling good. Running is kind of how I stay sane."

Melissa Gutierrez, of Pico Rivera, California, is a junior in geochemistry and a member of Caltech's cross-country team.

#SoCaltech is an occasional series celebrating the diverse individuals who give Caltech its spirit of excellence, ambition, and ingenuity. Know someone we should profile? Send nominations to magazine@caltech.edu. #ActivateTalent