Blogs: Living in Boston/Cambridge

Touring Colleges on Foot

A brief jog through some of Boston’s many universities

Sept 2021
Materials Science and Engineering
Coming from an undergraduate university located in a smaller city, I was used to living in an area with few nearby schools to compare to my own. In contrast, the Boston area is littered with colleges! In fact, Wikipedia cites that there are...

Trying and failing to buy a house

Why can’t grad students get a mortgage?

Sept 2021
Nuclear Science and Engineering
We did everything right. My husband and I had excellent credit, did not have debt, and we always paid off our credit cards. We had plenty of money in our savings account. We attended financial seminars and learned all the steps involved in buying a house. And yet, when we tried to buy a small,...

small silver slivers

finding the bright spots in a dark time

Aug 2021
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
It was dark. Like the smallest sliver of a crescent moon, my roommate’s face was barely illuminated by the flickering glow of the twenty-six candles before her. It was just enough to see her manage a smile, lean forward, and, in a plume of smoke, send us into darkness again. It wasn’t the birthday...

The Right Roomie For You

How asking the right questions can help you find your people

June 2021
MIT Sloan MBA Program
My freshman year of college, I lived in a dorm with five other girls and one bathroom. It could have been a disaster, but by a stroke of luck we lived together incredibly well. Not everyone had such a fortunate random draw—one friend from down the hall still talks about the “mold farm” her roommate...

Pandemic pupils

How Covid-19 has transformed my perspective on outreach and education

April 2021
MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography / Applied Ocean Science and Engineering
Going to graduate school anywhere can be a form of culture shock. Often, the transition is from cosmopolitan to erudite and razor-focused, or team-based and casual to more isolated. But moving to do graduate school in a northeastern city in the U.S. from somewhere more rural, such as southwestern...

New England-themed Reading List

Weathering this Winter with Literary Escapes

March 2021
Technology and Policy Program
First Impressions I grew up in southwestern China and Singapore, two sweltering hot places on Earth. In 2015, when I graduated from a college in Connecticut not too far from here, I decided that never again would I venture back to the New England climate and promptly moved to California. Well, fast...

A Journey through Time: Voyaging into Boston’s “Other” History

Personal Growth Outside of MIT

March 2021
Sloan School of Management
When you read the words “Boston” and “history,” what do you think of? For most folks, two events typically come to mind: 1) The Boston Tea Party, or 2) Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride (contrary to popular belief, he...

COVID-19 Elevates Incidence of Impostor Syndrome in 1st Year PhD Student

A virtual MIT student, by any other interface, still belongs here.

March 2021
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
“Please have your tracking number or a copy of this email and your MIT ID with you when you come to the Facilities Customer Service Center located in Building 7 Room 019. Keys may be picked up Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM excluding MIT holidays.” Great! Today was the day I would...

Be the [Climate] Change You Wish to See

Don’t underestimate the ripple effects of small changes

Feb 2021
Civil and Environmental Engineering
“What were they thinking?” That’s a common phrase we might say when we shake our heads at past generations for war, genocide, and slavery. As we eat our cheeseburgers in our air-conditioned cars while rolling past carefully manicured and fertilized lawns (otherwise called a...

Dousing First-Year Burnout

The importance of making MIT your home

Jan 2021
Nuclear Science and Engineering
“How was your first week, hon? Have you found any fun clubs to join? Are you making any friends?” Typical Mom, still thinking of me as a kid. I had just started a graduate program at MIT. I was joining a group of the world’s most elite scientists, and I certainly didn’t have time for the frivolous...