Blogs: Staying Sane

Fighting Depression

by Dongying S.
Chemical Engineering
“Who is she? Why does she look so sad?” It was a summer day in 2013. After lying in my bed and staring at the ceiling without doing anything for the entire day again, I finally got up. When I looked into the bathroom mirror, I saw my eyes filled with tears. What is worse, I could not recognize the...

5 Ways to Enrich Your Life in Grad School

by Sarah B.
In undergrad, I lost the journey for the destination. I came to college with blinders on. I was determined to focus 100% of my energy on academics and not let anything distract me from good grades. And, for better or worse, that is exactly what happened.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, I fell naturally...

Community Health

by Greg S.
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
This past October my wife lost a family member—someone who was very close to both of us. We quickly jumped on the first plane to California. I hastily composed an email to my advisor, letting him know that I would have to leave town for a few weeks. His message back was succinct—short enough to be...

Being a Muslim Woman at MIT

by Titan H.
Mechanical Engineering
On a sunny day last fall, I wanted to try cooking a typical Indonesian food called ‘rendang,’ a delicious spicy beef curry.  Figure 1. Rendang is best served with warm jasmine rice, shrimp crackers, and fresh cucumber. I left my apartment to go grocery shopping while catching Pokemon at the same...

Reaching the Summit

by Leigh Ann K.
Nuclear Science and Engineering
I saw the police car just a little too late. I looked at the speedometer, and unlike the rest of the morning when I’d been sticking to the speed limit, I’d somehow drifted up to over 80 mph. Sally, my friend and hiking buddy, murmurs, “Oh no,” as she sees the red and blue lights come on. I was...

PhD Student vs. PhD Candidate

by Alison L.
Science, Technology, and Society
Do you know the difference between a PhD student and a Ph.D. candidate? A candidate is someone who has fulfilled all the requirements for the degree except the dissertation. I’m a historian (see my earlier post about being a humanist...

How Can I Keep from Singing?

by German P.
Chemical Engineering
For me there is nothing more sublime than sharing one’s voice with fellow singers and creating beautiful chords and melodies. Singing has been among my favorite activities to take my mind off engineering and sequential thinking, and to explore my emotional and creative sides. I have been singing...

New Year's (Un)Resolutions

by Bianca D.
Media Arts and Sciences
In 2016, I made 18 New Year's resolutions (all of which I considered to be achievable. No comment here on how well I did with that particular challenge). For 2017, I’m sticking with five. Perhaps, though, they are better represented as (un)resolutions, as my core principle for this year is doing...

Not Just a Grad Student

by Alicia E.
Nuclear Science and Engineering
From the day I moved to MIT, I worried about whether I belonged here. Was I smart enough? Would I be able to handle the intense, rigorous workload? Would I be able to balance my work with my life, and take care of my physical, mental, and emotional health? Why did my department’s admissions...

How the Squirtle Spawn

by Kenny C.
Graduate student life is very busy, especially at MIT. No two days in the lab are the same. In my opinion, this is what makes science and being a student at MIT so exciting. There’s never a shortage of people making strides in their research. Some days I might be in the lab for 16 hours doing...