Blogs: Staying Sane

Getting FIT at MIT

How MIT makes it easy to accomplish your New Year’s fitness resolutions

MAR 2019
Civil and Environmental Engineering
“I’m going to get in shape this year!” “This time I’m serious about going to the gym.” “New year, new me.”   We’ve all said it. The start of a new calendar year — or a new academic year — brings with it sweeping declarations of change and audacious intentions for self-improvement. The first few...

The Pursuit of Happiness

Make today different from tomorrow

MAR 2019
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
Happiness is a strange thing. Take one of your glorious moments. Mine would probably be the day I learned I was joining MIT. It felt like I had just received my letter of admission to Hogwarts, from Dumbledore himself. I had worked so hard to get to that point, and for all I knew, it was the...

Stress Mechanics for Graduate Students

A highly rigorous investigation into the avoidance of cracking under strain

MAR 2019
Aeronautics and Astronautics
MIT is a crazy place, there’s no doubt about that. But just because you’re in a crazy place doesn’t mean that you’re crazy. During grad school, everyone has days (or weeks, or months…) where things might not be going so well. Maybe your classes are really intense, or the data you’re collecting...

Nature and Nurture

Living and learning through the MIT Outing Club

MAR 2019
Physics
My undergraduate research advisor gave me one piece of advice before I came to MIT: join the MIT Outing Club (MITOC). She gave no further explanation, but I figured she knew what she was talking about. She had completed her PhD at...

The Grad School Cha-Cha

Scientists and engineers dance too!

FEB 2019
Aeronautics and Astronautics
“Nope,” I told the girl I was dating in high school, “I don’t dance.” And I meant it. Or at least I thought I did until she broke up with me. My post-breakup energy simmered over the following months until – awkwardness and fear be damned – I added ballroom dancing to my schedule at Penn State. I’...

Midnight Showers

(Non)sensical schedule optimization

FEB 2019
Media Arts and Sciences
In undergrad, I had what my friends called an "absolutely insane" schedule. I followed it because I felt like there was not enough time in the day to get everything done and I had the luxury of a flexible routine as a student. Sunday through Friday, my day looked like this: 2:00—3:15 AM  //  Gym 3:...

Curiouser and Curiouser…

Why being at MIT is like being Alice in Wonderland

NOV 2018
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
On my first day of grad school. I drank a magic potion from the firehose! And there I went, down the rabbit hole… “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must...

Tuning out the Noise

My advice on learning to use challenging lab equipment

NOV 2018
Materials Science and Engineering
Have you ever looked at an instrument that a senior labmate is using - one of those behemoth installations that has a million glowing buttons and wires sticking out everywhere - and think to yourself, "There's no way I'll EVER learn how to use that"? That was what I thought when I saw a...

Finding Belonging through Community

Make the time to seek out familiar spaces

NOV 2018
Mechanical Engineering
There’s a common feeling that many incoming graduate students can attest to: I don’t belong here. MIT seems designed to keep us feeling this way, perhaps as motivation to work long hours, or perhaps to perpetuate its imposing reputation. It starts from the moment of acceptance. Elation and surprise...

Staying Sane

An insider’s view on underappreciated graduate struggles

OCT 2018
Chemistry
Brainstorming the challenges of an upcoming graduate school? Let me help. Soon after grad school kicked off I started hearing complaints from my classmates about how insanely intense the workload and expectations are. I, too,  started to feel a lot of pressure. Here I will share a few honest facts...