Blogs: By Author

I Want to Be a Ballerina When I Grow Up

Don’t let your dreams die in grad school

MAR 2020
It was an average Wednesday. I rolled out of bed at 7:30AM, turned on Spotify’s “Monday Motivation” playlist and tried to let the cheerful pop seep into my bones.  Everything’s looking up now! How could you not believe him when he sings so convincingly? I swayed to the music as my routine swung me...

If Something Feels Wrong, Speak Up

How I used my story to advocate for grad students

FEB 2020
This post is part of a special issue: "Mental Health Matters: Asking for Help & Reaching Out". My first year of grad school at MIT was no piece of cake. I struggled to understand what was going on in lab, classes felt like...

Ivy League Entitlement

How not to date at a high-profile school

SEP 2019
“No.” I said. “I don’t want to.” I was standing on the street in front of a man in a suit. That man (let’s call him Ryan) was frantically trying to usher me into his apartment building. He held the door wide open, incredulous that I wouldn’t do what he wanted. “It’s not that big of a deal! Let’s...

Fated Friends

Human interaction at MIT

AUG 2019
Walking into my MIT dorm for the first time, I itched to meet my peers. Although MIT students are known for being nerdy, I figured grad students (myself included) already went through a social awakening in undergrad. Making friends would be a piece of cake. I rounded the corner on the way to...


What a scientist should look like

JUN 2019
"Let us choose for ourselves our path in life, and let us try to strew that path with flowers." – Emilie du Chatelet, Physicist I love dresses and bows, face masks and makeup. When I get ready for a day in lab, I avoid it all...


Feeling at MIT

APR 2019
My dead dad emailed me today. I was sitting in a shared office along with a postdoc when I saw my dad’s name pop into my inbox. My breath caught in my throat. Is this a message from beyond? A beat passed. I clicked. I was sure the note was written by my dad. Alyssa, You have written this almost...

Nature and Nurture

Living and learning through the MIT Outing Club

MAR 2019
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...