Blogs: How To...

The Breaking Point

And the slow path to recovery

May 2022
Brain and Cognitive Sciences
I got off the escalator and stepped onto the platform. Three minutes until the train, eighteen minutes until I get to MIT, twenty minutes until my meeting. My breath was a bit fast: I’d been walking briskly. Suddenly, my chest tightened, and no more air could get in. My first reaction wasn’t fear...

Tomatoes, Parmesan, Bread…Oh, My!

A No-Knead Focaccia Recipe

April 2022
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
Focaccia – Your favorite (or soon to be favorite) dimpled bread that seems to have taken the world by storm recently. For those who haven’t heard of it, focaccia is a type of Italian oven-baked bread famous for its distinctive dimpled crust. It can be served in many ways, but my personal favorite...

3 Things I did as an International Graduate Student This Summer

And three that I wish I had devoted more time to.

Jan 2022
Comparative Media Studies
When I was accepted to the Master of Science (M.S). in Comparative Media Studies last summer, I had very specific goals of how I wanted to spend the next two years of my life in Boston: conducting ethnographic research, volunteering in several organizations, networking, and learning how to sail...

Nurturing yourself by nurturing some greens

How growing an indoor vegetable garden from scratch became a life-affirming engineering project during the COVID lockdowns

Dec 2021
Chemical Engineering
Grad student life is filled with significant transitions like qualification exams, new roommates, selecting PIs and committee members, and more. But the uncertainties of grad school life suddenly became much more prominent with COVID-19. As an experimentalist who does my research in a lab, I was...

A Graduate School Simulator

How playing Stardew Valley prepared me to move to MIT

Dec 2021
by Vik O.
Nuclear Science and Engineering
Stardew Valley, the hit indie farm simulator, consumed much of my senior spring. While writing my thesis and finishing my coursework, I needed an opportunity to relax and focus on ANYTHING other than my mounting deadlines. The game, playable across...

You have got to have a plan, and a planner!

Putting everything on the calendar makes life at MIT so much easier.

Dec 2021
System Design and Management
  Growing up in India   Growing up in a busy middle class household in India, my parents did not once ask about my grades. They would just pick my report card and glance over it annually at the parent-teacher meetings. That was it. This was in stark contrast to some parents who spent what seemed...

Finding your why

A good reason to go to grad school

Dec 2021
Nuclear Science and Engineering
I was about 19 years old when my friend and I made plans to bike 70 miles to a state park in our area, camp for the night, and take the train home. My parents were afraid that we would get hurt or lost, so they suggested that I shouldn’t go. I appreciated their caution, but it dawned on me that it...

I Hear You

How I learned to listen in grad school

Nov 2021
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
ME: "...I don't want to talk about plans. Working inside the lab building feels depressing." MOM: "Maybe you can talk to the department chair about finding a new advisor? That shouldn't be difficult." ME: "Mom, could you stop telling me what to do? I feel really overwhelmed right now" MOM: "I'm not...

Christmas in September?

You can’t buy happiness, but sometimes you can find it for free in your neighbor’s trash

Nov 2021
Chemical Engineering
There’s an old saying, “you can’t take it with you.” It’s mainly used to caution people against overvaluing money or material possessions because you can’t take them  with you when you die. In Boston, the saying could be “you can’t take it with you when you move.” People around here are very...

If you want, add a jump

My rewarding journey of becoming a group kickboxing instructor at MIT

Sept 2021
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
How do you build yourself back up when life gets hard? Some of my friends find comfort in creating art, some in hiking, while some in building relationships. Since I came to MIT, I have found my charging station and creativite outlet in kickboxing. At the beginning of my PhD, I picked up the habit...