Blogs: Why I Came

My Journey Home

How I Came to Love Cambridge

Jun 2020
Mechanical Engineering
I am a California girl. I love walks on the beach, wearing shorts in January, cultural acceptance of athleisure wear as commonplace dress, and every restaurant having a vegetarian option. As a result, moving to almost the furthest state possible for at least half a decade came with some concerns....


We have to do it!

Jun 2020
Linguistics and Philosophy
For thousands of years, Inuit women celebrated womanhood and rites of passage by giving and receiving traditional markings. Two years ago, I received my tavluġun (chin tattoo) through a traditional Inuit hand poke method, where a needle is dipped into ink and then poked into the skin. Part of the...

My Year in the Wild

Why I Chose to Go into Industry Before Pursuing Grad School

MAY 2020
Aeronautics and Astronautics
Once I realized I wanted to be a professor, grad school felt inevitable. It was a question of when I wanted to spend at least five more years in school, not if I was going to do so. I spent my last couple years of college deliberating whether I was going to apply to graduate programs for aerospace...

Letters to a Not-So-Young-Anymore Grad School Applicant

Reflections during critical moments

MAY 2020
Urban Studies and Planning
Now that I am close to graduating with a masters degree in City Planning, I’m reflecting on how I’ve grown in the past two years. It was a year before that, in the summer of 2017, when I decided to apply to grad school. By that time I had worked for five years at several architecture firms. I felt...

What Business Does a Modeler Have at Sea?

Lessons learned from a research cruise

APR 2020
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
If you’re anything like me, then there is a good chance you have never even heard of a research cruise. That was about my (lack of) knowledge level until I started applying to graduate schools. Next thing I knew, I was a part of the incoming class for the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography/...

Where Computing Meets Brain Research

My first impression of the BCS Department at MIT

JAN 2020
by Yu X.
Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Three years ago, I first came to the U.S. for an international conference in Boston. As I passed through the MIT campus during a morning jog, I saw the beautiful sunrise on the Charles River. The sky was crystal clear and the great dome was golden brown. I was wondering how happy the students at...

Iñupiuraallaniptigun Uqausiptigun Maŋŋuqaqtugut

With our Iñupiaq language, we have an identity

JAN 2020
Linguistics and Philosophy
Aullaqisaaqta! Let’s begin! Iġñiġa Daał miluguuruq. My son Daał nurses often.  I once read somewhere that Karl Marx had to chain himself to a library desk in order to finish Das Kapital. You might wonder what Marx has to do with nursing? Well, more than you might imagine. Baby Daał’ feeding habits...

Taking the Plunge

Choosing Grad School over Industry

Nov 2019
Mechanical Engineering
Applying to grad school can feel like climbing a mountain.  We’ve all heard the analogy, but I’ve found that there’s very little advice on what to do once you’re at the top. After all the effort of making applications and getting in, the decision on what to do next can make you feel like you’re...

How I became an engineer overnight

From basic science to medical engineering

Nov 2019
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
Applying to graduate school is a nerve-wracking process. It’s a blanket of excitement that, when uncovered, reveals a flood of conflicting emotions--from wondering whether you are rushing and have no experience and should work for a few years to questioning your self-worth and doubting if you have...

A Techless Path To MIT

How I, an aspiring philosopher, wound up choosing the world’s most famous Tech school

OCT 2019
Linguistics and Philosophy
When people hear that I’ll be spending the next half decade at MIT, many seem to think I’ll be spending my days huddled over an intelligent robot plotting for the technological apocalypse. When people hear that I’ll be spending the next half decade — and, hopefully, a lifetime — studying philosophy...