The Pursuit of Happiness
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…
Stress Mechanics for Graduate Students
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…
Wasting My Degree
“She’s worried you’ll waste your degree.” My friend (let’s call her Anna) relays this message to me as coming from another friend, but I can tell from her tone of…
The Right Choice for the Wrong Reasons
“There’s no wrong choice.” This was an oft-stated sentence from my friends and family when I was deciding between graduate programs. And okay, sure, when you have the option to…
How Not to Die Alone
This is an account of how three grad students came to befriend a cat at MIT.   Year 1 B.C. (Before the Cat) Grad school can be an isolating experience…
A Perfect Campus Tour
I have been at MIT for almost two and a half years, and during this time I have repeatedly been asked to give campus tours to visiting friends and family.…
Unscrambling a Scrambled Egg
“We are pleased to offer you a spot for the HST MEMP program for Fall 2018….” I freeze while my brain works very hard to process multiple emotions and thoughts.…
At MIT, New York City Is in Your Backyard
It was a Friday at 10:30am, and I was behind schedule to catch my bus to New York City. I rushed from the Red Line T stop at South Station…
Pottery before P-Sets
I wouldn’t really call myself a pottery guy. Don’t get me wrong… I can appreciate a good bowl every once in a while, and some of those vases can really…
Embrace rather than Escape
There is a saying in Chinese: “It is better to travel ten thousand miles than to read ten thousand books.” Embracing this old saying, I started my four-year undergrad journey…
Nature and Nurture
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…
Subtle Scandals
My first experience with academic misinformation occurred during my junior year of college. In my final project for my engineering ethics course, my group found that the EPA’s initial report…
How My Wife Stole My Car in Massachusetts
When we moved from Arizona to Massachusetts, my wife graciously offered to take care of registering our car, letting me focus on starting classes at MIT. If someone offers to…
The Grad School Cha-Cha
“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…
Tell Us What to Blog About!
Dear Reader, We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about funny, impactful, and day-to-day graduate life experiences at MIT. However, we are sure that you would like to hear more! If you…
Downsizing Our Footprint
You may have seen the recent film Downsizing, reveling in the antics of Matt Damon as he navigates life as a shrunken 5-inch man.  Despite the humor of the film’s…
Midnight Showers
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…
Have something to say or share? Then blog about it!
Hi MIT Grads! The MIT Graduate Admissions Blog is excited to announce its third IAP workshop on blog writing. In brief, Attend a 3-day blogging workshop: January 15, 17, and 22 from…
How to Combat Homesickness
It’s a small thing, ordering a coffee. Most of us do it, in some cases several times a day (or more likely several times an hour if you’re a grad…
Celebrating Science Outside the Lab
The cult of contagious scientific curiosity is something I’ve totally loved about MIT ever since I’ve stepped on campus as a starry-eyed prospective undergrad during Campus Preview Weekend (CPW). My…
Curiouser and Curiouser…
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…
You Are Not Alone OR I Am Here
At this time two years ago, I was considering not applying to graduate school.   That is not to say I did not want to go to graduate school. On…
Tuning out the Noise
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…
Boston Left?
During my first experience driving in Boston I was waiting at an intersection on campus (Vassar and Mass Ave), my co-pilot, a fellow grad student, turned and said to me:…
Finding Belonging through Community
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…
Moving to Boston with a Dog
When I was first considering accepting MIT’s offer of admission to a PhD program, one of my main concerns was finding housing for my family. I had heard that Boston’s…
Fighting Unfair Rules
When I got an offer to be a Graduate Resident Tutor (GRT),  a graduate student mentor who lives in an undergraduate dorm, I leapt across the hallway to exclaim to…
A Good Place to Nap
I was in the middle of a formal dinner with the Under Secretary of the US Department of Energy, when my cell phone signaled the Outlook notification: [70 AMHERST] FACILITIES…
Culture Goes Beyond Your Lab
When I started grad school, I met the other graduate students in the lab – most of whom, unlike me, had not gone to MIT for undergrad. We had conversations…
Working from 0 to 1 instead of from n to n+1
After pondering for a long time whether I should choose an academic career, I started to rediscover the motivation that originally led me to become a scientist: asking new questions…
Are You Smart Enough to Be at MIT?
The Letter: It is mid-April. You receive an email from the MIT graduate office congratulating you on your admission to MIT. You are overjoyed. You tell your family and friends…
Staying Sane
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…
When It’s Hard to Talk
I walk into a meeting with my advisor. I’ve met him before, but this is our first meeting since I joined his lab. He is a leader in the field,…
Fiddling through Grad School
“Do you want to get lunch this weekend?” “Can we get dinner instead? I have a violin class in the afternoon.” You can do that as a grad student? Wow.…
Starting Over Summer
Out of school for a year, I was not sure if I could fit in classes, choosing a lab, doing research, and settling down in a new country all at…
Not a Contradiction
“You know,” my wife said, “For our kids, MIT won’t be this abstract place they hear about sometimes in the news. It’ll be home: where they learned to ride their…