Living in Boston/Cambridge

Making kofta in an air fryer
“Dinner is ready!” The smells of tahini and allspice waft through my house, while plates and utensils clatter around the kitchen. My family meanders around the kitchen in hungry anticipation,…
MIT PE to the rescue! Yee-hah!
Standing in awe, I gazed at the most beautiful theme park I have ever seen in my life. My friend and I had just entered the Volcano Bay at Universal…
Christmas in September?
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…
I hear you
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…
To visit or not to visit?
The public health orders are clear: Stay. At. Home. Your mom’s voicemail is also clear: Visit. Me. Now. My family managed two fun and relaxing visits during the height of…
The lady and the grad
It all started in the warm month of May, with a raging pandemic and a lonely heart. My roommate Sandy had gone home and wouldn’t come back until the fall,…
On grieving from a distance
“Can you make a short video for 爷爷? Just a few lines to cheer him up.” I received this text from my mother on the evening of October 12, 2020. …
Touring colleges on foot
Coming from an undergraduate university located in a smaller city, I was used to living in an area with few nearby schools to compare to my own. In contrast, the…
If you want, add a jump
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…
Trying and failing to buy a house
We did everything right. My husband and I had excellent credit, did not have debt, and we always paid off our credit cards. We had plenty of money in our…
Crafting is engineering, music is math
I am a serial maker: as a child, I dove deep into a new creative obsession each year. With each medium I explored, my passion for making grew, and projects…
small silver slivers
It was dark. Like the smallest sliver of a crescent moon, my roommate’s face was barely illuminated by the flickering glow of the twenty-six candles before her. It was just…
How leaving MIT convinced me to stay
Industry or academia? It’s a question at the forefront of many MIT grad students’ minds. I first found myself at this crossroads at the end of my undergraduate career, unsure…
Have something to say or share? Then blog about it!
Hi MIT Grads! The MIT Graduate Admissions Blog is excited to announce its upcoming August workshop on blog writing. In brief, Attend a 2-day blogging workshop: August 23rd and August 26th, 1pm-3pm.…
What a poet taught me about sitting still
One year ago or so, many of us found ourselves suddenly with more time that we ever knew we had. With no commute, no social engagements, and little to do…
From procrastination to productivity
A few months after receiving the exciting news that I’d been admitted to MIT, I was informed that my semester of grad school would be fully online. Little did I…
The perfect recipe doesn’t exist
In March 2020, a breadmaking epidemic struck the world. Legions of Youtube gurus, bloggers, and social media users began posting their recipes and adventures in breadmaking, especially sourdough, the type…
Miss to Mrs. to Dr.
Congratulations! You’re engaged! Unfortunately, you’re a graduate student. People get married in all kinds of circumstances, but the graduate experience is unique, and you probably find yourself strapped for cash,…
All the good ideas are gone!
The MIT Biological Engineering (BE) interview weekend began with an introduction by the department’s chair. She gave a very motivating speech that ended with “this is the best time to…
Second time’s the charm
I remember driving down Massachusetts Avenue with my mom when I was 16. We were in New England on a family vacation, so she arranged a campus visit at MIT…
Born in the USA!
Well, the truth is, that’s all I was: just born in the USA. I’d never set foot on US soil since moving away at the young age of 3 months,…
The right roomie for you
My freshman year of college, I lived in a dorm with five other girls and one bathroom. It could have been a disaster, but by a stroke of luck we…
Experimenting with love
As far as bad dates went, this one was catastrophic. My date (we’ll call him “Brad”) was drunk, not just on his own ego, but also quite literally drunk. Though…
PhD parenting in a pandemic
When I first heard about SARS-CoV-2, my wife and I had just flown back to the U.S. from visiting her family in China. She was already in her second trimester…
Routine in chaos
About a month into my first semester at MIT, I found myself sitting on my couch at 4pm, still in my pajamas I’d been wearing all day, working on a…
When is the best time to start graduate school?
I’ve technically had two “first days” of graduate school. The first one was in September 2012. Fresh out of undergraduate, I arrived that fall semester at MIT – completely burned…
Mayan, what else?
I was tired. My first semester at MIT was tougher than I had expected. I still have vivid memories of that defining evening of November. I was making my way…
Hunting for what we lost
It is a unique feeling to be having such a fantastic time that you make yourself hopelessly, achingly sad.  During the Independent Activities Period (IAP) this past January, the annual…
Pandemic pupils
Going to graduate school anywhere can be a form of culture shock. Often, the transition is from cosmopolitan to erudite and razor-focused, or team-based and casual to more isolated. But…
Launching into the new year
Though I’ve been called a space nerd and a rocket scientist before, I’ve never felt that I never really earned that title. After all, I’ve never witnessed a live rocket…
Fostering success
Over the course of the fall semester, places in the US underwent varying stages of lockdown in hopes of slowing the spread of coronavirus. My hometown had some of the…
A food scientist’s views on instant foods
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “instant”?  How about “instant foods”?  When it comes to food, people tend to relate instantaneity with unhealthy, “bad for you”, or processed.…
Getting closer to my “luck”
This is a story about an imperfect person finding her way towards incredible mentors and places. One day, I wish to hear your version of this story. 4 years ago,…
Join today, plan for tomorrow
Whether it’s IEEE, ASME, AIChE, APS, or a different acronym, you are probably familiar with your field’s specific professional society. I became a member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS)…
Grad student by day, standup comic by night
According to Psychology.com, Americans fear public speaking more than death. Personally, I’ve never been followed by an unknown man in an alley after dark and thought I bet he’s trying…
Does this make Epstein my boss?
MIT’s Money Mistakes Just as I was starting graduate school at MIT, my pride in coming here was tainted by a national scandal that made me think twice about sporting…