Staying Sane

Wait, there’s a fun scale?
As a statistics-loving graduate student, I am prone to quantifying everything. I have a tracking app for my running mileage, a separate one for my sleeping hours, and even a…
Reactivating
As a budding biologist, I am familiar with the way metaphor is employed to effectively communicate scientific concepts. For example, the molecule of the moment is messenger RNA, whose name…
3 things I did as an international graduate student this summer
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…
How my journey to the Philippines brought me to MIT
During the summer of 2019, my mom and I visited the Philippines for our first-time to meet relatives and learn more about our heritage. To see as much of the…
The conflict and the privilege of MIT
The arrival It feels very strange to be writing this. I never thought I would be writing as a student at MIT but after a rollercoaster of events I was…
Whales of quals
This is my story of how I prioritized my mental health over qualifying exams. When I was studying for quals1, my phone kept autocorrecting quals to whales. I thought it…
Innovation and the daily grind
A life with daily grinds Over the last ten years, I remember working long hours on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), project finance deals, and operational issues without even realizing when…
Finding your why
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…
A graduate school simulator
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…
How I realized graduate school was the right choice for me
The best realizations really do come in the bathroom. I was washing my hands in the sink when I heard the bathroom door shut as another girl entered. If you…
Escape MIT for a weekend
What will you do if you have a weekend free? Netflix? Video games? How about getting out of your (dorm) room and travelling to another state? During my undergraduate study,…
Nurturing yourself by nurturing some greens
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…
You have got to have a plan, and a planner!
  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…
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,…
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…
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…
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,…
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…
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…
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. …
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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.…
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,…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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,…
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…
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…