MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Alexa J. '20

Sep 28 2017

The One Where I’m in Russia

Posted in: Academics & Research, Life & Culture

So first there was Peru, where we ate really good food (Exhibit A) and pet llamas (Exhibit B) and may have eaten llamas (shhh don’t tell them) and visited Machu Picchu (Exhibit C). After all the pictures I’ve seen of the archaeology site, I thought it was going to be underwhelming. But it was breathtaking, especially in the early morning with mystical fog shrouding the surroundings.


Exhibit A: Maido - Japanese-Peruvian fusion. Apparently the eighth best restaurant in the world??


Exhibit B: Happy llama, sad llama, mama llama, drama llama


 Exhibit C: We climbed that road way down there and then all the way up the mountain we're sitting on for this view. It was an exciting day for my Fitbit.

My team and I also helped undergraduates start their own companies (Exhibit D) through Global Startup Labs, the actual purpose of the trip! It’s an entrepreneurship and technical program designed to give undergraduates around the world the skillset and mindset needed to start their... read the post »


Aug 3 2017

The Case of the Considerate Robbers

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Life & Culture

It was the dead of winter in the smoggy capital city of Chile, encircled by the Andes mountains’ snow-capped peaks on one side and the vast Pacific Ocean on the other. Tucked into little apartments and host families and plagued nightly by the severe lack of central heating, about thirty MIT students tried to better their Spanish, interned at local companies, and wondered why they chose to go to the Southern Hemisphere during their summer.


Look at all that smog yum!

They soon settled into the monotonous routine of a 9 to 6 (or sometimes 8 to 7) work schedule, almost missing the fast pace of studies. Students also grew accustomed to the kisses on the right cheek when greeting and leaving a room and learned to like completos italianos (hot dogs with tomato, mayonnaise, and avocado) and the traditional empanadas, stuffed with meat, egg, and a singular olive. Common Chilean idioms, like “Qué fome” and “¿Cachai?”, slang that Spanish speakers anywhere else in the world would fail to... read the post »


May 20 2017


Posted in: Academics & Research, Life & Culture

Breathe in, breathe out. Wow. I’ve barely had time to breathe let alone blog. I wanted to do an end-of-the-year reflection but thought it would be better for other people to just write a blog for me (although some are also my own). I’ve collected here some of the responses from a very small sample of the MIT population, mostly just the people I interact with regularly, so this is really only a snapshot of the diverse thoughts and feelings that exist in the MIT bubble. It's a little long but I wanted to show you it all: the silly, the poignant, the ones that I really connected with, and the ones I hope you will connect with.

Things that make me happy

  • When dining has my favorite muffins for breakfast
  • Waking up in time for breakfast
  • Naked brunch
  • Regular brunch
  • Sushi in Maseeh Dining
  • Yamatos - all you can eat sushi!!
  • Domino’s at 2AM
  • When it rains and I get to wear my rain boots
  • When it rains and I get to wear my waterproof flip flops
  • Warm... read the post »


Apr 4 2017

Lego Heroines

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Academics & Research, Life & Culture

If you haven’t been following the results of the most recent LEGO Ideas competition, let me fill you in. MIT’s very own Maia Weinstock recently won (!!) with a set of extraordinary women in NASA. Maia is currently the deputy editor for MIT news and also helps manage MIT’s social media accounts, so if you ever find yourself laughing at a funny MIT tweet, you can thank her.

She has been busy interviewing around the U.S. and even in South America, but she managed to squeeze in some time for an interview for us! Listen to the full interview here:

I hoped you enjoyed me fumbling to turn off the recorder in the last few seconds. Despite going to a tech school, I still encounter many a technical difficulty. Here are some of my favorite excerpts from the interview:

About her initial LEGO projects before the Women in NASA set
“I kind of wanted it to be this fun photo project where you not only could see the LEGO minifigures but also connect it to people’s Twitter accounts because... read the post »


Mar 3 2017

The Joy of Building

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Academics & Research, Life & Culture

In a public high school with about 700 people per class, there was barely enough room to walk in the hallways, let alone room for much creativity. Therefore, I was always diligently reading textbooks, writing down notes, taking tests, filling out worksheets, completing standardized tests, counting down seconds until the next class, and over and over again. I learned to shove facts into my head, regurgitate it on a test a week later, and erase it all immediately after.

Then I got here. I’ve quickly learned that even GIR classes want you to do more than use the equations. They want you to apply your knowledge to problems that take hours and several pieces of paper. This really hurt my brain at first. It took awhile, but slowly, I got over this fear I had from even approaching the problem. It was a fear of being wrong that came at the price of making progress on problems.

Hence, a semester of Pass/No Record acted as an adjustment period, full of trial and error, just as it was... read the post »