MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Phoebe C. '18

Feb 10 2018

what work is

Posted in: Best of the Blogs, Life & Culture

the work of not working

this is going to be a challenging semester for me, but not in the conventional sense. i'm insanely comfortable working a lot, working hard, working with my head in a book, working late at night, working, working, working. i'm trying to challenge myself to do a different type of work this semester--the work of being present and focused, of using my body and my voice, of taking care of myself--things i am not so good at and that i can usually get away with neglecting.

this is work that i do not expect to get paid for or graded on; it's work that i'm doing so i can get back to the place where i approach the days of my life with joy and curiosity and energy, which, for me, is so much harder than doing my work. this means letting my body sleep when it's tired, even if it's 10pm and i feel silly going to bed in case something else happens; this means taking vitamins and prying myself away from my computer screen when even i feel like i'm on a roll and energetic... read the post »


Jan 21 2018

Why Leadership? (guest post)

Posted in: Life & Culture

This week, I spent four days and three night at the Salvation Army Wonderland Camp and Conference Center in Sharon, MA for the MIT LeaderShape program.

As a student—at MIT or anywhere else—it can be easy to lose yourself in a flurry of work and deadlines, postponing and forgetting about the big dreams that brought you to campus in the first place. LeaderShape breaks you out of your daily routine and gives you a hard shake by the shoulders. It asks you to look into yourself and think deeply about who you are, what you want, and how you hope to get there.

Now I realize the importance of taking time periodically to think about my vision of the ideal world and consider how I'm taking steps (however small) in the right direction. And I've learned that leadership isn't just about charisma or speaking loudly or attracting a band of followers—it's about understanding what you hope to achieve and building on your vision with concrete goals and actions. It's about taking on causes where... read the post »


Oct 18 2017

love or lust

Posted in: Academics & Research

recently, i have been having a lot of thoughts about the ways in which finding and committing yourself to work you love is like romantic love and commitment. here are some of them.


for me, this spring and summer were full of striking moments when i made big realizations about myself and i suddenly became more sure of major decisions about the future. they were the moments when i just knew, when my lingering doubts about going to grad school dissipated. there was a moment last semester when i felt this sense of clarity regarding the fact that there was nothing i would rather be doing than economics research. it’s not like that moment came out of nowhere — i’ve been course 14 since sophomore year, and i’ve liked the classes i’ve taken and books i’ve read enough to stay in the department, but i never felt totally sure about it. i would think about the other things i enjoyed, worry that i was giving up on other dreams, or i would just avoid thinking about the future... read the post »


Sep 17 2017

back-to-school special

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Life & Culture


i've been back on campus for about two weeks now, but it feels like it's been so much longer! it's been a busy but not overwhelming two weeks. i have felt much more at peace over the past few months (a change that warrants its own post--basically, i feel increasingly like i know what i'm doing with myself, and it's a really good feeling) and am grappling with the fact that i'm leaving this place and my friends in less than a year.

this is my class schedule: i'm taking two econ classes (grad behavioral, 14.160, and labor, 14.661), poetry workshop (21W.762), and statistical learning theory (9.520).

outside of coursework, i have been UROPing, starting to work on my thesis, and trying to spend as much time with my friends as possible before 1) we get too busy for each other and/or 2) we graduate. lots of puzzle hunts and concerts lined up for this semester, lots of research and coursework that i'm genuinely interested in and excited about. it is really, really, really... read the post »


May 24 2017

done done done

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

hi internet! i took my last final this morning and am now done with junior year. i haven't blogged in a while, so i thought i'd write up a post about my semester.


i only had one final this semester, and for the first time in recent memory, i don't feel burned out at the end of the semester!

the final was for 14.64 (labor economics), a class i loved (not reflected by my spotty attendance). in many of my course 14 classes, i've ended up reducing the problems to mathematical manipulations and letting myself lost sight of the underlying economic intuitions--this class did a great job of highlighting the real-world implications of models and integrating empirical papers that tested these implications.

in my other classes, i either had late-semester exams that weren't technically finals or final projects. another of the classes i took was wgs.111 (gender and media studies), for which i got to write a final paper about the cosmetics brand Glossier. the paper is here.... read the post »