MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Rachel D. '16

Feb 2 2016

How I Accidentally Double Majored

Posted in: Academics & Research, Majors & Minors

I like writing. I like writing about issues at school, like mental health, and I like writing poetry about my own issues and passions. I like writing seriously, creatively, and/or experimentally. I write about polymers, I write about cats. I write about kittens and Vulcans - experimentally.

One thing I really like about MIT is that there is a HASS (humanities, arts, and social sciences) requirement. All students must take eight HASS classes to graduate, an average of one a semester. I waved around that average - I took 0 HASS classes my first semester, 3 my second, 0 my third, 3 my fourth.

Each student must focus on a HASS subject eventually, called a concentration. After my third semester at MIT, I had no idea what I would concentrate in, having taken three different subjects in three different departments. Then I took a poetry class. And a journalism class and a literature class and another couple poetry classes.

I finished my concentration in writing in one semester, and it... read the post »


Feb 2 2016

I Moved Off Campus

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Life & Culture

Last year, I made a HUGE decision. I decided to move off of MIT's campus.

You may be asking the big question - WHYYYYYYY?????

East Campus, for all it's glory, is no longer my home.

Danny B. '15 wrote about how it was his home.  I wrote plenty of times about how it was my home.  What changed?

Me. I changed.

Who was once a headstrong, ready-to-take-on-the-world prefrosh, is now a slightly jaded, very depressed upperclassmen.

It did not happen overnight, and it does not happen to everyone. I'd like to think I'm special, in a way. The kind of way where life threw a lot of terrible things at me, and the only way I could find myself reacting was by falling down.

And then picking myself up and moving forward one silly step at a time, with a lot of help and a lot of strength.

And one of those steps was moving off campus. And that is why I moved off campus for my senior year. It was the absolute correct decision for me. Now, my cat, Rory, and I live with the... read the post »


Jan 8 2016

When I Grow Up

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Life & Culture

When do we actually grow up? Did I automatically become an adult when I turned 18, or was it when I had my Bat Mitzvah at 12? 

"When I grow up" is often completed with a "I want to be" or a "I will try to." We used the phrase when we were little, starting at around kindegarden, to describe the distant future. However, that distant future is now, which is scary as hell.

So what do I want to be when I grow up? Part of me is unsure. The other is like "Hell yeah I'm going to save the world with POLYMERS and CATS." Really. All I want to do is have my cat (and maybe another one or two... and a dog and a hamster...), work with polymers, and be an EMT. If it gets overwhelming, I can give up helping others through EMTing for a bit to help myself. It's all figured out, right?

Where is the uncertainty? Polymers, believe it or not, involve a lot of different industries and disciplines. But that's not it. Life is hard. You have to make hard decisions about polymers and cats and work or... read the post »


Dec 13 2015

Final Projects

Posted in: Academics & Research, Prepare for MIT, Majors & Minors

My major may be materials science & engineering, but my heart and mind also find themselves wandering over to writing. Writing is my minor at MIT, and I love it. Here are some of the classes I am taking or have taken, and the projects I've done in them.


21W.750: Experimental Writing

I experiment, with writing. It is awesome - I feel creative and awesome and the class and professor are awesome.

Each day, we would start the class by listening to, looking at, or talking about an example of experimental writing. From Dada to 'Pataphysics and many more, we learned a lot about different "isms" (Futurism, Surrealism...) and types of poetry and other forms of writing. We worked with some really cool constraints, including a look at the "Table of Forms."  We would have lots of assignments which involved using a constraint, such as one from the Table of Forms, to create a poem or other work.

Here is a quick Transgram (a particular letter is in every word) poem:

Giving giant... read the post »


Dec 6 2015

Hospital State of Mind

Posted in: Miscellaneous

I hate going to the hospital. Yes, hospitals help people. Most nurses and doctors are nice and have your best interest in mind. But hospitals can also drive you cRaZy.

I'm in the hospital, and have been since Wednesday. It is driving me crazy. I started talking to my squishible monster and cat socks yesterday.

Here are some more terrible things about being in a hospital while also managing being a student at MIT:


1. You constantly worry about missed work

Thankfully, Student Support Services is super great about sending emails to professors and letting them know that you are stressed out and medically decapitated. Yes, I did mean the word decapitated. It feels like doctors have chopped off my head. I just want to sit quietly and finish all my homework.


2. There are restrictions that are unnecessary for you (I want to crotchet!!) and are stupid


3. Sleep just doesn't happen in a hospital


4. The food is terrible


5. So bored. Bring art to play with.... read the post »