MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Selam G. '18

Sep 16 2017

Freshman Year vs. Senior Year

Posted in: Miscellaneous

I’d intended to write this post the first day of classes, but was swept up into the chaos of starting the school year, which has been a special and different type of hectic every year that I’ve begun classes here. This year it involved running across town to Harvard, where I’m taking a Chinese literature class, looking frantically for potential thesis advisors or a new UROP, and pre-semester cleaning of my new home, the DPhiE house (it looks wayyyyy better now!)

I was struck by how different my first day was, but also by how similar it felt to my first day as a freshman.

Freshman year, my first class was 18.02: Multivariable Calculus. I walked into 26-100, an enormous classroom, into a throng of students all seated before the array of blackboards, the backdrop of a stage where Professor Minicozzi often played the role of both a math professor and a comedian. The room is so large that he has to have a microphone. By the end of the lecture, I was excited (wow! College!... read the post »


Aug 23 2017

A Person Studying Persons…

Posted in: Miscellaneous

This post began with my long-standing hatred of Myers-Briggs tests (especially as they appear in the Tumblr studyblr community). I had long ago lodged “MBTI” (the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) into a closet in my head for things I don’t pay attention to, until I recently talked to a few friends who all told me that over the summer they’d been going through periods of introspection, helped in part by taking a Myers-Briggs personality test. Knowing them to be brilliant, hard-working MIT students, I thought to reconsider my initial hatred of the MBTI. Could there be any merit to it?

I spent some time doing some thinking and was talking to my significant other, Javier W., who’s currently a researcher at an MIT lab. I learned through him that even there, where peer-reviewed research reigns supreme, grad students and researchers would casually share their Myers-Briggs types (though, he did stress that this was really just for fun).

Curious, I then took a Myers-Briggs test myself,... read the post »


Aug 4 2017

Things I Regret…

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Now that I am soon to be an old, decrepit senior, I thought it might be interesting to explore some of the less-than-optimal decisions I’ve made while in college...


1. Trying to go for the computer science minor

I regret this, because 1) I ended up aborting this plan, and 2) it caused me to take 6.042: Math for Computer Science and 6.006: Algorithms which (especially the second one) had the overall effect of lowering my GPA while also not being very useful while also causing a lot of stress. I wish I had taken 2.008: Design for Manufacturing instead, and maybe an electronics class, or simply gotten ahead in my requirements to graduate for my Mech. E degree. I probably would have had a better academic performance and probably also *cough* a better quality of life...who knows, maybe because of it I’ll one day be gr8 at optimizing stuff, but for now...*shrug emoji*.

I also wasn’t really motivated for the best reasons, I think the primary one being maybe thinking software... read the post »


Jul 29 2017

Reasons I haven’t blagged…

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Like all great creative people, from Claude Monet to Steve Jobs to Franz Kafka, we bloggers too suffer from “writers’ block” or creative blocks and periods of crushing inability to blag.



But of course, given that we’re all 2017-era tech school students, our blocks often have a modern twist. This post is a very meta post about why I haven’t been posting--or for a more dramatic flair, The 7 Capital Vices I Have Oft Succumbed To.

1. sloth

We mustn’t forget regular old laziness and urges to do absolutely nothing in particular. In one of my 7.013 lectures as a freshman, Professor Hazel Sive had an inspirational quote as her first slide up at the start of class. It said something along the lines of “your true passion is what you do to procrastinate”. A fellow classmate turned to her friend and said, “so...scrolling through memes on the internet? Idk about that.”



(aka, Biting Off More Than You Can Chew). Sometimes I have ideas for posts that are going to... read the post »


Jul 8 2017

The Gender Problem

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Process & Statistics

In middle school, my first foray into robotics was with the FIRST Lego League. That was the first time I remember being in a school activity that had drastically more boys than girls. There was no FIRST team at my high school, so I joined my friend and only other female teammate (Ariel S. ‘18 at University of Michigan) at an external team that was not tied to any high school. We were the only 2 girls on a 8-person team, and all-male mentors.

Then, Ariel and I actually went back to our own high school for funding, and started a team there: Team 4550, “Something’s Bruin”. But even though two women were the team captains, for two years, we were again a team of drastically more boys than girls.


The first-ever Cherry Creek High School robotics team when we started in 2013. That's me reppin' Gryffindor front and center. Co-Founder Ariel stands directly above.


As I have progressed through my career development as an engineer, the one exception to these starkly male... read the post »