Jan 13, 2008
Why I do too much stuff at MIT
Posted in: Life & Culture
Near the end of winter break, I was sitting in an uncomfortable pleather chair in my dentist's office waiting for a cleaning while reading the latest issue of Blender magazine (Bright Eyes and Rilo Kiley in the top 25 albums of 2007?! Come on, Blender.), when it occurred to me that it would be a really good idea to write a post. My dentist doesn't actually have anything to do with MIT, although I do constantly feel like the two are out to get me. You'll never get my wisdom teeth! Neither of you!
Wait, what was I saying?
Ah. Yes. Right. I was about to embark on a discussion that may sound all too familiar to regular readers of the blogs, since Laura just wrote a version of it a couple of weeks ago: sometimes, you will hate this place. And when you do, you'll really hate it. Trying to get through MIT is hard, and you'll often wonder whether or not the struggle is worth it.
This is how I felt during the entirety of November and December. Finals week ("I hate everything and everyone, including you") was just the point when I reached a less-than-uplifting epiphany: I'd spent an entire semester working harder than I had ever thought possible, and my GPA was actually going down.
Behold, the ultimate demotivator.
I choose to live a full life outside of academics, albeit one filled with too many extracurriculars. Ask anyone; being on the executive board for MedLinks, producing the IAP show for the Musical Theatre Guild, doing a UROP full-time, having a show at WMBR (you can listen to streams of everyone's shows! Do it!), picking up photography on the side, blogging here (albeit sucking at it sometimes), and planning to run for president of Senior House is definitely too much stuff at a time. Some people are able to do all of this and still have amazing grades - I'm pretty sure Mollie survived off the energy from magical unicorns or something (narwhals? Other mythical horned animals?) while she was here. (Hi, Mollie.) I am not one of these people (as Jake '10 just said ten minutes ago, "Oh! You do stuff! No wonder your grades suck!"), but that's something I can and do accept. If you're wondering why I haven't been blogging, this is why. It isn't that I don't have anything to blog about, just a lack of time in which I can do so. (I am placing a statement in parentheses here because there's one in or after every other sentence in this paragraph.^_^) As I stated above, I occasionally wonder if doing all of this is really worth it.
Here's the important thing, though: I'm happy this way. There are a ton of opportunities to take advantage of here; if I didn't do so, I'd go absolutely insane. Granted, I still complain about my grades at the end of every term and tell acquaintances from high school lies of omission about how school is going, since saying "I have a 4.0 at MIT!" and not explaining the 5.0 scale is far easier than listening to people who barely know me prattle on about how I "used to be so smart!" Perhaps I haven't completely adjusted. Or maybe I just have no patience.
College is the one time in your life where you'll be relatively independent and your primary responsibility will be to learn things, and not just the material in your classes. Why would you ever want to squander that chance? There are tons of people who do so and regret it afterwards. I don't plan on becoming one of them. If that means that my grades are less than stellar, then so be it.
And hey, the upside to it all is that it gives me no shortage of things to blog about over IAP.