Anna H. '14
You: Where are you from?
You: But you...you don't...you don't seem to have a British accent.
Me: Correct. Let me explain! I was born in Singapore, had a Singaporean accent, then moved to London during the summer before fifth grade. After I moved, I picked up an American accent, because I went to an American school, where almost all of the teachers and students and families are American.
I have that conversation with every single person I meet (verbatim) so I thought I'd get it out of the way.
Moving on -
Hi! My name is Anna. I graduated from MIT in June 2014 with a B.S. in Physics. I spent a year on a Fulbright Scholarship at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany, and now I'm at Caltech working on a PhD in Astrophysics.
I almost didn't come to MIT, because I love the humanities as much as the sciences, and what well-rounded person would go to an "institute of technology"? Fortunately, I found out early enough that this place has fantastic humanities departments, and some of my most memorable, meaningful intellectual experiences took place in the literature, writing, and music departments.
I was an indecisive freshman. I struggle to pick cereal at the grocery store, so you can imagine the trauma of picking classes to take and clubs to join. At first, I tried to do *everything*, and as a result I felt like I was on a boat that was always sinking. MIT's firehose forced priorities and decisiveness out of me - all the other stuff had to go overboard - and for that I am grateful.
Decisions: I showed up planning to double-major in Physics and Brain & Cognitive Science and become a neurologist. After a summer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and thinking carefully about what activities I couldn't live without, I decided that I wanted to become some superposition of astronomer, science writer, and teacher.
I lived in French House (one of the cultural houses in New House) for all four years. There, I made some of my closest friends and learned that time can always be made for taking care of one's home and neighbors. Outside of class and blogging, I taught (a lot) through MIT ESP, performed with the Musical Theater Guild, and served as a MedLink, Associate Advisor, and dorm president for New House.
This blog was about my adventures, as I tried to make the most of MIT. It was an outlet for me and will hopefully be a resource for you. Even though I'm now a crufty old alum, please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions or just want to chat! I started reading these blogs since eighth grade, and want to be as helpful to you as they were to me. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to say that I got to weave a small part of the blogosphere tapestry.
My current blog can be found here: annastronomer.tumblr.com