Who does that?!?!?
Well, not anymore but that’s how I used to be. When I first started off at MIT, I thought that the only way to learn was to take a bunch of classes and try to get as many degrees as humanly possible.
My grandpa shared an anecdote of his childhood with me that I think really captures my story the best. When he was young, he would buy shoes that were larger than his shoe size. “Small same price. Big same price. Buy big.” At MIT, 1 major is the same price as 2 majors and 2 minors, so why not?
Reality check: There are only 24 hours in a day, and 7 days in a week.
When I first came to MIT, I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but who wants to make a decision like that assuming that it would determine the rest of my life. So why not try to hedge my bets and try to do everything instead. (That made a lot of sense.)
The reality of it all was I got tired very easily and was running out of time to do the other things that college life afforded me. I was what some people call a “workaholic.” I think the reality check came about two years ago this time when I went home for Thanksgiving and was so tired that I slept straight through dinner.
So fast forward two years, I’m graduating in about 7 months, and I think scaling back was a good idea for me. I was able to devote a lot more time to my 1 major and 1 minor. It turned out that with more time on my hands I devoted more time in lab, more time with friends, and I think I’ll remember those things moreso than the extra equation that I missed by not taking that class. So I guess, this little soapbox is dedicated to everyone who thinks that the only way to learn a lot is to take a lot of classes. I’ll leave it up to you to make the final decision.
And I mean, there’s always OCW.