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MIT student blogger Mollie B. '06

An MIT survival guide by Mollie B. '06

This is a list I made at the end of my freshman year in the reading room of Hayden Library… one of a very short list of places where I am comfortable enough to actually fall asleep. A fifteen-minute nap in Hayden can give me enough alertness to get me through the rest of my day… plus it’s just a nice place to sit and think. So here’s my list of Things I Discovered About Myself Freshman Year…

1. There is no substitute for sleep. Caffeine is great in a pinch, but eventually the piper must be paid.
2. It really is better to get a good night’s sleep before a test than to stay up and cram. Really.
3. Shopping is therapy.
4. Naps: they’re not just for kindergarteners!
5. Food made from scratch (or close to it) tastes so much better than the stuff out of microwave boxes.
6. Videos and pizza with friends is a perfectly acceptable way to spend a Saturday night, and is often better than going out to a random frat where you know no one.
7. Trying new activities — like cheerleading — can be a great idea. Discovering skills you never knew you had is pretty cool.
8. You gotta have friends…
9. The store brand does NOT taste any different from the name brand.
10. I still don’t know how to cross streets in the city, but I do know how to get anywhere in Boston by T.
11. Like a plant, I need a certain amount of sunshine to thrive.
12. Preserving one’s mental health is a perfectly valid reason to skip class.
13. Kazaa: how do people survive without it? (*NOTE: When this list was written, the RIAA had not yet begun suing the pants off college students. My 2005 self has removed Kazaa from her computer and now uses iTunes, simply because she has no desire to lose every dollar she has.*)
14. Besides my room, the reading room at Hayden is my favorite place in all of campus. Whoever bought those comfy leather chairs gets a big gold star from me.
15. Money doesn’t grow on trees… and earning it is time-consuming.
16. On less than about four hours of sleep, the brain’s proofreading abilities go completely down the drain.
17. Very, very brilliant people sometimes make really great professors… and sometimes not.
18. Being afraid to ask for help is a very major handicap.
19. Fifteen-minute naps are better than chocolate.
20. He who takes the hardest classes, does the most psets, participates in the most extracurriculars, and gets the least sleep — WINS. By choice, I am not a participant in the competition.
21. Never, ever, ever let one class’ evaluation of you determine your worth as a person.
22. Grades are important. Sanity is way more important.
23. It’s wonderful to be perfectly content in the company of just yourself.
24. Self-confidence is crucial — but it’s not the same thing as arrogance.
25. Both the human body and the human spirit can be beaten severely without being broken.
26. Nothing is more important than getting up when you fall down.

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