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MIT student blogger Becca H. '12

Another year has begun by Becca H. '12

Welcome to my world

It’s amazing sometimes how much life at MIT can seem removed from the rest of the world. After a summer full of restful night’s sleep, books read purely for pleasure, time to learn a new language, adventures in the mountains of Colorado and even time to be bored, it is nice to get back to my MIT life.

My summer started three days after my last final, when I boarded a flight bound for Mexico City, ready to start my summer in Mexico, funded by MISTI. I spent the summer pretending to be a grad student, working on a project that is looking at the vulnerability of the different neighborhoods of Mexico City to climate change. In between exploring a city of 20 million people, trying new foods, pretending I speak Spanish, climbing ancient pyramids, visiting rebel villages, learning about the Jewish history of Mexico City, watching the World Cup and working out with my bodybuilding buddies at the gym next to where I lived, I found time to contribute in what was hopefully a significant way to a really cool and useful project.


Frogs for sale at the Central de Abasto Market in Mexico City



After two and a half months living and working in Mexico City, I got to go home for three weeks, the longest consecutive time I have been home since starting MIT (more on the reasons behind that later). My home is Louisville, Colorado, and even though I have lived mere minutes from the mountains almost my entire life, I had never really explored them. I took a road trip with a good friend of mine from high school during which we decided Yellowstone is overrated and the Grand Tetons are breathtaking. I climbed my first fourteeners (mountains higher than 14,000 feet) and explored the trails in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains for the first time in my life.


The Grand Tetons

Descending Mt. Democrat


With all the free time and sleep that the summer holds, I am constantly amazed at how I function at MIT, but I love the life I lead. I am very excited to be back at my 6:30am rowing practices with my team, Engineers without Borders meetings, working, hanging out with my friends, and of course, classes and all that they entail. Being at MIT is like living in a bubble, but it is definitely a bubble I love to be in. The summer provides opportunities to learn how to navigate the “real world”, break some of the stereotypes of MIT (they exist everywhere!), and relax a little before diving back into classwork. I’m looking forward to sharing a bit of my world with all of you.

9 responses to “Another year has begun”

  1. Sara D says:


    (Hi Becca)

  2. Helen says:

    Yay Becca! you’re climbing trip sounds like fun.

  3. Justin says:

    ‘I spent the summer pretending to be a grad student,’

    I dunno why, but I laughed. =) Yay Becca! The frogs *are* alive, right?

  4. Steph says:

    Becca, your trip looked awesome.

    Welcome to the MIT Blogs!

  5. Leilani says:

    Welcome to the MIT Blogs!!!
    I live in Mexico City! and it’s an enormous city. I really want to tell you that in my hole life I haven’t seen frogs! I now want to go to Central de Abasto (just with an “s”) to see that! Did you travel in our subway? Did you buy something in Teotihuacan!? Can I help you with your work?!

  6. Becca says:

    @Katie, Helen, Sara D, Jen: Hi!

    @Justin: The frogs definitely weren’t alive. They also definitely didn’t have skin anymore.

    @Steph: Thanks for the welcome.

    @Leilani: There was one guy in the seafood market who was selling frogs, so we decided it warranted a picture. I did use the subway–it is a very extensive system.