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MIT student blogger Nisha D. '21

batteries recharging by Nisha D. '21

because that's what IAP is for

this is the third IAP i’ve spent on MIT. trust me, i really tried to get away, but my research called to me and i decided to forego a bunch of cool things i had applied to (externships, GTL) in order to go hard mode on my research project. i also expected to be really fucking lonely, because my boyfriend is doing GTL and SO MANY of my friends are gone as well. tl;dr i wasn’t *super* looking forward to this IAP.

but HOLY crap, this IAP really hits different. i forgot what it was like to not have to fill my day with psets and project deadlines. let’s do a comparison – here are, respectively, my firehose from the semester and my current IAP calendar.

my schedule from the semester

a screenshot of hell

a screenshot of my calendar from IAP

a screenshot of HEAVEN

look at all that white space! look at all that unstructured time!

granted, i am spending a lot of that on my UROP01 when i'm feeling motivated, i go in to lab at around noon, leave at 4:45 for fencing, and then sometimes go back at night to squeeze some more work in , but that’s work i want to be doing, and not another soul-sucking pset that i have to complete in 12 hours.

here’s a list of all the fun things i’m doing / have done this IAP (and WOW, there are SO MANY OF THEM):

  • my UROP!!! – i think i talk about how much i love my UROP in like, every blog post i make, so i won’t talk about it much more here. basically i’m just chugging out a ton of work so i can get my actual project closer to completion, and maybe even start running studies by the beginning of next semester!
  • fencing – fencing is kind of intense over IAP because we have meets almost every weekend starting on the 25th, and practice every day of the week, and also no excuse to skip practice because it’s IAP and there’s lots of free time. but i love my sport and practicing without the looming pressure of fifteen million different assignments to complete is exceedingly fun.
  • unhealthy amounts of super smash ultimate – i swear i played for five hours straight the other day. and the best part is that other people are also willing to play for five hours straight as well. truly a vicious cycle
  • cultivating a singstagram – my friend and i started a singstagram and a soundcloud! we love music and he has recording hardware that we can make *professional* covers of our favorite songs with. over IAP, we’ve had a lot more time to do this because we always have to do like a million takes of a song before we’re satisfied. shameless plug: you can follow our singstagram here and our soundcloud here :,). i also blew a lot of money on a gorgeous new guitar, which was totally worth it
picture of my new guitar


  • doing fun things with my friends – i commented on this a lot last semester, but i really didn’t see ANY of my friends at all last semester. i only saw the people i was in classes with, my hallmates occasionally, and my boyfriend. but IAP is the time to catch up on all of these mistakes. i went to NYC and went on a ~15 hour bender with a bunch of alum friends, and have gone out to dinner more times in the last week than i probably did in the entire semester. i’m also going to bar trivia
  • the cocktail class – MIT offers a cocktail making class for students who are over 21 during IAP! an MIT alum teaches it and i now know way more science about alcohol than i ever expected to.
  • THE BOJACK FINALE – i’m so excited jesus christ
  1. when i'm feeling motivated, i go in to lab at around noon, leave at 4:45 for fencing, and then sometimes go back at night to squeeze some more work in back to text