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MIT student blogger Mollie B. '06

GRE, Boston love, and loose ends from last time by Mollie B. '06

Wandering around Boston lost is one of my favorite things to do.

Pre-entry warning: I took the GRE this morning, and since I completely owned the test, I am in an unaccountably giddy mood.

The only good things about the GRE (in this order): you can take it any day of the week; it’s computer-based, so you get your score right after you take the test, and all the math is high school math (actually, that’s sort of bad, since I hadn’t had to do a lot of the stuff on the test since 10th grade… the good part is that it’s like riding a bike and you can pick it up again quickly).

And I’m sure that’s all you care to hear about the GREs, so I will skip to after the test, when I had my score in hand and began being unaccountably giddy. The test center was near South Station, so after I was done, I walked back to South Station and decided to wander around the city for a while. Wandering around Boston is one of my favorite recreations, and is made possible by the fact that Boston is a very safe place to wander, so long as one is somewhat aware of places not to go.

(The reason safety enters into this at all is that I like to wander without actually knowing where I am. In some cities, this is a very foolhardy and dangerous activity. I lived in DC the summer after my freshman year here, and I used to wander there. In the middle of the city. Late at night. By myself. Once, at 11 PM, I called one of my best friends at home in Ohio to ask if he could please get on the internet and find where the subway stop was that I was looking for, because I was sort of lost — he almost had an aneurysm. It’s actually sort of surprising that I haven’t yet been murdered.)

Anyway. My wanderings led me to one of my favorite Ohio restaurants, Cosi — I’ve never been to the one in Boston because it’s only open during the day on weekdays, when I’m almost never in the city. After gobbling a turkey sandwich, still happily lost, I found myself in the Downtown Crossing shopping district, so I ambled into H&M and looked at purses. At this point, I realized where I was, so I found my way to the Granary Cemetery — I’ve never done all the Freedom Trail stuff, and I figure now is a good time to start. I ended my wanderings after sitting on a bench in Boston Common. After all, the heat index was 105 today!

Loose ends from last entry:
1. I’m glad everybody approved of my getting-back-at-the-ex MIT application. One thing I forgot to mention is that it didn’t entirely work — I ran into him a few days after getting my MIT letter. Naturally, I was thrilled. I said, “Oh, Exboyfriend! It’s so good to see you! Did you hear that I got into MIT?” (I’m so subtle. It’s a gift.) And he was like, “Yeah, I heard, good work! Did you hear that I’m getting married?” If you are from the Midwest, like I am, you probably realize that I got completely owned; in my hometown, marriage > MIT. Too bad.
2. Justin M asked if I submitted my CV along with my application. To be honest, I don’t really remember. MIT currently asks people not to send resumes, but I think it may have been different when I applied. My guess is that I sent it, but only if it was allowed at the time. You’d probably be better off directing that question at one of the admissions guys.
3. Alice asked how I got through my freshman year if I hate physics. The answer: painfully. (Actually, I really only hate mechanics. E&M is okay.) I was probably one of the only members of my class to enter MIT without ever having taken physics, and believe me, it was reflected in my 8.01 grade. I passed the class, but only by a few points (thank heavens for pass/no record!). My advice, as for all freshman classes, is to do your problem sets carefully, because good pset grades can really help if your test grades are bad like mine were.
4. Fajrul asked for advice on getting into MIT. The best advice is always to really make the application reflect who you are as a person. My 7.02 scientific writing teacher told us we have to make scientific papers tell a story, and I think that applies here: making the application tell a story is very important and will draw the reader into your life. I am, by the way, very sorry for your loss, and wish you the best of luck in your application. (Just in case you didn’t know, all the application procedures are at My MIT under “How to Apply”.)

4 responses to “GRE, Boston love, and loose ends from last time”

  1. That’s GREAT! I’ll probably be taking the GRE in three years. I hope that I’ll be able to ace them too!

    After really big tests I usually go out and eat a ton of ice cream… because when I study really hard I eat tons and tons of Swedish Fish and gummi worms… and gummies and ice cream are like the perfect combination!

  2. Alice says:

    Thanks for answering my question! I am a little bit different from you though. I hate E & M and actually find Mechanics enjoyable. Either way, both take me a looooooong time to understand.

  3. Laura says:

    Hmmm well I live in the East and I’m not sure where marriage stands in comparison to MIT, but I can tell you it’s not a clear cut answer.

    I love being blunt. It’s awesome.

    Congrats on owning the GRE. I just recently found out that I owned AP Physics C, so I totally understand how awesome you feel. =)