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MIT student blogger Jess K. '10

Holiday by Jess K. '10

Life's not always a picnic in Killian Court.

Monday was a student holiday, which means that while my friends at their respective universities slaved away we at MIT got up late, ate ridiculous amounts of food for a few hours (I woke up to my friends making a breakfast feast – Kel made British pancakes, Sadie made vegan pancakes, Amy made banana pancakes, Hannah made scrambled eggs with tomatoes, and I joined in and made my earth-shattering waffles), and then went back to sleep. Oh, and we worked on problem sets (after which we ate more food). While I was doing problem sets with some friends at Senior Haus, Gheorghe ’07 came rushing in with a bowl of salad.

“Hey, where’re you going?”
“On a picnic. Do you want to come?”
“Killian Court. We have to go right now. Are you coming?”

Far be it for me to let work stand in the way of food. And seeing as I had been sleeping, as previously mentioned, a few hours before, I rushed out there in my sweats.

Fascinating fact that I forgot upon rushing outside in my sweats: Gheorghe happens to be an amazing photographer. Unluckily for me, I was wearing sweats. Unluckily also for me, Gheorghe has friends in The Tech (the UNIVERSITY-wide newspaper) who decided that his picture was important enough to take up a quarter of the page, and to be printed in full color.

Also unluckily for me, everyone seemed to be holding a copy of The Tech on Tuesday morning.

I don’t even know what to say to that, really. I don’t look like I’m taking advantage of the long weekend; I look like I’m getting sick from that deviled egg (or maybe from the poor grammar in the caption?) And Ben knows it. Look at him, recoiling in horror at my long, long face.

(In reality, the food was delicious.)

On an entirely different note, I got a call from one of my distressed senior friends last night. I know it’s very easy for me to say this having already gone through it, and there’s no way I could make this horrible process better, but I really do know how you’re feeling right now. Senior year is hard. I know that to be a fact, because I’m pretty much still a high school senior (plus one year, but how do you measure, measure a year?*). The beginning of my senior year was brutal, because I was trying to retake my SATs, write a million college essays, and apply for a million scholarships all at once. Dealing with the fact that you won’t see your friends for a while after this one year is rough enough. But I got through it okay, and you will too.

Because here’s the thing you shouldn’t forget – you will get into college. And it may or may not be your dream school, but at the end of the day you will be in college, where you’ll have the opportunity to really make something of yourself. And you’ll go there, and you’ll always run into that one guy in the co-ed bathroom who will eventually think all you do is shower and walk around in a towel, but you’ll meet amazing people who will think you’re amazing, and take classes in subjects that fascinate you, and never think about the SATs again. Isn’t that a nice thought? You’re almost there. Go for it.

* One of my friends once converted Seasons of Love into seconds. And sang it that way. He’s now another MIT ’10. He lives down the hall from me.

22 responses to “Holiday”

  1. thekeri says:


    And it’s true – senior year is hard to deal with, mostly because of the massive amounts of stuff to get through. But hey, we all get through it, right?

  2. Josh says:

    Duuude! It’s Ben! I see him every Friday at juggling club – he’s the guy that taught me to do poi. Awesome. I actually haven’t seen the Tech yet, but now that you’ve mentioned it… (cue evil laugh)

  3. Jon says:

    … just quoted RENT


    though, you probs knew that already

  4. Reece says:

    Nice allusion to Rent… such an amazing soundtrack!

    I’m a senior right now, and It’s ok… I did alright on my SATs and made my self promise not to worry about it. The college essays and scholarships are a big struggle though.

    Cool. Keep on bloggin’

  5. Mollie says:

    I think the only appropriately MIT thing to do is to also convert a year into inches, miles, and hours of daylight.

    I’m not sure what would be the appropriate conversion factor for strife.

  6. Jeanie says:

    мХИлЕХ! Dunno if that showed up or not.

    I r newbie, but I really enjoy reading these blogs instead of doing homew- studying for standar- something productive. But anyway. Reading these blogs gives me a really good idea of what MIT is like and actually pumps me up quite a lot. I’m a junior now, but I like to plan ahead for things. Which usually becomes the death of me. Ay.

  7. Jess says:

    Ahn young Jeanie! (Yeah, it showed up, haha.) It’s never too early to start planning ahead. Okay, sometimes it’s too early, like.. seventh grade. But junior year is definitely a good time to start.

  8. Wei says:

    Thank God I am not the only one who is stressed. I have been so busy since the beginning of my senior year of high school. But the thing stressed me out is not the intense process of application and HWs for AP courses. It is the feeling that no matter how hard I work, I am not good enough to get into my dream school – MIT, particularly because I am an international student. I know that i am not gonna die or my life is not gonna be ruined even if I am not going to MIT for college. But it is my dream school, the school I felt in love right when I visited it. I am just scared.

  9. Jeanie says:

    Now that I think about it, I guess I should ask something productive, huh?

    I guess the only thing that’s really bothering me is that…I want to apply to all these technical colleges (especially MIT), but I really have nothing extraordinary to offer. The school that I attend just doesn’t really focus on anything except having a base curriculum. I was just on the Intel Science Research…Scholarship website thing, and I feel a little bit frustrated because

    A) I hadn’t even heard of this thing until I started to take interest in MIT (not long ago)
    B) I don’t really have the opportunity to do any research at all, there’s no one really to help me along, and no school support…ultimately, it’d be an independent study, and I wouldn’t even know where to start. But I suppose that’s my flaw.
    C) If I did, I think it would be a really awesome thing to dedicate some of my spare time to

    but. I digress. I guess I just feel very discouraged that I won’t be able to offer anything on my application that even remotely deals with science or math. I’m basically taking the hardest classes you can take at my school, but I just feel like my hard work will go unnoticed because it will be overshadowed by the accomplishments of over applicants (not that I’m not happy for them. More power to them), but it’s just generally frustrating that my school doesn’t even OFFER things like Science Olympiad and other schools would make something like that a mandatory thing.

    sorry. I didn’t mean to write as much as your blog.

  10. Jeanie says:

    And. Hi Amy. smile Hope to hear more from you as we try and take this on together, eh?

  11. leah says:

    oh wow more koreans^^мХИлЕХнХШмДЄмЪФ~
    ive been reading these blogs for a while now but i suddenly feel inspired to introduce myself^-^
    my names Leah Hokanson, and im a half-korean, american citizen whos been living in korea for the past 3years, and im also hoping to get into MIT..
    and Jeanie i know exactly what you mean when you say you dont feel like you have anything spectacular to offer. i go to a regular korean school thats little better than mediocre and every class i take is mandatory, and where honors classes and research opportunities dont even exist. we dont even do experiments in science for goodness sakes…
    buuut even so im able to be hopeful if just for the fact that deep down inside i know i really do belong at MIT..

  12. Sh1fty says:

    why do you even worry? i would kind of be glad if they rejected me when i apply. i’d have a whole year for my projects and learning. then, when the time comes i would retake the sats and apply again smile

  13. leah says:

    soo what i meant to say was dont be discouraged, since youre a junior you still have a little bit of time left. you could take correspondence courses, college courses or whatever you can get your hands on where you are. in my opinion creativity and resoursefulness are two of the key factors in…well pretty much everything.

    “кЄ∞нЪМмЭШ лђЄмЭД л∞АмЦімХЉ мЧіл¶љлЛИлЛ§”

    мШ§лКШмЭА мЧђкЄ∞кєМмІАмЮЕлЛИлЛ§~~гЕЛгЕЛ

  14. Liane says:

    OMG. JESSICA KIM. this is your dear old carpool buddy from MV… Liane! I was looking at the MIT website, and surprise, surpise, I stumbled upon your blog. How are you? how’s ur first month been at MIT? I hope everything’s going well. u gotta give me some of the Kim family wisdom for getting into top notch schools! i’ll ttyl.

  15. Amy says:

    Hiya Jeanie! (And Jess!)

    It looks like I am not the only junior who loves spending time reading MIT blogs instead of doing *cough cough* statistics homework. Usually I just read them, but seeing another “young’un” made me want to say hi! So this is my first post. See ya around!

  16. Amy says:

    Jeanie, I know what you mean. My high school offers almost nothing science or math related, and I’ve tried starting clubs and teams and study groups, but no one else is interested.

    But if you want to do research, I would definitely recommend you try. Even if you don’t enter a competition, you learn SO much.

    If you can, grab some friends and go to a local university. Find a professor who’s working on something you’re interested in and ask if you can help. Do a little background research, brainstorm and come up with an idea for some kind of project, then ask the professor for their opinions and ideas. If they’re not too busy, most will be glad to help out or point you to someone who can.

    I did that this summer and it was AMAZING. You actually get to be creative and think for yourself. Plus you learn lots of little things, like how many times you can set up an experiment wrong (we did it 4 times before we got it right) and how much background research beforehand helps, and how data is not always nice and easy to analyze. And if you’re like me, you’ll be sad (but relieved) when you actually have to finish your project and send it in, because you’ll have loads more ideas of what you could do if you could keep going. I definitely recommend it.

  17. Sylvia says:

    Oh my, Im also a junior and reading these blogs. I really hope you guys don’t over stress yourselves or anything >_Oh my, Im also a junior and reading these blogs. I really hope you guys don’t over stress yourselves or anything >_< And Jeanie, Im in the same situation as well. Just try to pick up as many opportunites available in your community, but that you’re interested in, of course and that will definetely benefit you in the future regardless of whatever college you want to go to smile

  18. Jeanie says:


    Thanks so much for the advice! That really helped out, except that the nearest decent college near me would probably be U of I – Champaign or Northwestern University…which is…at least 4 hours away. Soo…I may just end up asking one of my high school teachers for help!

  19. Hey, I’m also a junior and I have been visiting these blogs since my sophomore year. Nice to meet all of you guys. Jess, I love your writing style. Your blogs are really great.

    Jeanie, many colleges (both 2 and 4 year) offer online courses that you access through your computer. I took several Web page design classes this way and I learned so much. If you can do this, I strongly recommend it. Plus, some of the credit you earn is transferrable once you actually apply to college.

  20. James Wu says:

    Haha, I feel for you guys, but at least you’re still juniors. I’m a senior, and I just heard about all these science competitions this summer surfing the web.

    I think the nastiest shock to me was when I opened up the MIT application and noticed it asked for “AIME” scores. I’d never even heard of them before.

    Also, about the online courses, many states, such as Florida, offer an online school avaiable to its students free of charge (the classes offered are usually scarce though. Don’t expect BC Calc or AP Physics etc). Never really thought much of it though. I learned a lot more at my local community college and university.

  21. thekeri says:

    James –

    Don’t worry about the spot for AIME scores. Really. Don’t. I got in last year, and I still have no idea what they are. The same goes for all of these science competitions – they’re all awesome, sure, but not everyone will have had the opportunity to find out about them, much less participate. MIT admissions knows that, and they won’t look down on and of their applicants for it.

    Florida’s online schools are amazing, for the most part – I took honors physics and it was great. The fact that they had all of the state’s required courses along with the APs that most schools didn’t have classes for (like Art History and the Econ courses, which are rarely offered in South Florida high schools), was really helpful. The $700/class cost for out-of-state students, though? Not THAT necessary.

  22. Jess says:

    I wrote another post specifically for you guys.

    LIANNNEEE. I miss driving you around and singing Hakuna Matata in the mornings! Such a wonderful phrase.