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MIT student blogger Karen F. '11

One Life to Live by Karen F. '11

In which I use the title of a soap opera as a motivational phrase

Whew, I’m glad JKim posted an entry ten seconds after I did, because otherwise I’d feel incredibly bad for spending my entire morning writing in here instead of studying for the TWO exams I have on Tuesday. This way, it’s easier to believe that there was time in-between I spent studying.

Hopefully this entry won’t be as long winded as the last – but I did promise you an entry on How To Be Cool and Study Abroad, and it just so happens that some deadlines are very, very soon. I wouldn’t want to tell you how to have the best year of your life and then just say “But I waited too long too tell you, and now it’s too late to apply.”

So, for your perusing and traveling pleasure, I give you not one, not two, but THREE ways to get your adventurous little self out of the country!

I know this sounds incredibly daunting, and to some people, even a little crazy or scary, and I know the deadlines are like, now (Well, not really, but probably incredibly soon), but it’ll honestly be completely worth it. If you have any interest whatsoever, try as hard as you can to get the application in now – you can drop out later if you decide you don’t really want to do it.

If you’re a junior or sophomore, that’s great, you have plenty of time to think about this and you can go during high school. But I’m guessing most of you are seniors, so you’d be looking at taking a gap year, which is FANTASTIC – because as excited as you are for college next year, you know that you wouldn’t really mind a year off from the traditional learning environment. You only live ONCE! You’re only young for roughly a fifth of that time! Take advantage of it! Go, go, go! (Ale, ale ale!) (Oh my. Did I just quote Ricky Martin? You see, that’s how far I’m willing to go to convince you guys you should consider this.)

It’s a lot of paperwork and other stuff to get done as soon as possible, but it’s not impossible, and (let me reiterate) completely worth it. If you have any specific questions about getting this off the ground, or if you think it’s really hard and complicated, feel free to email me at kfig at mit dot edu so I can help you or convince you otherwise. Or leave a comment and I’ll try to answer as quickly as possible.

10 responses to “One Life to Live”

  1. Isshak says:

    And I would like to add to this great article that try considering studying here in Africa ! Imagine a senior year in a country where going to a sunny beach is not only common, but great too ! IF you come to Benin, I guarantee you hospitality ^^ !

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t get it… what are the three ways?… and Ricky Martin rocks… and I think you can be young you’re whole life (I know I’ll be)… I’m not going to say anything more

  3. Karen says:


    You can find the three ways to study abroad (these are not the only ones, they’re just pretty well-known ones) by following the links from “one, two and three” in the entry

  4. Edgar says:

    Isshak, your comment just made me want to go to Africa, it is so tempting! =). Thanks for this wondeful blog Karen(yay! my little sister is also named Karen!)

  5. I come here for the first time, I hope you can accept my speech.The same as a lot of Chinese Youth, I have a long-range ideal too, I expect Massachusetts Institute of Technology studies.I begin the examination with essential newspaper, but I lack essential information.For example it chooses the speciality how to go, for example how to go to submit achievement,etc..

  6. Hunter '11 says:

    Wow, two posts in one day =) Gap years seem awesome. Maybe I’ll take one, though I hear it’s harder in the middle of school rather than between high school and college. Oh well.

  7. Anonymous says:

    hey karen .. im not applying 2 any college under EA or ED…am i at disdvntge?Is it imprtnt 2 b applying 2 a uni atleast one under EA or ED?

  8. anon says:

    I agree with Milena…. after zillions of office hours and tutoring I finally learned the stuff; however, Karen is right, it tends to be noncollaborative, but you’ve got to push people a little into participating. Also, the super intelligent guys who make table problems in two seconds can help, and they can turn out to be awesome at explaining things!

  9. B.Ken says:

    Hey, I agree with you. Gap year- not only for fun but for a free view. You watch, what’s happening in the world? what should you do then …etc.
    I also had a GAP year, actually years.But a little long (3 years).
    And I wonder if I’m in a disatvantage(or in minus) among other applicants, I think most of them are seniors.
    Do you still suggest me applying or ?( but I am applying )

  10. hm i actually considered taking a gap year, but didn’t. now i am so happy to be here, mit feels like home and i can do a lot here (scuba, all kinds of dances, having friends from all over the world, touring the US – which is exciting b/c i am international) that i either wouldn’t have been able to do on my own or that would have been to expensive/inconvenient. just another point of view smile