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MIT blogger Elizabeth C. '13

Outside The Bubble by Elizabeth Choe '13

Life? Oh yeah, I forgot I had one...

Sorry I’ve been a little MIA, folks. I am fully aware of my absence (though you probably weren’t…). I got the “i know this is a busy time of year, but i am going to guilt you anyway because that is what i am here to do. please blog!!” e-mail from Chris. I even got a “just wondered about your next blog you kinda promised last time on the blogosphere last time…no pressure” text from my dad.

See, I had all these awesome blog posts planned and then the first round of exams hit us.

Some of them went well:

Some of them went sort of well:

Some of them went… like this:

(This is also proof that my handwriting isn’t always neat. These are also actual parts of my exams. I actually write like that on my exams because I am actually that much of a freak.)

The fact that MIT’s its own little world is a double-edged sword. You get to be around some of the most brilliant and inspiring people and the sweetest research, but you’re also in a perpetual state of studying and exam-taking from your first exam to your last final. Before you know it, you’re deeply embedded in the “MIT Bubble Universe” and soon it’s like, “Oh yeah! The rest of the world! I forgot it existed! People live in houses! Dogs exist! Babies exist!”

Truth of the matter is, as much as I love being in the Bubble Universe (where else can you talk about Shirt Woot freely with EVERYONE YOU MEET?), I also miss life outside the bubble. Let’s not sugar-coat anything. Like I said, MIT’s a super (albeit bizarre) place to be, but I miss my neighborhood’s block parties. I miss my backyard. I miss fanatic college football fans. I miss corn mazes. I miss my family. I miss my friends. Luckily my hilarious (seriously, imagine the parents that created a spawn such as me) family got to make the trip up from Missouri to see me for Family Weekend, though I’m pretty sure that the only reason why Ryan (my eight-year-old-brother) likes to come up here is to play in the Simmons Hall ball pit:

(I’ll take what I can get.)

Additionally, every once in a while it’s nice to at least take a break from this place and remind yourself that there’s life outside problem sets, internships, work…

(Picture taken by the lovely Natalia Guerrero)

Oh hey, Maine! Guess it was kind of fortuitous thing that I got to go on a retreat to Kennebunk, Maine last weekend! And I bet you think this is a segue into me telling you all about it! …But it’s totally not. Don’t worry, Kate’s got it covered (she went, too). So despite having four exams, a paper and p-sets out the wazoo in the past couple weeks, I still managed to spend time with my family, visit Boston, visit Maine (and drive through New Hamphire on the way), and jam with pals. I also got to play with some dogs last week. Not bad.

Anyway, I’m going to be nice here and just tell you the thesis of this post: a lot of you are probably in the thick of college applications right now. Just remember – it’s good to be focused and delve into what you need to finish, but don’t get too embedded in your bubble universe [of college apps]. Take a break. It’s healthy. After all, the secret of life is to enjoy it, right?

(You guys should have known that I couldn’t possibly ACTUALLY be that sentimental.)

P.S. The offer still holds from my last post – list your questions here and I’ll answer them in a spiffy VIDEO blog next time. “Ooooh video…”

9 responses to “Outside The Bubble”

  1. zuney says:

    Are all CS intro courses taught in python? Are there courses that that gets you started in other languages?

  2. Kate '14 says:

    Oh man, now I have to blog about Kennebunk and the retreat. That’s coming soon, I promise!

  3. anon '14 says:

    oh my I am definitely going to start writing out my thought processes on exams. P:

  4. oasis '11 says:

    i’m quite amused by how you manage to have conversations with your graders on your exams, hahahaha raspberry

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure the ester will understand raspberry

  6. Anonymous says:

    I love it! excellent post! haha maybe i will too…everything is magic right? smile lol

  7. Emad '14 says:

    Magic. Excellent.

    I’ll try that on my next exam :p

  8. @zuney: 6.00: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming is taught using Python. 1.00: Introduction to Computers and Engineering Problem Solving is taught using Java. A lot of the engineering courses here use MATLAB, but they usually give you a crash course at the beginning of the class.
    I sincerely hope my TA’s/exam-graders share your sentiment, guys…

  9. Ali says:

    I don’t see what the problem is with the magic step. I mean everything is magical after all, isn’t it?