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Over here by Lulu L. '09

things are different. Life is about the same.

I took a picture today that pretty well reflects the mood around this place at the end of finals week.

Last night there was a dance party. Today,


all gone, gone, gone.

I woke up this morning to a quiet snowstorm outside my window. So I sat in bed for an hour watching it. The light outside was grey and a bit yellow and when it deepened to blue I went for a walk.

Freshman year I made a big deal about having a final on my birthday.
Then sophomore year I had 2 finals on my birthday.
Junior year I turned 21 the day before my 8.05 final, studied til about 4am and didn’t even notice when it stopped being my birthday.
This year it was 8.09 in the afternoon, then 8.07 all night and in the morning. I answered my mom’s birthday phone call in the Hayden Library staircase. And then remembered I hadn’t eaten all day.

You know that sense of entitlement that we’re accustomed to on our birthdays? Well, I think I’ve lost that a while ago, but in its place is a sense of accomplishment. Every year understanding a little better, every year drawing a little closer to a defining something that might pave way for the rest of my life. I got my first shot at teaching, impressed some unimpressionable people, finally really learned to speak the language of E&M. I think more importantly, I’m creeping closer to the all important yet elusive conviction that I’m doing right by me, that I can hold my own. I’m beginning to really take pride in my work and in what I’m capable of. And maybe one of these days I can finally shake the self-doubt that plagues so many women who’ve found themselves doing the things only men were supposed to do.

Here’s hoping. Either way, happy birthday to me.

37 responses to “Over here”

  1. '12 parent says:

    You are a wonderful role model to underclasswomen who will be inspired to follow in your footsteps by entering sciences fields that were dominated by men. Have confidence Lulu. You can change the world!

  2. Stacy says:

    Agreed with ’12 parent…
    Happy belated!

  3. '13 says:

    Happy Birthday! That was a very inspiring blog post.

  4. Reena says:

    Happy birthday! Heh, mine was a bit similar. I was up til 4 AM writing an ap english paper >Happy birthday! Heh, mine was a bit similar. I was up til 4 AM writing an ap english paper ><

  5. Banerjee says:

    Happy Belated Birthday!!!

    Oh, and I totally love your room =]

  6. Pranav says:

    Happy Birthday! Heh, mine was a bit similar. I was up all night trying to understand tensor calculus. guess what? i did manage to understand a bit….maybe the probability fields expanded due to my turning 17…haha…

  7. Ahana says:

    Belated Happy Birthday Lulu!
    My 17th wasn’t like that at all…infact I went out and did the silliest thing that I could…some stress relief, that was :D

  8. lulu says:

    congrats you fool raspberry

  9. Aditya says:

    Are pets allowed in MIT dorms? Which ones?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Happy belated birthday!

  11. Dhvanit says:

    Hey happy birthday! If I’m there, probably even I’ll be having my birthday during finals! About this year though it was same as your Junior year, didn’t know when it stopped being my birthday.. And yes even I’ve seem to lost that “sense of entitlement” which we (read humans aka mortals) are accustomed to on our birthdays..*sad sigh*

  12. Anonymous says:

    happy birthday! which dorm do you live?

  13. Suril says:

    Aw, Birthdays.. Always got them four at once, or er.. once in four. “sense of entitlement” *Doh*

  14. Sheila says:

    Happy b-day, lulu!! I was accepted into MIT Early Action!!! =)

    And it’s awesome that you can keep a pet in dorms! Btw, your cat is soooooo cute! ^_^

  15. Colton says:

    Happy Belated Birthday, Lulu!

    @ Suril: Gotta hate it when the year is a multiple of 100 but not a multiple of 400. No birthday in that case.

    @ Ahana: My 17th was nothing like that that. I was sick.

  16. deng says:

    hmm… my 17th birthday is coming up and I was just thinking this morning that I don’t remember what I did my last one

  17. hey there Lulu….too bad u’ve gotta give an exam on ur birthday….(complete sympathy from my side though !!!)….well I’m lucky in this case, my finals (called Majors here) missed my birthday by just 1 day…in fact our vacation just started on my birthday…now is that luck or what ??!!?!?….

    newaz,

    I hope even grad. students have to face such “unluckiness” ’cause even i wanna face ’em when I come here(MIT) for my M.S……(ohhh by the way,I’m doin’ my Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Bombay(thats Indian Institute of Technology,hope ur aware of it !!!))…………..

    ohhhh… and one more thing….

    “HAPPY (BELATED) BIRTHDAY” ……

  18. lulu says:

    lol thanks

    also, I live in EC and yes we’re allowed pets. cats & small rodent-like animals. no dogs

  19. MTM says:

    I spent my 18th birthday this year in physics lab, working on MATLAB for 7 hours. Fun stuff.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Happy birthday , LULU~

  21. lulu says:

    and thanks for your kind words, ’12 parent. i think i still have a long way to go. I have yet to find a good metric for success: I definitely know what it’s not. But I don’t really know what it ought to be.

  22. AK says:

    I am in the 1st year of a college in India.Can I apply both as a freshman and as a transfer student?I ask this because I really wish to restart at MIT.If that is not possible now,then I will apply as a transfer student.
    Please reply.

  23. lulu says:

    hey AK-
    if you’re already enrolled you have to apply as a transfer you’re not allowed freshman status.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Lulu!
    Should I directly send the transfer form by mail or do I first need to create an account?Will my MY MIT account do?
    Also that which you have stated applies to MIT only or to all the US colleges?

  25. AK says:

    Thanks Lulu!
    Should I directly send the transfer form by mail or do I first need to create an account?Will my MY MIT account do?
    Also that which you have stated applies to MIT only or to all the US colleges?

  26. AK says:

    Sorry for posting two times!

  27. AK says:

    Just read the blogs above.

    Belated Happy Birthday!!!

  28. AK says:

    And do I need to give an interview since I have been already assigned one.

  29. lulu says:

    well i dont know much about transfer admission

    but this page does

    http://web.mit.edu/admissions/transfer/index.html

    and thanks for all the birthday wishes. how ironic. lol

  30. June says:

    happy birthday. (:

    thanks lulu. youre sacrifice is very admirable and inspiring.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Hope you enjoyed your years so far at MIT. Happy birthday. smile I want to meet you someday. raspberry

  32. ginshinran says:

    Black cats in white boots look so gentleman and smart! It’s actually my favorite!

  33. SRV says:

    @ lulu

    Happy belated birthday…………!!