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MIT student blogger Cristen C. '10

A Week in the Life: Optimism Edition by Cristen C. '10

In which I have a particularly tough, enriching week.

“I like how you say that with a smile on your face,” my hallmate Vinayak ’09 told me that Sunday night, genuinely pleased. “‘Oh I was just working in studio for five hours and I hate my life but it was awesome,'” he mimicked in a higher-pitched voice and some sort of everlasting smile.

It was past three in the morning and I’d just returned home from Studio 7, a land of glue, x-acto knives, mounds of paper, pencil and pens, printers, laser-cutters, and shiny Mac Pro computers. Monday afternoon would welcome my first final review in 4.112 (Integrated Architecture Studio). I’ll tell you more about studio later, but do know that finishing up sketches for that project made me a half hour late to 4.42J/2.66J/1.044J (Fundamentals of Energy in Buildings) that morning.

After the review I had but two hours break before meeting one of my partners for 4.411 (Building Technology Lab). We spent a few more hours building our model of a house in Gujarat, India. I’ll tell you more about this later, too.

I didn’t wake up on time Tuesday morning, so I can’t tell you about the tour of Boston my 11.001 class went on.

In lab, Arka ’10 and I had the only completed model, so we got to go outside and take measurements under cloudy skies. We realized just how dark a house without windows is under diffuse sunlight when we measured 12000+ lux outside and a grand 12 lux inside a room. Yeesh.

That night, I tried to work on a paper but couldn’t. I also didn’t win any art in the lottery.

I decided I didn’t know what I wanted out of a relationship so I tried to break up with my boyfriend. Perhaps knowing me better than I knew myself, he convinced me that we should take a break for a week to clear our heads. It was a really smart idea, so I agreed to this plan. The first night, I cried. Right now I feel okay. I’ve got all this… extra time now (as you may know, time at MIT is of utter importance). I’d always wondered whether being at MIT was really too stressful for nurturing a serious long-lasting relationship; perhaps one day soon I’ll find out.

Wednesday was a beautiful sunny day at Harvard University. Our studio class met at the T station to visit the site for our next project. Armed with sketchpads and pencils and charcoal, we journeyed to a small side street and spent the next three hours on sketching. It was amazing.

At night I went to a showing for 21F.063. We watched Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro, a 1979 movie from Japan which is also Hayao Miyazaki’s first full-length film.

I’m still slightly sleep-deprived. Thanks to poor time management the previous days, I spent most of the rest of the night writing that paper.

Today is Thursday. Thursdays always make me really happy because I only have two classes, 11.001J/4.250J (Intro to Urban Design and Development) and 21F.063 (Anime: Transnational Media and Culture). I don’t really have class on Fridays this semester, which makes my weekends start super early at 2pm!

But I can’t stop now. Career Fairs happen every so often, including this day. In my past two years here I’ve never been able to drag myself to these things. Now I’ve decided to go there, shove resumes in people’s faces, and generally just do this summer job search thing right! But while the list of companies recruiting all majors is small, the list of companies recruiting Course 4 students is even smaller:

Cannon Design
China Vanke Co., Ltd.
Exponent, Inc.

You can count six here. Six! They range from consulting to real estate to firms. Now I’m laying in bed sleepy and somewhat unmotivated. Career Fair lasts for three more hours — all I’d have to go is get my bum up and GO! There is only one company on this list that even interests me.


A smile on my face.

What am I trying to say here?

  • Classes make me do lots of cool things besides sitting in a room and psetting.
  • Career fairs are aimed at more popular majors.
  • The homework isn’t the only thing that’s hard in college.
  • Sleep-deprived doesn’t mean unhappy.

I look forward to telling you about more weeks at MIT… :) smile!

18 responses to “A Week in the Life: Optimism Edition”

  1. cristen says:

    omg first post guys!

  2. Fangfei says:

    Great post, Cristen! =D I look forward to more of your bloggings.

  3. huxley says:

    Nice post. I like your point that sleep deprived doesn’t necessarily equal unhappy. Very true.

  4. deng says:

    someone told me today that “stressful fun is the only good kind of fun”
    though hmm.. did that even apply to this?

    and which major is course 4?

  5. Solstice says:

    Am I counting this up correctly? You’re taking 6 classes?

  6. Enas'12 says:

    Great post =)

    Thanks for stating how architects work and how uncommon the major is in the real world (or career fairs) lol.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Are you going to wake up bright and early tomorrow to snag one of the remaining art pieces at the LVAC?

  8. Vicky ('15?) says:

    Finally! A course 4 major blogger!

    I anticipate your posts!

  9. Shreya says:

    You mean a house in “Gujarat”, right?

    Great post, by the way! Especially the beginning.

  10. Bayo says:

    I am your greatest FAN

  11. cristen says:

    Course 4 is architecture

    you’re close.. but it’s 5 classes, not 6.

    yes I’m new. you all are so supportive!! thank you! :D

    ack, yes Gujarat*. I think I’d gotten confused because the teacher kept describing the house as the Gujarati house. Thanks for the sharp eye. raspberry

  12. Banerjee says:

    Hey! Are you new to the blogging thing here? Anyway, nice job! Keep ’em coming!

  13. lulu says:

    cristen = awesomeeee

  14. Mikey says:

    omg Cristen I can’t believe you got first post!!! lol. I considered starting to do that on my posts too so I get all the glory…bwahahaha

  15. Reena says:

    “Sleep-deprived doesn’t mean unhappy.”

    So, so true. Even if you’re not at MIT.
    Depends what you’re sleep-deprived from, I guess. And if you’re proud of what you accomplished during the sleep-deprivation. :D

  16. DD says:

    Is it difficult to maintain a long-distance serious relationship if you’re in college and your partner somewhere else? Like so what are you going to do ? Isn’t it lonely not having that special someone to share your special moments with?

  17. Anonymous says:

    is it just my computer being dumb or has no one posted anything in the past three days?

  18. @DD

    It very much depends on the people involved. If you and your partner are mature, if both of you understand that it may be difficult or impossible to call or AIM every single day, and if both of you are willing to make an effort to write letters or call or talk occasionally, then there is no major reason that you cannot succeed.

    Is it lonely to be without your significant other? It can be, yes. But you also get the chance to tell your best friend and life partner about your successes, your trials, your crazy, funny, MIT-esque moments, so that they can experience the best of MIT’s culture despite living many hundreds of miles away.