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MIT student blogger Mollie B. '06

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu by Mollie B. '06

To you, and you, and you and you and you.

Since I start grad school orientation tomorrow, and tomorrow is Registration Day for MIT students (the official start of the new academic year) I figured today would be a good day for me to hang up my blogging hat.

I’ve really enjoyed the past fourteen months, and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to help people discover the MIT that I know.

Those of you who are at MIT (2010s, bloggers, etc), you know where to find me, and my door’s always open. I might even have cookies or pie.

Those of you who want to be at MIT, I wish you the best of luck. It’s a fabulous place, and I hope you’ll get a chance to be part of the community here.

Please let me know if you have any questions about MIT or grad school or the meaning of life, the universe, and everything — my email’s still mollieb at mit dot edu. I can’t guarantee that I’ll answer right away, but I’ll promise to try.

I love you all, and best wishes in the future!

32 responses to “So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu”

  1. Yes says:

    I’ve already graduated from college (in ’04) but have read your posts from time to time to get a feel for MIT culture and things like that.

    This is probably not the right place, but I was wondering if you can expound upon your graduate school application process. It would be great if you could give us your perspective on what grad school admissions committees are looking for and even better if you could somehow compare what the different schools you interviewed at emphasized…in short, any information you can pass on in that regard would be extremely helpful. I’ll be applying to MIT, Stanford, etc Comp/Sys Bio (or related) programs.

  2. Mollie says:

    Well, here’s some stuff I wrote this winter while I was interviewing:

    Generally speaking, grad programs in the sciences and engineering will look at the following factors (sort of, but not really, in order):

    1. Your research history. A PhD is a research degree, so faculty members want to see that you know what you’re getting into. Publications will help, but aren’t necessary.

    2. Your letters of recommendation. Pick the people who will write you the strongest letters of rec. Period.

    3. Your academic background. I get the feeling that your actual GPA and GRE scores are sort of irrelevant — they just want to see that you’re performing at an appropriate level for someone who might enter their grad program.

    4. Your research interests and statement of purpose. They want to see that your research interests are a good fit with the department.

    5. An interview. Not all fields interview, but those that do want to see that you’re articulate and well-informed about your past and future research directions.

    My advice is to get everything in as early as possible — it will give you time to send in anything that doesn’t make it there (for instance, I had a rec letter get lost in the mail and some GRE scores that got lost in the internet), and some schools start reviewing applications as soon as they come in, so if you get your stuff in earlier, you could get an interview invite earlier.

    If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email me — grad school applications are confusing and scary and it’s nice to have as much information as you can have.

  3. lupine says:

    Molly, I have always enjoyed reading your MIT blog and college confidential entries. Your writings were perennially thoughtful, informative, articulate, humorous, and compassionate. You will be missed by so many people who relied on your blog to better understand life at MIT, revealed in such a charming way. Thank you from one such grateful reader.

    Wishing you all the best in your graduate studies Molly, and every happiness on your wedding day and beyond.

  4. Christina says:

    AH! I am going to miss this blog so much. :-( I think this means I will be visiting you between 2 and 4 times each week, for an hour each time. If that’s okay. smile

  5. Charlotte says:


    I shall miss you terribly. One of the first things I do when I log on to the computer everyday is to check out your blog. Your entries often shine rays of hope into my life (I’m a fellow research student whose reactions have been failing on me time after time. Repeating the exact same procedures over and over again a zillion times really makes me feel that I’m leading a meaningless existence.).

    I wish you happiness at Harvard and as a bride– and as mom of little Mollie and/or little Adam in the far future. =)

  6. JKim says:

    WE’LL MISS YOU MOLLIE :( :( I still haven’t seen your place yet. So, I second what Christina said. <3

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hi Mollie, I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog for the past year or so. Thanks for the all the fun, informative, interesting entries.

    I just have one last question before you go–what’s the timeframe over which graduate schools let you know whether you’ve gotten in or not? I’ve heard that a fellowship (like the NSF fellowship) can really help increase your chances of being admitted, but since most people apply to grad school at the same time as submitting fellowship applications, don’t you get the news from your graduate institution before the fellowship foundation?

  8. Leo Luo says:

    Oh, no.

    Your leaving means MIT’s loss of a star blogger, my loss of a fond attachment. I like reading your blog. It presents itself to me as more than a salutary advice, it has become a default place to go for reliance.

    I’m not sure if this is true for other people, my dependence on this space, along with the trust built over the past year, the tough year, has given me more to miss than just your humor, consistency and enthusiasm.

    Now I am at Cambridge, standing in the middle of Killian Court, realizing this wonderful place is full of people sharing your kindness and inclination to extend both hands.

    Thank you, Mollie, for introducing me to my dream.


  9. Jon says:

    Sorry….reading the title of this entry, I almost puked a little in my mouth, because I despise Sound of Music, but then I read the actual entry, and now I’m all sad, well not really sad, but you know what I mean.

    Thanks for all your time and effort with the blogging. It really helped LOTS of kids/parents/extraterrestrials/moles with basically everything. Thanks again, and stay in touch if you can!

  10. Mollie says:

    Anonymous, my timeline looked like this —

    Jan 1: Last applications due.

    Jan 15: Started getting interview invites.

    Jan/Feb/early March: Interviews.

    Jan/Feb/March: Acceptances and rejections.

    April 15: Responses due to schools.

    NSF results came out this year in late March (the 30th, I think), well after I had gotten all of my decisions.

    I don’t think an NSF increases your chances of acceptance. I think being competitive for an NSF means that you’re extraordinarily competitive for graduate school anyway, and many people who don’t get an NSF still get into their top choice programs. (I didn’t get an NSF — didn’t even get an honorable mention.)

    And a note to Jon, above: Yeah, it was not the best choice of title. Every time I check the comments, I get that damn song stuck in my head. smile

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is the same “Anonymous” again–thanks for the info, and good luck in the future!

  12. Andrew says:

    Good luck in Grad school Mollie! ^^;

  13. Nur says:

    *sniff* WAHH!!!!

    Don’t leave….*sniff*

    Okay, I’m done now. I wish you success on all your future endeavors, both in academics and in life.

    Congratulations and Good Luck!

  14. Kaushik says:

    Much the same as Kim, I’ve been reading your blog for the past few months and I’d just like to thank you for all the wonderful advice you’ve given to all readers, Thank you, and good luck!

  15. Nina says:

    So, I feel its time for me to come out of the woodwork. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for a while now, and you will definitely be missed. Good luck in everything you do. smile

    P.S. And good luck especially with the boy! You two are too cute.

  16. Colin says:


    I will miss your blog terribly. Thanks so much for all the advice and help you’ve given. I wish you were going to grad school HERE instead. Heh.

    I will force Christina to let me come along on a lot of her tri-weekly trips to your apartment, even if you don’t have cookies or pie.

  17. Sanja says:

    Well, here is the moment I’ve expected since your graduation :( Goodbye Mollie, best of luck, you certainly deserved it. Thank you for all the information you gave us within the last 14 months. Thank you for all the fun I had reading your entries. You don’t have to believe me but I have tears in my eyes right now…

    Once again, goodbye and good luck!

  18. Kim says:

    Molly, I’m a first time poster but a long time reader of your blog. It has been a pleasure reading about all of your experiences at MIT, and I only wish you have the best. I was wondering, can we still access your blog at My MIT? Thanks, and good luck!

  19. Minh says:

    Good luck with grad school, planning the wedding, and doing whatever else it is that makes you such a wonderful blogger. smile

  20. Arkajit Dey says:

    I really enjoyed reading your blogs over this past year. They provided great, interesting glimpses into life at MIT. Best of luck with grad school and beyond.

    By the way, will you still be keeping a personal blog afterwards?

    – Arkajit

  21. faye says:

    Awww, I’ll miss you! Best of luck in grad school and beyond, and I hope your wedding is gorgeous and magical and all that jazz =]

    Thanks for answering a ton of questions for me and the other readers. Do you mind if I shoot you an occasional email? I’m an MIT hopeful and I’m really interested in Brain & Cognitive Sciences and Biology, which I’m sure you’re an expert in =]

    Once again, thanks for all you’ve done! We’ll all miss you.

  22. Anonymous says:

    you seem to have “milked” MIT for all its worth these last few days with all your blogging entries – how much did they pay you? collected a good sum I presume with trivial stuff!

  23. Mollie says:

    Nope, just because I wanted to say a few last things. smile

    You can’t get paid for more than 40 hours of work per week if you’re paid through MIT, and I was working full-time for Ben all through the month of August. The blogging was gratis.

  24. Jason says:

    Hi Mollie:

    I really love your blog, and I really enjoy reading it. Also, thank you for answering my stupid questions and telling me some very useful information, which really help a lot. Thank you, and hope you have a wonderful time at grad school.( I am just wondering are you going to Harvard or MIT?)

  25. thekeri says:

    Wow, I thought I’d left a comment, but it looks like it got eaten.

    Anyway, I’d do the whole “I’ll miss you and your blog” thing, but you do live a 30-minute walk away from me. And hey, walking is fun. I’ll show up with Christina at some point.

  26. margie says:

    thank you so much Mollie! I loved reading everything you posted about!

  27. Alberto says:

    You’re such a great person, and I’m going to miss your blog terribly. I guess with so many people repeating the same thing it’s lost some of its value, but I’m sure we all mean it dearly.

    I second Arkajit, will you keep a personal blog?

    I wish you the best luck in anything you do. Have a great life, and have fun, you deserve it!

  28. Ajit says:

    wish you the best Mollie for your future
    thank you very much for ur support

  29. Charlotte says:

    I’ll answer that for Mollie.

    She does have a personal blog but she’s not going to make it a public one.

    Nevertheless, she shall linger on in our memories…

  30. I am not sure if this is the best way to reach Mollie, but I am a professor at BU working on a project on girls, science and technology. I think she would be a perfect advisor to the TV series which will air in 2008.

    Please contact me if you would.


  31. jim says:

    “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in” Where’s that from?

  32. jim says:

    “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in” Where’s that from?