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MIT student blogger Kevin S. '19

Third times the charm by Kevin S. '19

or so I hope

The past few weeks have been quite the welcome-back-to-MIT-and-the-firehose-oh-havent-you-missed-me-dearly kind of back-to-school welcome.

Before having much time to recharge from my summer travels — I was home briefly on 3 separate occasions (my family got 2 new Maltese puppers!); at a ski resort in Salt Lake City for a weekend, Seattle to visit friends, twice to Colorado Springs for training, Detroit for a competition, Chicago to visit my cousin at residency, and NYC just for fun (more on all that in a future post) — I was back on campus to help serve as a counselor for the week-long DiscoverEE FPOP.

My family took into our home two new Maltese girls — Tiffany and Coco — after our family friends from Australia moved out of California. They are the sweetest!

Reaching the summit of a 11k foot mountain, Mount Baldy, at Snowbird in Salt Lake City. Disclaimer: to be fair, I took a tram up most of the way and only actually hiked the last 1k or so feet of elevation.

Then it was Work Week for my fraternity, and Rush Week kicked off soon after, all before the first day of classes. Before the semester even started, I was running on 5-6 hours of sleep a night — the FPOP schedule went from 8:30 to late in the evening, Work Week activities lasted all day — and I still needed to train in between everything as well. For context, I’m more the kind of guy who needs 8-9 hours to feel like a functional human being.

FPOP schedule, packed from 8:30am to 9pm or later.

I’m not sure what was so funny? The DEE group at Revere Beach.

Then classes started, but Rush persisted on for another half a week. Again, another week of no sleep and all-day events. RIP sleep. RIP functional me. Luckily, this term my schedule has been lighter compared to previous semesters. I’m taking 6.034 (AI), 6.815 (Digital and Computational Photography), 6.937 (Computer Graphics), and 21M.734 (Lighting Design) — and I’m super excited for all of them. I’m holding off on taking some required classes — biology in particular — and other major requirements, i.e. the infamous 6.046 (Design and Analysis of Algorithms). I’ll let future-me take care of that.

My course schedule this term — a lot lighter than in previous semesters.

But, nothing at MIT slows down. Two weeks ago I had 4 psets due and a writing assignment within the span of a few days. Theoretically, I had a weekend to work on all of it. But, that Thursday and Friday, I spent several hours helping the lab I’ve been UROPing in over the summer set up for a demo for a VIP visitor. In a few weeks, I will need to help my supervisor and lab set up a large-scale demo for HUBweek in Downtown Boston in two weeks. That Friday and Saturday night I also performed in at the 47th Evening with Champions hosted at Harvard benefiting the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, and took part in the Gala dinner and receptions.

The cast lineup for 2017 Evening with Champions.

If that wasn’t enough, I also helped out with recruiting for MIT Consulting Group. I’m also staffed on a travel case and will be doing a final presentation at a client site in front of an executive panel in two weeks. Throw in there an application for a new study abroad program through the EECS Department with ETH Zurich Junior spring, and a formal New Member Ceremony for my fraternity’s new pledge class Sunday night. Oh, and HackMIT took place two weekends ago too — I only had enough time to drop by and provide moral support for my friends hacking.

Jenny X. ’19, HackMIT organizer, and I hacking hard or hardly hacking? 

On top of that, somehow hundreds of companies are recruiting on campus right now. It’s only been less than a few weeks into school, and I’ve attended dozens upon dozens info sessions, coffee chats, and tech talks. So many of them conflict with one another and with my classes I don’t even know what to do or where to go anymore. At one point, I had “info session” on my calendar, and couldn’t even figure out which company it was. I’m now at the point where I need todo lists to keep track of my todo lists.

A peek into my week.

Friday was also the annual Fall Career Fair. Almost 300 companies attended, and I had 35 or so companies on my hot list. I made my rounds through all 3 floors of the fair from 10:20am to 4pm straight, with no break, and still didn’t get through all the companies I wanted to talk to. Also need to find time this weekend to send in my applications online as well, and sort through all the companies I talked to. It’s interview season as well — at some point I’ll need to dig out Cracking the Coding Interview. I purchased it back as a freshman, yet, come junior year, still have yet to read through it. Tonight sounds like a good night to start.

My roommate and I pausing for a shot before Career Fair.

And my emails are spammed with flyers for events and networking and info sessions and other recruiting events and talks and this and that and I can’t even keep track of what’s important in my inbox anymore. For every email I process, 10 more seem to pop up out of nowhere. No kidding.

Inbox currently at over 51k emails. Disclaimer: I do forward and keep the important ones in my personal Gmail account.

The first few weeks of the semester, though, are always a great time to catch up with friends that I haven’t seen since Spring semester, and learn about all the wonderful things that they’ve done over the summer and the classes they’re taking this fall.

But for now, I ought to return back to my psets.

Hello, Junior fall!