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MIT student blogger Becca H. '12

To the future! by Becca H. '12

and beyond?

Life after college is scary.  I can’t believe the time has come when I have to think about the real world.  Things like where to live, what to eat and most importantly, what to do with my life.  I’ve had a taste of the real world this summer when I had to track down a place to live (thanks Craigslist!) and people to live with, but the fact that it was all temporary made it easier.

My roommate (I live with real people too…)

I’ve made some real food this summer as well, but often times I’m just too tired after I get home from work and the gym to actually chop things up.  That’s going to have to change.

There’s some polenta, chicken, black beans and tomatillos in there.

The reason this is all on my mind is because I’ve been preparing to apply to grad schools, scholarships and fellowships.  I took the GRE a few weeks ago, which though not necesarily difficult, was stressful.  I have never taken an exam on a computer before (definitely didn’t like it) and that significantly slowed me down.

I’ve been working on my personal statement for a few weeks now and am now on draft 4 or 5.  It’s been itneresting to boil my personal development down to 1,000 words.  It’s made me reflect on what I really want to do and made me leran how to articularte it.  I’ve spent countless hours after work sitting with a mug of tea contemplating how I’ve reached the point I’m at.

If you had asked me three years ago what I would be doing right now, you would have gotten a very different answer.  I didn’t know what grad school was then, nor did I know anything about urban planning or transportation.  Back then, I was leaning towards Course 2 with product design or international development.  It’s amazing how things change.

At this point in the summer, I’ve realized I have less than 5 weeks left in my internship, and only 2.5 weeks left here in Bend.  I have yet to experience a lot of what I wanted in Bend, with many more road rides, hikes and floats down the river to do.  I need to balance these activities with the two page list of application essays I want to complete before I leave for my semester abroad.  I don’t want to spend my time in Brazil, South Africa and Vietnam stressing out over essay drafts.  As the summer goes on though, the stress is already building.

In the meantime, however, I am off to Balitmore on Friday for my company’s intern jamboree.  Basically it is a week meant for all the interns spread out across Kittelson’s seven offices to come together and meet.  Half of the week is devoted to the jamboree’s theme: politics to potholes, looking at how federal policy affects local projects, while the other half is a normal work week.  The jamboree involves tours of Maryland’s roundabouts, of DC’s bike infrastructure and meeting with the US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood (!).  It should be a fun filled week complete (outside of work) with Harry Potter, the Baltimore Orioles, hopefully some rowing (I’m trying to make some connections) and of course, lots of humidity.

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