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Wake Up Calls by Ana V. '15

because The Big Picture needs you

Zombies. Sleepless, exhausted, drooling zombies that somehow believe they’re paying attention when in reality all they’re doing is scribbling incoherent pen-markings in every wild direction on their notebooks. You can find them walking aimlessly along the infinite, pleasantly hidden, but definitely not unnoticeable among the masses of people who obviously slept the night before.

It’s a well-kept secret. But I have proof. Behold the two most hilarious and zombie-affected pages of my physics notes for October 7, 2011 :

Take note (ahaha) of a few things:

1.) The reason you can’t understand my notes is not because they are written in some odd, complex language. I was simply exhausted. Just because it’s MIT doesn’t mean every single student is a massive super genius. (Proof that I am not is pictured above.)

2.) Notice how the first page says “Nathasha, help me,” on the right hand side. (She and I had pulled an all-nighter the night before to finish three psets, so we were planning to keep each other awake. xD)

3.) No, you don’t have to pull all nighters in order to finish all of your work as an MIT student. I know plenty that are never zombies. You just have to not join every single club/organization that you encounter AND have solid time-management skills. It’s all about what’s most important to you.

That said, you’re probably wondering why I would expose these pathetic notes to the whole world and why I am painting a rather morbid picture of MIT to you. Let me be blunt, my friends.

There will be days when you’re coming into Cambridge from Boston, halfway through crossing the river, and you look up to see the dome glowing at you, staring even. You start to think the dome is a mocking symbol of the work you have not yet finished, and of how no matter how much work you do there will always be more.

Basically, you start to see this:

For me, the hardest thing about MIT has not been the classes themselves. (I know, that’s hard for me to believe, too.) It has actually been finding the balance between work and fun, and I would think that’s true for most students here. After all, if you’re dedicated and interested enough and have an infinite amount of time, anything can be understood, no matter how complex, right?

After my whole schpeel about zombies and the mocking dome, however, I can honestly and excitedly say that I. Love. This. Place.

Why? Because amidst all of the stress, you are surrounded by a multitude of wake-up calls. They’re little reminders that life isn’t about one instance, or one particular event. It’s not about a hard pset, or about feeling badly because you really should have been doing work instead of baking 3 kinds of muffins and cookies *cough* or sleeping.  Everyone else is going through it too, some more smoothly than others, but in the end we can all relate.

Take for instance, a few weeks ago, when my stressed self came into class and got to listen to THIS amazing speech. It made my day, and keeps me going even today.

Every student has different goals, but ultimately I think what drives students to succeed here is the goal to contribute something positive to this world. People here do this in so many different ways, each with their own distinctive personality.

In the end, only one question is important. It’s the simple “Why are you here?”

It doesn’t matter who you are. If you’re a senior right now, getting through your stressful application essays, if you’re a college student in general, even if you’re done with your studies and are tackling other goals, think about what you’ve done to get to where you are.

Answer the question, and it should become your inspiration, your wake-up call.

8 responses to “Wake Up Calls”

  1. Pete says:

    Wow, thank you for this. I’m currently a senior working on college apps (procrastinating by reading these blogs, at the moment). Very timely for what I’m doing right now.

  2. Ana V. '15 says:

    I highly encourage you to watch that video I hyperlinked, then! It’ll seriously want to make you forget distractions exist.

  3. Pete says:

    Thanks Ana — I have it open in another tab, and will watch it before the night ends smile

  4. Sebyll says:

    I totally feel with you.I became a sleepless-exhausted- ZZZZzzzzOooombiieeee. But I keep on tracking now with my chemistry studies..i have my advenced chemistry test on tuesday( ..and so on.. O_o ) , in 1 day, 13 hours and 10 minutes:) Thanks for your post, I loved it:) And my keyword is time-management, and a well organized calendar. I think, its important to relax a bit time to time, or do some Sport. It helps the most when i feel really stressed, its the only way i can release my thoughts. I cant wait till I finish my application process. Im looking forward to get to know MIT students:) Greetings from Central Europe!

  5. Kirsten L. '15 says:

    Word.
    PS: The trollface was a nice touch.

    To all you seniors posting: I enjoy how you guys are procrastinate by reading the blogs <3. That makes me happy.
    Anyways, back to tooling…

  6. Adrian says:

    I’m in the same position as you are Pete, procrastinating with the blogs, but I’m glad I’ve stumbles upon with particular blog. Thank you Ana smile

    P.S. I liked the use of the trollface in the analogy.

  7. vicutoru says:

    This is your best post so far and something really remarkable is that you tell how amazing mit is… it exploit you to the limit and at the same time it makes you take out more more inside energy from your self with incredible speechs for example.

  8. bhavuk says:

    hey guys.. i m planin 2 go for MIT aftr my high school for undrgrats programmes. nd i m totaly new 2 d process. cn ny1 please help me out wth d proces for international applicants.