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MIT student blogger Derrick B. '08

You’re Not Alone by Derrick B. '08

Even if you think you are.

My Mondays are horrible. I’m thinking about bringing a camera with me next Monday so you all can see what they’re like, but until then here’s a teaser:

5:30 – 6:00 AM: Wake up
6:00 – 7:15 AM: Mandatory NROTC Workout
7:30 – 9:00 AM: Naval Science Class
9:00 – 10:00 AM: Electromagnetism II
10:00 – 11:00 AM: The last two thirds of cell biology lecture (I miss the first third because it conflicts with my 9 AM class)
11:00 – 12:00 AM: Integrated Chemical Engineering
12:00 – 1:00 PM: Lunch/Time to breathe
1:00 – 2:00 PM: Astronomy Lab Lecture
2:00 – 3:00 PM: Frantically read for my seminar in Japanese Politics and Society
3:00 – 5:00 PM: seminar in Japanese Politics and Society
5:00 – 7:00 PM: Dinner/Homework
7:00 PM – 12:30 AM: Astronomy Lab

Last Monday (actually it was Tuesday morning) I was on my way home after astronomy when my phone rang. It was Julianna, one of my ICE (Integrated Chemical Engineering) team members. It was 12:30 AM, but she knew I was awake.

“Hey Boone, I went to office hours for ICE tonight.”
“Cool, how’d it go?”
“I just found out we did our entire economic analysis wrong. Can you come over and help?”
Yeah, I can come over.

We worked for a couple of hours, and I found myself lying on the floor of the lounge debating the finer points of reaction scheduling in a batch process with our other team member, Joe. I’m not sure why I was on the floor, or how I got there, but I guess I was on the floor because that thing I was staring at was the ceiling. Then it hit me. I realized that this would make a good blog post. This was what MIT was all about.

Wait, Derrick you can’t mean MIT is about being ridiculously overworked and not getting enough sleep. Well, that’s certainly part of it, I’ll admit. But that’s not what I was getting at. I may have been overworked and tired, but I wasn’t alone. There were people with me, just as tired and overworked, who wouldn’t let me down. I wouldn’t let them down either. That’s what MIT is about: putting together a group of like-minded people who can overcome any challenge, no matter how difficult. We worked together and finished around 3:00, at which point I went home and got some well-deserved rest.

The moral of the story: you can’t do MIT alone. That’s important, so let me repeat it. You can’t do MIT alone. You’ll need friends to teach you and support you, to make you laugh and to keep you from crying. So just remember, when you’re exhausted and you still haven’t started your pset that’s due in 8 hours, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there, or are there right now, or will be there soon. Help is all around you.

17 responses to “You’re Not Alone”

  1. Aditi says:

    that is indeed reassuring

    but dont you enjoy every bit of the frantic chaos anyway?i mean its got to be a lot of hard work but it still sounds amazing and yes FUN!

  2. Snively says:

    Um, even if you are at MIT, he at 3 isn’t really fun…

  3. Manders '13 says:

    Wow! Sorry about the Mondays D:

  4. Paul says:

    Late-night p-sets at MIT are a perfect example of the principle we like to call IHTFP. The work’s not easy, and it’s definitely not fun – at least, not while you’re actually doing. But once you’ve actually finished it, when you’ve pushed yourself past what you thought was your breaking point and you’re still going strong…that’s when you can actually feel accomplished. That’s MIT.

  5. Hunter '11 says:

    Wow, that’s one intense Monday. How do you survive that? And I was thinking about how I’ll have a 10-3 block next quarter because of my new PE…

    And yes, I’m learning more and more that MIT is tons of work, nothing like high school – and yet, we’re all surviving it, aren’t we? And we can be proud of ourselves for that.

  6. Looks like someone has a case of the Mondays…

  7. Another '11 says:

    I believe you’d get your a** kicked sayin’ something like that, man.

  8. lulu says:

    “9:00 – 10:00 AM: Electromagnetism II”

    8.07? how do you like it?

  9. Derrick, you’re amazing~!

  10. Nihar says:

    Woahh!! Thats one heck of a Monday! And thats the start of the week at MIT?! Amazinggg!…Im sure tough days are fun when faced together with friends. Come to think of it, MIT is one place where the phrase “one-man army” would be unheard of huh?

    @Paul :
    IHTFP?? smile

  11. Sam says:

    pick a good ICE group!

  12. Oasis says:

    Just finished 7.012 pset. 5 minutes ago I was all like “DIE, DIE, DIEEEE” to the pset. Amen to what Snively said about 3 AM psetting!

  13. Derrick says:

    @lulu
    8.07 is hard (at least for me). But it’s interesting, in its own incredibly mathematical way.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wow. A lab that goes until 12:30.

  15. Alumni says:

    Oh thats really horrible, same day is my friday… thats what i call EXTRA horrible- because of wasting parts of my weekend :D

  16. Akara says:

    Oh the joys. At least i know I’m not alone. The 5:30 wake up call has been the story of my life the last couple of weeks. Good luck with your Mondays though :-]