Reapplying to the ETC

I'm back at school now. Have been for a week. Every other year I have been dying to get back to school. I would make my break at short as I could. Not that I don't love my family and enjoy being home, but it is crowded and crazy especially compared to the calm of school during the break and there are always project I want to get back to. This year it was not so. My time at home, by neccessity this time and not choice, was about as long as it ever is but it felt longer. Maybe that was because I cherished every moment. Last semester was tough and I wasn't enjoying myself very much. Most of my problem revolved around finding a project that interested me. I wasn't looking forward to going back, though I do have to be here for IAP.

I thought a lot about the possibility of leaving the Media Lab. Often last semester I had wished I had gotten a job. I've been talking to a lot of people about it lately. Upon reflection, I've done well so far, but haven't really gotten into it. Reexamining the choice I had to make last year, the more the ETC seems like the place that I belong.

Now that I've spent a semster at MIT the differences between the two programs are really clear. I think I based my decision to go to grad school based the ETC as my idea of grad school. Since my freshman year, when I heard about the ETC, I knew it was what I wanted to do when I graduated. If it hadn't been for that, would I even have considered grad school? I don't know that really expected the Media Lab to be like that, but I think I seriously discounted the difference in subject material and methodology.

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Keywords:ETC | Media Lab | MIT | Carnegie Mellon | Grad School
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Speeding Up

It is later. When I wrote on Tuesday, things were slow. Things hadn't really gotten started but I thought it was all my fault. I was being narrow minded thinking that the week starts on Monday. This week clearly started on Wednesday. It has been a flurry of positive activity since then.


Wednesday hosted a Welcome reception under the great dome, the first real orientation even. Although initially I felt like I looked or acted a little young, it went very well. After some initial hesitation, in my usual fashion, I met a lot of cool people and realized I wasn't so alone, wasn't so different.

The next event that night was at a bar. Some people I had left the reception with said they were planning on going. When I arrived at first I had a very young and out of place feeling again, but just as I was going to leave, the people from earlier showed up and we had a good time. I met some new people there as well, and then when I might have turned in, Monzy called me so I went to hang out with him at the other campus pub, where he works. More new friends. Still the first night I'd met anyone and already I was running into people I had met before.


The first event of the day, quite early in the morning, was Media Lab orientation. I met the other student I will be working with as well as many other Media Lab students (including some I had already met). I did not see my advisor. I still have not been able to figure out if our group has a name or if we have space or what we do.

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Keywords:MIT | Orientation
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New at MIT

I just moved into my new room at MIT on Sunday. I'm excited but at the same time worried. I can't wait for things to really get started so that I have work to do. I think I'll be doing some neat things and at least it will give me something to do. This week is a tough one for me. I'm starting over. As an undergrad you have a plethora of "temporary friends", people you can hang out with if you aren't comfortable in social situations on your own, until you meet your real friends. Roomates, people down the hall, RA's, OC, and more. That's not the case now. It's hard for me to meet people. I can usually find something to say, I have all sorts of stories for any situations, but my friends have made fun of me for that, so I hesitate instead of saying what I want to. And if it's some welcome speech or something I can probably say hi to someone around me, but I've never been good in real social situations, especially when I'm by myself.

So far I've gotten my room mostly set up, I still have some more unpacking to do, I've done some errands for things I've needed, I've done a little exploring, I hung out with a friend of mine that works in Cambridge, and I went on grad student campus tour. I know it will get easier and I'm looking forward to that. More later I guess.
Keywords:MIT | Worries | Orientation
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