Tag Archives: MIT

Noodle vs Grad Schools of the World

So this back-to-school thing is kind of taking over the world right now (well, Northern hemisphere at least, I’m not sure about the Southern one), and it‘s swept me along as well. Not that I’m sad that summer‘s over, quite frankly, it‘s a relief that the heat of hell is gone, and I’ve always been the weird kid who counted down the days left to September 1 (that‘s when we start school around here). I always get excited at the prospect of learning new things, meeting old teachers again and new professors for the first time (this started with university), getting nice new notebooks and stuff (and no, I‘ve never been beaten up in my life – if there‘s one nice thing about the middle of nowhere that is my home, it‘s that bullying of smart nerdy kids doesn’t seem to have made it here yet, at least not the wonderful school I went to).

However, this year my feelings about September 1 are kind of mixed. I’m starting my final year as an undergrad, and it‘s come way way too soon. I don‘t want to think about graduating yet, I want to bury my head in the sand and just stay put… choking and suffocating… OK, that‘s not gonna work. Anyway. I’m still kind of wishing to always remain undergrad.

I actually forced myself to start looking into prospective grad schools last weekend (yay my strong will). And it is SCARY. I mean, you would think that a simple google search couldn’t possibly be scary, and yet it is. Every time I type in a name of school I‘d like to check out, I get this rush of fear of the unknown and student loans, sense of complete loss, doubt in my abilities and grades and feeling that I’m about to fall into a bottomless black pit. But there‘s also excitement. Just a teensy bit of it, but it‘s there. There are also people encouraging me to shoot for my ultimate dream, which is… OK, I‘ll tell you too, my invisible (and possibly non-existent) reader, it is MIT – I know, I’m crazy! What the hell am I thinking?! I’m not very good at probability theory, but I know that the possibility of me getting into MIT is, let‘s say, finite. However, that‘s not going to stop me from trying. If just for kicks, because doing things for kicks is fun, and I want to have some fun in this otherwise very frightening experience.

I’m just glad that I’m NOT coming into it completely unprepared (and applying for undergrad studies doesn’t really count because the system in this middle of nowhere is very different from US, UK and other countries where my top grad school choices are). I’ve done a semester abroad on an exchange program. Granted that‘s simplified compared to actually applying to a university, but I still had to research schools, subjects offered there, apply for the exchange program and stuff. And then I got to spend a semester at one of the top 50 universities of the world (according to this site I‘ve been using to help me in my school search). Sure, it is closer to 50 than to 10, but still. I found out that I can do it very well, in a foreign country, foreign university and pretty different teaching system. And I learnt some pretty valuable things (not necessarily study-related). For instance, that I can‘t stand not understanding what people are talking next to me in line in a shop or wherever. It‘s so bad that I’m actually only looking in countries where I speak the language and making an effort to learn a new language, because I love the university in that country. I’m also getting a lot of support, advise and useful tips from friends all over the place (God bless them and the internet!). And who knows, maybe around this time next year I‘ll be moving to some university town in US and at the same time a lot closer to some of my friends. And this thought alone is exciting enough to make me actually want to go google those schools!.. Oh no, here comes the fear…

Kind of wishing that I always remain an ickle undergrad,