Wednesday, April 13, 2016

20.109, MCAT, and being a senior

This blog is mostly about 20.109 while MCATting.

So the MCAT is hard. It requires a regimen, it requires focus, it requires a lot of reading and practice problems. And it requires bladder control (read :

It's not that 20.109 is hard. 20.109, given an appropriate amount of time and focus, is extremely manageable, especially for seniors, who normally have experience in labwork and/or communication. However, it does require focus, and the MCAT tends to take that. Whenever you have a break in classes, you will want to be cramming new material into your head. Any second spent editing a figure or caption, even just making fonts bigger or smaller, feels like a second you could have learned what on earth FSH stands for or which needs are on Maslow's Hierarchy.

When that 7.5 hour test is over, the first feeling is relief. The second feeling is the taste of Insomnia Cookies. After 12 hours of sleep, being able to focus on other classes, at least for me, becomes a blessing. But it goes away as you remember sleeping, family, friends...

Which brings me to the next topic! 20.109 while a senior. So, from the outside, senior year can look like:

But really, we've all seen what 4-8 years can do...:
Image result for senior year meme
Image result for senior year meme college hard

It can be difficult to admit, but classes are almost never the ultimate priority during senior year.  You are facing big transitions and decisions, and the real challenge is defining your priorities: keeping track of long-term goals and short-term goals. The communication skills for 20.109 require revision and thought even more so than time alone, and that takes a lot of dedication and focus.

20.109 is a fun class. It combines cool science, original research, and communication skills, and is honestly one of the best classes I have taken while at MIT. However, it is geared to sophomores, and, senior year a lot of life is happening.

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