Saturday, May 14, 2016

Liz's Declassified 20.109 Survival Guide

Now that we've all successfully completed and survived 20.109, I feel that we should impart our wisdom to the upcoming class next semester. Here are my tips to help you survive 20.109:

Tip 211: Get a jump start on the next major assignment

This is something we all tell ourselves we're going to do before each assignment. Do me a favor and don't just tell yourself, actually do it. Take advantage of the homework assignments; if you do a thorough job, you'll be able to use them to construct most of your major assignment. Trust me, you'll be one of the few that gets a full night's rest the night before the assignment is due and you can walk into class the next day looking like this:

Tip 109: But if you're a procrastinator, invest in some caffeine

You're going to need the boost when you're hard at work the night before the big assignment is due. However, if the procrastination lifestyle works best for you, who are we to judge? Warning: consume in moderation 

Tip 856: Makes sure to always check the wiki

The wiki contains all of the due dates for assignments, quiz dates, and protocols for every lab day. Make sure you take the time to look over the wiki so you're not caught off guard

Tip 11: If you get unexpected results, don't freak out

We do real science in this class. Every result has a some sort of significance to it, even if your results indicated nothing changed/ everything became nonfunctional. Just because your project wasn't the best, doesn't mean you don't have something to contribute. 

Tip 673: Have a problem? Don't be afraid to ask for help

The professors for this class are phenomenal. Ask questions in class, send an email, go to office hours. They will try their best to answer your question as soon as possible and answer it thoroughly. They are very patient and genuinely want to see you succeed. Don't be afraid to say something!

Tip 900: Take the time to talk to other groups

Over the semester, you will be seeing the same group of people for a few hours every week. Don't make the mistake of getting through the whole course and not knowing anyone other than your lab partner. Great friendships are waiting to be made!

Tip 435: Be prepared for a lot of research and writing 

This class is a CIM and is listed as a 15 credit class. This class will consume over 15 hours of your time each week. You will have over fifty tabs of research articles on your internet browser at any given time and you will spend hours trying to make your writing sound more 'scientific'. It takes hard work and determination to be a 20.109 geek.

Tip 20109: Relax, breathe, and enjoy the class 

This semester will go by quickly and before you know it, it'll all be over. Take some time to enjoy the new skills you'll be learning and the people you're working with. 

With these tips, you should be all set to survive the next semester! Good luck!

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