Monthly Archives: November 2017

Semester Stressors


End of the semester is coming and so are all my deadlines. I have not been this stressed since my junior year of high school when my deadlines materialized all at once. This meme described my academics before late in my junior year. Not any more, but I still feel a bit caught.


This meme described my academics before late in my junior year.

Anakin Teacher Power Meme

Me early on in high school

I’ve been chipping at my partial differential equations paper for more than a month now. The content is still solid couple days of instruction above my head. Given that I’m not being instructed and I’m reading through literature on my own, it’s going to take me right up until its due to understand this paper. THEN, I can begin to write it.

The more I’ve learned about the Navier-Stokes equations, the more I’ve learned that this topic is above my current education. You may know that I tend to reach for my full potential, and this paper was no exception. I was regretting my decision to tackle this topic right up until this weekend.

I came into the Center for Life Sciences to talk to a neuro-oncologist and his lab because they were working on a multi-physics approach to treating brain cancer. I wanted to learn and to be a part of their team to do good math and good science and help people fight cancer. During the interview, one of the doctors was pleasantly surprised at a lot of the things I knew (and didn’t know. Heh.). My exposure to applications of Navier-Stokes equations and to Monte Carlo methods and to numerical PDE methods was rare for someone who has been an undergraduate in math for a little more than 2 years.

So. I’m stressed, but I know there’s a reason. And I know my professors and friends and everyone else has got my back in case I need help.

Withdrawal =/= Failure

Today I will submit my first (and hopefully only) course withdrawal form.

At first, this felt like admitting defeat. I had postponed the decision for far too long because I dislike losing. Withdrawing from a course implied that I couldn’t handle the material and that I didn’t study hard enough.

Feelings aside, I ended up executing the plan because dropping organic chemistry was the best strategic move. I had enrolled in MCPHS’s organic chemistry course because I was trying to get pre-med requisites done while I was finishing my math degree. After my REU this summer, however, I realized that medical school was not the best way to pursue my passions. I didn’t drop the course immediately because I was still hoping it would count towards my bioinformatics minor. That ended up being moot because it’s impossible for me to get that minor, even with organic chemistry.

After the drop, I have more liberty to work on other classes. I can put the time in to get my PDEs homework done without having to look up all the problem tutorials online. I get to take algorithms this summer and I may even get to take a computer science elective with one of my best friends from 9th and 10th grade.

Positives outweigh the negatives on this one.