Drinking From The Firehose One Last Time?

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend so far! It’s the last long weekend of the semester, so make sure to relax and make it count!

Tomorrow marks the final month of classes as an undergraduate at MIT. It’s incredible how fast this semester has gone by, and the whole of these four years as well. I can’t believe that in just a little over a month, I’ll be able to call myself a college graduate.

In these waning weeks of my senior year, I’ve been trying to take the time to sit down and reflect about my overall experience here. Unfortunately, my workload has really escalated in these past couple of weeks, and I’ve been having late nights to keep up with assignments due.

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Welcome to “drinking from a firehose.” The phrase is commonplace around the Institute, where everyone simultaneously celebrates and whines about all the work their classes are putting on them. This isn’t anything new, since I’ve been dealing with the time-intensiveness of the classes here at MIT for a long time now. You’ll commonly hear the phrase “I’m so ‘hosed’ this week!” around campus.

Drinking from the firehose and being ‘hosed’ are essentially one and the same thing. You’re soaked in knowledge throughout the week, and during the weekends your struggling to absorb everything you’ve learned for completing your problem sets and preparing for midterms and final exams.

It’s a nutshell of life at MIT. For me, the whole “drinking from a firehose” is something you just get used to day in and day out at the Institute. I don’t want this post to turn into a bitchfest (excuse the language) about how much my work-life balance here at MIT sucks. I’m almost done with this place anyway (or am I?).

If anything, drinking from a firehouse can be a good thing. In what case, you ask?

Being at MIT, a majority of your focus will be on STEM subjects. Your coursework for your major will take up a huge portion of your waking hours. If you’re solely interested in your major and you don’t have strong, competing interests in mastering other activities, then it’s actually perfect.

You’re spending your waking hours mastering the specific subjects that you care about. Do that for four years with little interruption and you’re on your way to becoming an expert in that field.

Wonderful right? I think MIT is naturally inclined to suiting students who are more or less focused in one specific area of work. For example, if you know in advance that you love Computer Science and would not want to spend your time doing anything else, then MIT is like a Mecca for you for the next four years.

You’re being soaked with the knowledge that you deliberately seek. If anything, that’s a perfect setup for drinking from the firehose and being hosed to your hearts content. A lot of people at MIT find themselves in this position, and MIT becomes paradise for them (#IHFTP – I have truly found paradise).

And then there are others that don’t appreciate the constant pressure of the firehouse on them. They bear it as much as they can throughout the four years, waiting for the day it ends.

And then there’s me. As a Course 16, I love what I do in aerospace engineering, especially the sub-discipline I’ve focused in, Structures & Materials. My major keeps me incredibly busy with coursework, which I am fine with and have adjusted to. Interestingly, I’ve also developed a passion for writing, and interest in coding as I’ve gone through MIT over the years.

The main drawback to drinking from the firehose is that now, I don’t really have time to spend on those other interests of mine. There’s no way I can dedicate enough time to master all three fields (engineering, coding, and writing) here at MIT with the way that the academics are run here.

Being ‘hosed’ for me takes away from my other competing interests and passions. Luckily, I’m nearing the end of my undergraduate journey here, so time will naturally open up to be great at those three skills.

I think drinking from the firehose is great in theory, but in practice, it can be detrimental if you have different passions, since you’ll only have time to focus on one skill at most. I would love to be ‘hosed’ doing the things that I love in a balanced manner, spending time between engineering, writing, and coding, but for right now and the immediate future, all my time is spent on engineering.

Which leads me to my final point – I want to keep drinking from the firehose, but I want to make sure that firehose is ‘hosing’ me down in writing, engineering, and coding, not just in any one of these areas. Spending a lot of time in those areas in a consistent manner will supercharge my career and where I want to be in the future. The high intensity of doing what you love constantly under a reasonable amount of pressure can be powerful in unlocking your growth in those areas.

I know that my dream calling of blending these three areas isn’t going to be laid out for me like a traditional career track, or that it will come to me quickly, if at all.

It’s on me to make that happen for myself.

Hosed? Sure, let’s do it. But soon, I’ll be drinking from the firehose on my own terms.

Fred

Mid-Semester Update

 

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Hello everyone!

Hope you all are enjoying your Spring Break! I just wanted to come in with a short blog post updating you on the latest with me.

#MenswearMonday/Instagram: No new content from me this week! Since it’s Spring Break, my photographer and I are currently in different locations, so yeah…

Don’t worry! We’ll be back in motion soon…

Note: I’ve been thinking about keeping menswear stuff on IG only going forward (wouldn’t be crossing to FB anymore). If I do, I’ll make sure to let you all know when I make that decision.

Writing/LinkedIn: I mentioned this on my Facebook earlier ago, but I was working on a new writing series, From Start to Startup, where I profile several founders in the throes of building their company before they reach stardom! It’s gone really well, and I’m super excited to continue writing on that topic. The only negative aspect is that I have to wait weeks to publish a post since the founders I work with want to coordinate the article with the launch of their service or product. I’m totally fine doing that, but I would like to push out content on a faster and more consistent basis.

To do that, I will resume crafting and publishing opinion pieces on LinkedIn. I think LinkedIn is targeted towards reading educated, knowledgable opinions on tech, healthcare, employment, and other adult trending topics in a timely manner. I’ve had a lot of success with those kinds of articles on LinkedIn, so I’m going to get back to what has made me so successful on the platform so far! This doesn’t mean I will stop my From Start to Startup series (in fact, I’m actually working on another line of writing that has a lot to do with startups, but from a different perspective :)), but I’m making the effort to diversify my writing portfolio.

The biggest question I have to answer is how will I able to find the time to write during this incredibly busy period? I’m roughly 7-8 weeks from finishing up the semester and graduating!

Academics: Still kind of upset that this semester has turned out to be a lot more difficult than expected, but surprisingly, I’ve been able adjust and am doing well. Let’s hope this continue till the very end!

Udacity/Android App Development: Unfortunately, due to a busy semester like mentioned above, I had to pause my learning on Udacity. The plan is to return to the Android Developer course during the summer (targeting late June) and complete it before school starts up again.

Research: Has started off slow this semester, but I’m hoping to get some work done over the break. I’m incredibly happy with how my UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program) experiences have turned out, and I’m hoping I can finish up this last one on a strong note. I love what I’m researching (carbon nanotubes and carbon fiber reinforced plastics), and am glad that I have the option to deepen my understanding of this cutting-edge field of research.

The last thing I want to say is that I have been thinking deeply about my future, specifically, what my career would like in the short term. The opportunities that have been offered me to so far are exciting, but don’t exactly align with what I would ideally like to do in the future.

I don’t have a perfect idea of what the ideal job would look like, but I know at a minimum, the job would allow me to make full use of both my engineering and writing skills.

If I can’t find that job, or if it doesn’t exist, then it might be up to me to create that opportunity for myself.

The final question is then – do I start creating that future myself right this moment, or do I take care of business by graduating first?

Fred

 

Don’t Just Manage Your Time. Manage Your Energy Too.

#MenswearMonday or #MenswearSunday? Coming soon to an Instagram feed near you…

A post shared by Frederick Daso (@fred_soda) on

Pay attention to the caption for tomorrow.


Last Friday night, I wrote about a funny encounter I had with my dorm’s evening security guard on my Facebook wall.

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Thanks for looking out for me over all these years, Boomer.

I had a couple of friends have a good laugh over the matter at my expense (which I totally deserve, haha), but deep down, there’s a serious lesson to be had here.

Let me explain.

During IAP (Independent Activities Period, basically the month of January off for students to do whatever they want for non-MIT folks), I was at home working.

40 hours a week.

8 hours a day.

Wake up at 6:00 AM.

In the shower by 6:10.

Clothes on by 6:30.

Breakfast eaten by 6:45.

At work by 7.

Didn’t take lunch breaks either (I like to eat at my desk for some reason).

Back home by 3.

And that’s on a good day. Most of the time, if I came in later, I would have to work later to make sure I get all my work done and my hours clocked.

If this sounds like I hated my time spent during IAP, you’re completely mistaken.

I loved what I worked on then (and am still working on now) throughout January. I still haven’t realized how lucky I am to work on the project I am staffed on now as a 21-year-old engineer who isn’t even out of college yet. I have a rare opportunity in front of my hands, and I’m not going to waste it.

With that being said, those were how my highest quality hours (from 7-3, 9-5, whatever) were being spent.

Which means when I get home, I am dead tired from the work day. I had a goal of completing Udacity’s Android Basics Nanodegree in about four weeks (the average completion time was six months).

I was ultimately successful in completing the Nanodegree, but I was surprised at how hard it was to not only find the time, but the energy to sit down and crank out lines of code for each app I had to build to finish the online program.

I knew that I had only a finite amount of time to finish whatever I needed to get done that day in 24 hours, but I did not know that my energy is even more limited than time.

Seriously. The time I spend at work, those are my highest energy hours. I’m awake, well-rested, and engaged with my peers solving complex engineering problems for eight hours straight.

I did not realize how taxing that is on my brain until I get home. My parents tell me to rest.

But I can’t. There’s still work to be done.

What little energy I have left over is spent trying to write or code during the waning evening hours.

It’s barely enough to get a meaningful amount of work done, and staying up late only drains my energy for the next day.

You don’t realize how good of a deal you’re getting as a student in college  – you’re (largely) shielded from the pressures of adult responsibilities in as a fully-fledged member of society. There’s no pressure to put a roof over your head. No pressure to earn money to pay the bills every month. No pressure to feed yourself.

In most cases.

All that time and energy that would be spent as an adult worrying about those things is instead gifted back to you as a college student to stress about exams, relationships, job offers, friends, and psets.

Psets especially.

Being a student in college, regardless of where you go, is a pretty solid deal, compared to having to fend for yourself in the real world.

No one can fully lay a claim on your time and energy.

Energy. It’s finite too. Even more than time.

Time. The time I’ve spent here at MIT during these last three and a half years.

The weekdays were spent psetting.

The weekends were spent partying.

Three and a half years of nights of the weekends turning up to load music, strangers from other schools, and small groups of friends from campus.

Three and a half years of wasted energy on weekend nights.

Don’t get me wrong – I throughly enjoyed my time on the dance floor. The energy flowed out of me and into others as I dabbed, whipped, and jigged my way from song to song.

But I’m old enough now to realize that time, that energy, could have been better spent on more productive aims.

I’m not one to cried over spilled milk, or in this case, wasted energy.

I’ve learned my lessons and have adjusted my behavior accordingly.

Friday and Saturday nights used to be spent with a red solo cup filled to the brim in my right hand (with water obviously, gotta stay hydrated ;)), and a pretty girl’s hand in my left. Loud, blaring music would saturate the room and drown out the noise of people bumping and grinding.

Now weekends are spent in my room, hands holding pen and paper, straining to write one more sentence, or my fingers glued to the keyboard, struggling to type one more line of code. The only music that plays is from my Youtube or Spotify playlist.

No dancing.

And that’s alright. I didn’t expect my final semester to end like this, but if that’s the way it has to be, so be it.

I thought I’d go out with a bang.

But a quiet ending has its own benefits too.

At least I have the time, and more importantly, the energy, to spend on the things I love doing.

Fred

One Final Effort

Play this YouTube video while reading, it’ll enhance the experience.

I entered this semester thinking, “This is it.”

Seven semesters down, one to go.

This one was supposed to the easy one. The one where I take my victory lap, basking in the praise of a job well done.

But I was wrong.

Turns out, I’ll still be working like a dog till the very end. I’m not going to get into the details about how things turned out like this, except to say that I’ll be taking five classes (when I only need three to graduate at this point).

Which means I’ll have little time for anything else. I really hoped this semester would allow me to focus to research, coding, and writing with minimal interference from academics.

Heck, I even wanted to get back into Menswear (you’ll always see me well-dressed on campus, don’t worry) on Instagram, and even try my hand at possibly some comedy skits on the social media platform as well.

But I know I won’t have anytime for those extra things. So I’m going to stick to the core skills that have gotten me to this point so far, and will continue to take me to the next level in my career and life.

I only have three goals to cap off my undergraduate experience:

  1. Complete my composite simulation research in the NECSTLab research group
  2. Continue producing content for my new writing series (I’ll formally reveal this on Tuesday)
  3. Complete the Udacity Android Developer Nanodegree by the end of this semester

It’s going to be a tough set of goals to accomplish because of my academic workload. I’ll probably put these extra classes I’m taking on P/D/F in order to ease the pressure on myself.

On a final note, I have to say that my efforts so far have paid off (this weekend was proof of that when it comes to the research I’ve done – check the ‘gram for more details).

I have a bet that by doubling down on writing and coding, those two skills will take me farther than a formal education ever will.

We’ll see how things turn out.

Till then, it’s time to get back to work.

Fred

I Graduated!

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Graduated?

You read that right. I graduated.

But not from the program you’re thinking about.

I still have one semester to go here at MIT, but in my spare time, I decided to dedicate myself to learning more about Android Development for Mobile Apps. Here is the preliminary results of my dedication and focus towards Udacity’s Android Basics Nanodegree.

I earned my Nanodegree after completing their coursework in four weeks over the course of IAP (the average completion time is six months).

I drank from the firehose, but on my own terms and with a subject that I’m beginning to become more passionate about.

Still, I have my main objective to complete – graduate from MIT in one piece.

But that doesn’t mean that I should ever stop learning. And so I made sure that the seven weeks I was home, I made the most of my time to continue pushing myself to learn something new that I wasn’t familiar with or skilled at initially.

Going through this degree while working a full-time job taught me a lot about what life will be like after MIT.

Learning something new is incredibly difficult when you are not in an environment where that is the main goal. Which means switching careers can be more arduous and challenging than if one were learning in academia, where you are (partially) shielded from the pressures of real life.

I’m going to keep pressing on with my self-learning in both writing and coding in my final semester.

This IAP made me realize how rare it is to have time dedicated to solely learning once you leave academia to go work in industry. (I’ll talk more about this topic in depth in a follow up blog post.)

Time to rest now – I’ll pick up where I left off with Udacity starting next week.

Till then!

Fred

A Personal Finance Letter to Myself

As my time in college comes to an end, I have been particularly reflective on how my financial habits have formed. I’ve found that even with limited financial resources, I’m still able to learn how to manage my money well. Here’s a couple of lessons of personal finance wisdom I’ve acquired throughout college.

Choosing A School – Understanding Your Financial Aid Award(s)

Late in the Spring Semester of my senior year in high school, I was deciding between two highly selective colleges. The educational prospects at both universities were excellent. The only stark difference between the was the culture of the student body. One was clearly more nerdy, introverted, and geared towards STEM, while the other sported a preppy, social, and outgoing liberal arts focus. For me, the choice hinged on which environment best suited my career goals.

That is not to say I didn’t take the cost of attendance into my decision. While I ended up enrolling in the STEM school, the liberal arts college actually offered me a noticeable addition of money. My parents, who were still surprised and excited that I was in the position to decide between these two prestigious schools, were comfortable with my decision.

One thing I want to point out is that I did not do my due diligence in examining my school’s financial package close enough. The financial aid package had a line item named “Suggested Federal Student Loans” for an amount around a couple thousand dollars. The school had included this amount in their total financial aid package, but it would technically not show up when I came to pay for my first semester of school. My aid package was artificially inflated with this non-existent loan amount.

The school’s financial aid office assumed that I would take on these student loans automatically to pay for my education. I found this practice to be deceptive on their part. I ended up complaining to the school’s aid office as a result.

Although this oversight of my financial aid on my part did not affect my family in the long run, it’s still something I pay close attention to now in all of my finances. Read the fine print. Then you will know what you’re getting yourself into when you sign on the dotted line. Be sure to look into what your financial options are after graduating as well. Whether it’s deferment or refinancing your student loans, these options can save you headaches or even a bunch of money in the long run.

Choosing Your Major – Do What You Love Or What Will Pay The Bills?

I find myself lucky when it comes to the major I selected. Aerospace engineering happens to be my passion as well as something that will pay the bills. I knew this going into college because I come from a town where the aerospace and defense industry is large and booming. I knew being employed in the aerospace field was a clear possibility, and one that I would enjoy to boot.

Unfortunately, with the cost of college going endlessly increasing, picking your college major is more crucial than ever. As much as I am endeared to the idea of doing what you love for a living, my belief lies on a pragmatic approach to position yourself for employment in an industry with strong prospects, even if you’re not head over heels for it.

If you’re not able to major in what you love due to your passion lacking in its employment outlook, then at least do it as a hobby or even side hustle as you can.

Learning to Live Within Your Means

College is a great time to develop an intuitive feel for the value of a dollar. When it comes to the essentials, such as food, clothing, and other necessities, it’s important to find the best deals. Some restaurants and food trucks carry large servings of meals for cheap prices. I’ve always relied on these good bargains to feed myself outside of my meal plan for lunch. When it came to clothes, I always waited for the best sales to arrive in order to get discounted prices. Textbooks for class were either borrowed or bought cheap from other students.

Not having a lot of disposable income forces you to be resourceful in order to make your money last longer. Make sure you build good financial habits through your daily purchases. These habits will serve you well in the future.

Fred

2016 Ends. 2017 Begins.

Hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season with family, friends, and loved ones!

With 2016 coming to an end, now is the time to reflect. I’m not only reflecting on 2016 alone, but the past three-and-a-half years I’ve spent in college.

I’m still trying to make sense of my experience at MIT. Letting all the pieces come together.

Hoping that it’ll all make sense by the time I walk the stage this upcoming June.

When I was writing my autobiography, I noticed that I was able to have a much deeper understanding of my high school years rather than my time in college so far.

I guess being years removed from a certain event or time period can allow you to examine it more objectively in retrospect.

I don’t expect to make sense of my college years by the time I graduate, but the opportunity to reflect is valuable in of itself.

Looking forward, I don’t have any grand New Year’s resolutions. I’ve never really been a fan on these “resolutions” because if you need to make a change in your life, it’s better to start right now than the start of a new year.

If anything, my main goals for 2017 are continuing to listen, learn, and observe. I’ve heard, absorbed, and seen plenty of things throughout these years in the classroom and workplace. Yet, sometimes I feel that I am not as aware as I should be of myself, others, and where I am headed in life.

I’m hoping with more awareness and wisdom, I’ll be able to carve out my own unconventional career by taking risks and betting on myself to succeed.

Here’s to 2017! Let’s make the most of this.

P.S. – Next Sunday, I’ll be making an announcement regarding the future of the blog. Stay tuned!

Post-Election Thoughts: The Need For Empathy and Understanding of the Other Side

This will be one of the last things I write about regarding the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election on my blog. I generally don’t like talking about politics on here, but I’ve made an exception given recent events.

It’s been a pretty rough week for those of us who supported Hillary Rodham Clinton in the general election. Her loss Tuesday night was a huge downer. Especially so because I was at Wellesley – Clinton’s alma mater – where I watched the election with friends.

The past three days, I haven’t been able to sleep well, worried about the safety and well-being of my friends who the President-Elect has singled out based on race, sex, country of birth, and other factors.

But after waking up this morning after a long night of discussion with friends, I find myself at ease regarding the prospects of our country in four years.

Also, what helped spur along that calming sensation was from watching this video:

Michael Moore joined Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzeznski, and other panelists on Morning Joe to discuss the election results, how they came to be, and how we move forward together as a country.

This is probably one of the most intelligent and well-reasoned dialogues I have seen in mainstream media news in a long time. I would certainly rate this as the best discussion I’ve heard throughout this presidential race.

If you want answers to the following:

  • What the was rationale behind the votes for Trump
  • Why Democrats had a smaller turnout than necessary
  • How Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump had essentially the same economic message, but both did poorly when considering the racial component of economics
  • What it will take to move forward together

Then you should watch this video.

I won’t bother trying to explain the full details of what was discussed. I don’t want to taint this incredibly pure discussion with my interpretation of what was said, so I strongly encourage you to watch the clip for yourself (warning, it’s 45 minutes long, but worth every second, I promise!).

I will say this though: the need for understanding and empathy of both Clinton and Trump voters is paramount to making it through these next four years. If anything, this mature discussion makes me more hopeful that we can come out of this stronger together when the time is right.

If you don’t pay attention to most of it, then the one thing I want you to take away is that both Clinton and Trump voters have legitimate, but not equal, concerns regarding the future of this country.

If you can walk away with understanding both sets of grievances from each side, you will be a lot closer to solving the problems in this country.

It would be wise if you’re on one side to listen carefully to the other’s opinion without judging or shaming them for voting the way that they did.

If anything, I’m looking forward to discussions around the Thanksgiving table, for there so much to learn from one another in strained times like these.

Fred

 

 

To Those Who Supported Donald Trump

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Hello,

If you’re reading this, you are either in one of the three following parties:

  1. A supporter of the now President-elect Donald Trump
  2. A heart-broken Hillary Clinton voter
  3. Someone who doesn’t give a shit about US Electoral Politics

If you are in the first group, then this blog post is meant for you. If you’re in the second or third group, I hope you’ll keep reading, because I think there’s something we all can learn from this election.

To those who supported Donald Trump, I want to offer my congratulations. Although I neither voted for him nor agreed with his vision for America on multiple counts, he will be our 45th President of the United States of America. This, I must accept.

It’s better to gracious in defeat, rather than arrogant in victory. I hope both sides can at least agree with that statement.

Throughout this election, those who have supported Donald Trump have been portrayed as racist, sexist, xenophobic, intolerant, etc. Every slur in the book has been used to paint his supporters in a negative light.

I, on the other hand, do not believe that at all. You all are hard-working Americans who struggle day in, day out, like the rest of us to achieve the American Dream. Your communities are hurting terribly, and you all are afraid of being left behind in an era of globalization and progressivism. I have many friends from home in Alabama who voted for Donald Trump. He held held a rally in my hometown’s football stadium. While it was disappointing that he was well-received, that doesn’t make me think any less of my friends back home who I see at work or at church everyday.

It is undeniable that Donald Trump’s campaign has attracted some of the most intolerant, nativist portions of our electorate, but I don’t believe that all of his supporters are like that.

It is neither fair nor fitting to paint you all as bigots because the candidate you supported employed racist rhetoric against a variety of different races and ethnicities in our melting pot of a culture. Just because you support a candidate who says nasty things doesn’t automatically make you a person who does the same. If that were the case, then everyone who supported Hillary Clinton is an elitist, corrupt crony who only cares about serving themselves, their friends, and their own interests.

We know that both generalizations of each group of supporters isn’t true at all.

The language that the mainstream media has used to describe you all is at best paternalistic, and at worst, downright mean. It’s the same language that my friends use here in Northeast at their liberal, elite schools to describe ‘Donald Trump supporters.’

That phrase – ‘Donald Trump supporter’ – immediately carries the negative stigma of being seen as uneducated, uncultured, and intolerant. It is incredibly easy to tear down someone’s personality when you resign their identity to being nothing but a “Donald Trump supporter.” And the same goes for when you call someone a “Hillary Clinton supporter”, you strip down their identity to qualities you abhor to see in a person.

And I’ve been guilty of this too. Instead of listening closely to those who support President-elect Trump, I only heard the mainstream media presenting rather tired tropes of what a ‘Donald Trump supporter’ is and is not.

This election has been a wake-up call for me to not trust wide, sweeping generalizations of the American electorate. It’s pretty clear that both parties did that and paid a heavy price (if you were part of/seen to be part of the Washington establishment, you lost in either the Republican or Democratic primaries or in the general election).

Clearly, with Donald Trump being the President-elect, shutting one another out because we don’t agree with one another wont get us anywhere as a country.

Which is why I’m writing this as an invitation to better understand the plight of those who support Donald Trump. It’s clear that both parties have ignored the demographics that Donald Trump (and to a certain extent, Bernie Sanders) have so successfully attracted.

This election has shown me that it is a lack of understanding of one another that is driving the divide in this country. 

Still, I do have one question to those who supported Donald Trump. If by electing Donald Trump, you all sent a message to the “establishment” which engendered your discontent with the current status quo and your desire for it to be changed, then why did you waste of all of your anger, frustration, fear and most of all, desperation on a Presidential election?

The truth is, voting one man (or woman) into the most powerful office in the world will not get rid of the Washington establishment. It’s clear that Clinton represented the establishment is in many ways, but her losing this election doesn’t change the status quo at all.

It’s the same naive hope that America had in 2008 when electing then-Senator Barack Obama. We thought that the establishment (Congress, lobbyists, etc.) would give way to Obama as he would bring into reality the hope and change that he manifested throughout the election.

They resisted him at every turn. The Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives for the majority of President Obama’s time in office. They have been the main obstacle in passing a variety of legislation focused on improving the lives of all Americans, especially those hurting most in rural areas, which happened to be the bastion of Donald Trump supporters.

And now, with this election over, they control both the House and Senate. These same obstructionist Republicans remain, undeterred and even bolstered by this election, to continue the same politics, year in, and year out. Republicans and Trump don’t see eye to eye on multiple issues, and with the same obstructionist tactics in place, the establishment will continue to run things as they are.

The truth is that your ‘protest vote’ against the status quo has only sustained it in all its entirety. You hate the establishment, yet you vote for the same Republican (and Democrat) congressmen, election cycle after election cycle.

You traded hope for fear.

You traded your fellow citizens sense of safety and belonging in this country for your own economic security.

You traded progress for the status quo.

Was it worth it?

Fred

 

The Last Goal I Want to Accomplish While in College

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(Currently writing this while listening to a mashup of Desiigner’s infamous Panda song.)

I’m feeling hype right now.

This semester has started off on a strong note, and I’m ready to take it to the highest pitch. This weekend has shown me when the right people, the right timing, and the right opportunity come together all at once, great things can happen.

I’ve always had an affinity for meeting new people, and I’m blessed that my senior year is still giving plenty of opportunities to do just that. I had a bit of a dream come freshman year that I would be able to connect people to one another, and I’ve been able to build steadily towards that goal through being on the 2017 Class Council, the Undergraduate Association Events Committee, and so many other organizations.

But now I’m ready to take this vision and turn it into reality – I’ve managed to run into a couple of other people who have this same interest and are ready to make it happen as well.

It’s interesting how Boston has the highest college students per capita in the world, yet these colleges rather disconnected from one another. I would have imagined running to different college students on a more frequent basis (I say this as someone who’s an avid networker).

Shouldn’t that change?

I’ve dared to do a lot here at MIT – I never been afraid to try something new, charting my own path in the process. I know that what I’m trying to do is bizarre to some, and downright confusing to others. Most of my peers and classmates won’t understand what I’m trying to achieve or why I’m trying to do this in the first place.

Don’t worry. You’ll experience it soon enough.

I just feel compelled to at least give this goal one last shot.

Call it a new approach to an old dream.

What else can I say? If there’s one thing I can say I’m truly good at (MIT does a great job of showing you how much you suck at everything else, academics primarily), it’s bringing people together have a great time.

Time to go finish what I’ve started.

Fred