Academic Insecurities

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this would be a tweet but I don’t tweet :3

i didn’t do great in my theoretical computer science class (perhaps in part i didn’t feel like i deserved to do well, though it was one of those classes where I think most of the class didn’t get most of the material either).

but it feels a bit weird, since right now, free of talking to other people who might be a bit dick-ish about things, i don’t feel like this means that i’m fundamentally incapable of doing well at theory, or that this means i can’t do research.
but i did somehow scrape a good grade out of underactuated robotics, i still feel like a fraud about it, but i’ve been using it to say to myself, ok, you can still do good work if you have time and support. yea, maybe it’ll takes me longer, but it’s not like a character failing or something that i have to work hard to learn things. (another professor-induced insecurity: “if you were a CS major you wouldn’t have to spend so much time on classes” as opposed to doing research presumably)
and another note, i had an  industry friend in a completely secure way say, yea i didn’t do well in pset classes and did well in project classes, and most of the skills I use now I learned from projects outside of class,. i’m doing great at my job and am well-respected
that was nice to see a, not-insecure way of thinking about my skillset
somehow, a few years in from people having incredibly low expectations of me (“can you handle stress” — i graduated from mit, yes i can handle stress), this one class doesn’t deter me from having faith that I could do well in the theory class if I had enough time/motivation, background knowledge, and support. nor does it mean i’m incapable of doing research.
now i just have to make sure to make this point to my qualification committee, which is a bunch of professors who don’t really know me nor my intense workload this semester: taking three classes, TAing two sections, finding an advisor, and working on my quals research. and that’s all just the work side of life…
and now to conclude with a picture of my roomie’s cat

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2 thoughts on “Academic Insecurities”

  1. You’re doing a lot. Upper level grad courses can be insanely difficult, and doing 3 of them while working on quals (plus a part time job) is already more than 40 hours a week.

    I would probably never do 3 classes like that unless one of them was a thesis class towards the end. Hopefully things settle down for you after quals. Fight Hard!

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