Pushed to our limits

Pushed to our limits

Last night was one of those nights where I was asking myself a lot of questions…

What is this word problem asking me to find? Are the units consistent throughout the problem? Do I have all of the givens to be able to solve? What time is it?–wait don’t tell me that!

Last night—I worked on a pretty intense homework set for my energy course. And now it’s the next morning (or later in the morning to be exact), and I am here at my desk at JPL…and I’m still not done with it all.

Problem sets are the bulk of the work we do at Caltech (sans lab reports, some essays and reading we do for classes). And this one was no different than any I have done in the last 4 years–it’s deceivingly difficult (though doable), and you should probably go to office hours and have a friend/group to work with if you want to complete it successfully (in a reasonably finite time). Usually every class has a set due every week—so that adds up to be maybe 3-5 sets a week when you’re still on CORE, but less when you’re an upperclassman. I guess I shouldn’t be complaining now that my workload only calls for one set every two weeks…But a set is a set.

I found myself pushing through the hours in the night, blasting music to keep me awake and collaborating with Yicheng, another senior who is taking the course. He was so thoughtful to have brought a boba drink for me from TeaSpot to enjoy while we were working.

The rigorous curriculum and fast-paced classes are quite the challenge for those who come here–but because of it all, I truly believe that all of us Techers develop the same characteristics that prepare us for any career we hope to pursue after Caltech. ALL Techers are resourceful, self-motivating, inquisitive, insightful and focused. We all learn quickly our freshman year what study habits we must use to get through our classes, and to never give up. I came to Caltech to challenge myself and push myself to the limit intellectually—and it has given me just that and so much more…

After I commute back to Tech in a few minutes, I’ll take a nap during lunch, then meet up again with Yicheng (hopefully the TA has emailed us back with answers to our questions!) to finish the set before 5pm.

Wish us luck!