JEBA: All right, so my strategy is really unique to me. And part of the reason why I struggled so much early on is because it took me so long to figure out where my weaknesses were, so that I could figure out how to correct them. So now, I go to almost every office hours, and all my TAs kind of know me by my face, like I’m friends with them in a way. So definitely engaging with TAs one on one is not as intimidating.

And when people understand something in a class, and I’m just confused it takes a bit of effort to not ignore it, to recognize when I am self sabotaging, and to stop it then. So I’ll put a mark or a star on something that I realize I don’t understand completely, and so I don’t let myself let it go.

So I go back to the TA personally, one on one, and I ask them what is this? And another thing that really, really helps is to just tell the TA I don’t know what I don’t know. Because they want to help you in something specific, but if you are just making things up and trying to say I think I don’t know A or B, maybe that’s actually not. Maybe there’s a bigger fundamental problem.

So if you just take that embarrassment out of the way, and you just tell the TA like we have to start from the first square, we don’t know anything, TAs are willing to do that with you. And so that has helped me a lot. Additionally, I know that I have to go to lecture. A lot of my friends can not go to lecture, and they do just as well in the class. But for me, I need to be in lecture. I need to engage with the professor and the instructor.

I need to see things multiple times for me to remember it. So lecture helps, and then maybe reading notes help, and seeing it on the pset helps again. So there’s just all these little things that I had to figure out to understand how do I study because before MIT, I never really had to study.

In high school it was whatever was presented in the class, I got it, I know how to apply it in so many ways, I never had to study. So working up from the bottom to the top, it was really difficult. But I’m still figuring it out. Sometimes I don’t get perfect test grades, but it’s a work in progress.