EVAN: So I think MIT has this very strong sense of individualism. A lot of people that come to MIT have succeeded in the past by doing things by themselves. And it kind of breeds this culture of, I can do it, and I don’t need anyone else.
But what I’ve realized for myself is that, I’m someone who feeds off the energy of other people. And I work best when I’m with other people. And so I think that a strategy that I’ve tried to incorporate into my life is realizing that the barrier of entry to getting other people into your life– whether it’s cooking dinner, or say, hey you want to work on a P-set, or can you help me with this lab project, or do you want to go for a run– it doesn’t matter what it is. I’ve realized that that barrier to entry is actually not as high as we think it is.
Sometimes, we get this sense that, oh, other people don’t want to hang out with me or help me with this. But actually, if someone were to approach me, I have no problem doing that. I am someone who enjoys that, right? And so that barrier to entry to asking can be as simple as sending a text to somebody, a one-line text, or just asking, hey, can you help me with this– that it’s actually not that hard.
What I’ve realized is that as I make this a habit of asking other people for help or getting other people involved into my life, not only is it a lot more fun and enjoyable for me, but I’m a lot more effective and creative as a result. And I mean, that makes sense, right? No one at MIT has ever done a really successful project by themselves.