I cracked. I'm not proud of it, but I did. I bought Red Bull.
If you know me, then you know that I am very proud of the fact that I have made it 2 years through MIT without caffeine. Black tea occasionally, but no coffee, no energy drinks. I've never pulled an all-nighter for work, and I'm always in bed by 1. Until now.
The work is seeming to pile up on me faster than I can help it. Grant proposals, problem sets, office hours, my job, studying, clubs, eating, bathing, sleeping. I put take a shower on my to do list! That's how busy I am now.
I decided that tonight I'm staying awake until it's done. I went to the store, got a 4 pack of Red Bull Red Edition (it's cranberry and actually super yummy), and went to town. I felt like a drug addict buying it. It's funny that I'm quicker to drink or try hookah with my friends than buy Red Bull, but I was almost ashamed of buying it. I was incredibly proud of being able to manage my time so I could work on my body's natural cycle. Today is the day I become a real MIT student, I guess.
For the first time in a long time, I'm up past bedtime working. And quite efficiently I might add. Working at night, cans of red bull and my brass rat shining in the harsh fluorescent lights, I understand the struggle of the engineer. We do the shitty work. We model complex systems, do line after line of mundane code, and learn every subject just well enough to get by. But I love it. As I modeled the temperature distribution through the core of a nuclear reactor, I struggled though hours of solving diff eqs, coding MATLAB, and checking and rechecking boundary conditions. Overall it's taught me one thing: this is what I love.
I've recently been on the fence about Chemical Engineering. The thought of graduating in 2 years is daunting, and the real world scares me. But, the fact that I'm willing to take the time to painstakingly correct work on something that's only 2% of my grade reassures me of my choice.
This semester is going to be a ride. I see a lot more Red Bull in my future, but I feel like it's building up to something great.
How has work been treating you? Up late too?