Meena Vembusubramanian

Perfectly enough, the entry about balance and keeping track of work and play at Olin is the one I started, but got too busy/ distracted to finish. Here it is now, out of order and throwing us off balance (pad-am-ching!)

I think the basic problem is not unique to Olin, but is something everyone faces upon experiencing a major change in life -- like say, going away to college. All of a sudden, there's all this freedom, all these new opportunities to get involved, to socialise -- and yes, all this new work to get done. How this works out at Olin, I think is a function of the kind of person Olin attracts in terms of how proactive and passionate "the average Oliner" is. You'd think that since it's a smaller school there would be fewer things to get involved in. Not true at all. There's the usual, and more.

It takes something different for each person to find the point at which they feel happy about what they're getting done as compared to how much fun they are having, and how much sleep they're getting. I have to admit, it took me at least one solid year to find this point for myself, and I don't really know that I can articulate exactly what it took.

For one, when I make decisions on what I want to do, I now operate on more of an "excellence voting" system, rather than an "approval voting" system. This means that I (generally) stay away from signing up for things I know I'll only be able to do a mediocre job with, which leaves me much more satisfied. I was part of an Olin team in some thing called the Federal Reserve Challenge at the college level last fall, and still feel a little queasy about having to trade that in for things like CORe and the show this year. That whole saying "no" thing is still going to take some practice.

On a related note, the whole picture bandwagon looks like too much fun to miss out on! This past weekend, a bunch of us attended an intercollegiate figure skating competition at BU to watch the fabulous Olin College Figure Skating Team kick some serious backside.


Carmelle representing Olin at the BU Intercollegiate Figure Skating Competition, '07

Sure, the team is a one woman (Carmelle Tsai, '08) show right now, but I think that so perfectly demonstrates my point about the kind of person Olin attracts -- she's been skating for years now, and wanted to keep doing it at Olin. So she does, despite the fact that we have no skating rink, or established skating team/ program.Rumour has it that Olin was conceived during a conversation between Larry Milas (then President of the F. W. Olin Foundation), and his wife that ended with "Why don't you start your own damn college?"

Own damn college, own damn figure skating team, keep it coming!

Really looking forward to meeting some of you at Candidate's Weekend!

- Meena

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