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Abra Shen

Abra Shen

Date: February 26, 2018

Emad, Jenny, Lawrence, and I co-founded Humans of MIT because we liked the idea of getting to know the people of our community. To know not only the surface, but get to know what their interests are, what makes them tick, what they’re passionate about.

At MIT, people can get lost in the computer science, in the building, in the career fairs, and in the psets; a lot of us forget about what makes us human, and what makes us happy. And that can be coding until the sun rises, but sometimes MIT is so challenging that you forget about what made you happy before MIT as well. So our goal was to resurface those passions, remind them what they can do, and also show the whole world that we are humans and not just scientists and engineers.

Things always get better, even if they seem like they suck at the moment. Even if they don’t get better in the next hour or the next day or the next week, in the end I believe that everything happens for a reason and maybe one or two years from now you’ll realize that really stressful time or that really emotional experience truly made a difference to you or someone else. So, be positive.

My goal coming into medical school was to find a way to work with cancer patients, particularly breast cancer patients who undergo breast surgery. A lot of those patients struggle with their body image and self-esteem because it’s hard to see yourself in the same way when you’re missing a part of your body, especially one that has such an important role in how you experience yourself as a woman, or whatever you identify as. I want to find a way to bring together my interests in theatre and medicine. I hope to work with breast cancer patients who have suffered some injury to their own self-perception and bring in performance to try to help them become more comfortable in their bodies and express what they’re experiencing. I’m not sure how to do that yet.