Chelsea R. '15
Mar 8 2015
Content warnings for detailed discussion of depression and extremely brief mentions of suicide and self-harm.
I’ve been trying, for months, to find a way to write about what it was like for me to go on medical leave for mental health reasons. I’ve been struggling to do so in a way that’s pretty and poetic, that will stick in people’s minds so they come away carrying something valuable. I began blog posts with my strongest memory from that time: the night that I told my roommate, Lydia K., that I was leaving. On the outside, I felt tears prick at the corners of my eyes. On the inside, nothing. Just emptiness.
But that’s starting from the end, which is cheating. You know the end. The end, as I said, is that I left.
The means to that end are worth talking about, starting with the depression. (Angelina G. recently wrote a beautiful blog post about being depressed and handling depression at MIT that’s worth a read.) I’ve started three other aborted blog... read the post »
Jan 22 2015
I’m spending this IAP doing, among other things, five shifts a week as a Tech Caller, which means I call alumni, talk to them, and ask them to donate to MIT. It’s a fascinating job, and it deserves an entire separate post about why it’s rewarding. This isn’t that post.
I’ve had a lot of good experiences as a Tech Caller, good calls with good people who are excited to tell me about how they relate to MIT. Believe it or not, some alumni actually look forward to getting calls from us because they like the opportunity to talk to current students. Some alumni don’t want to talk or donate but are polite about it, and others—a very, very small subset of the whole—have no qualms about telling us exactly what is wrong with MIT, and how they think we should fix it.
It was 3:15pm last Thursday afternoon, my final weekday shift, and my 3:30pm break slowly crawled closer and closer. I had been sitting in my little call station cubicle dialing older alumni, which until that slow patch had... read the post »
Nov 22 2014
Internet! Long time, no talk. Why such a long time and so little talk? Well, there has been a lot happening, although in some ways very, very little has happened, and I’ve been trying to write blog posts about both of those things at the same time which became very muddled and confusing extremely quickly.
Here is a list of blog posts I meant to finish, to no avail:
- A post about Family Weekend, with pictures and videos
- A long post detailing how and why I went on leave from MIT, in honor of my three-year anniversary of going on leave (November 1!)
- A six-page autobiographical comic chronicling about three hours on a Saturday evening
- A post, mostly words, about the joint improv/a cappella event the Asymptones did with Roadkill Buffet
And after a while it became even harder to write a blog post because I wanted to capture all of my experiences, good and bad, and as it inched closer to a month since my last post obviously I couldn’t fit everything in in one go. But!... read the post »
Oct 19 2014
This week was a four-day week, which made it extremely weird. It seemed to be a consensus among a bunch of people I talked to that this was a bummer week, and my days were punctuated with a lot of downs. But something really, really rad also happened this week, and I want to tell you about that instead.
To introduce the rad thing, I present to you Exhibit A: the sweet flyer that lured me into taking one of my current classes.
Yes, this semester MIT has a class specifically on comic writing! (And thankfully the flyer does a great job of answering the most common question I get about the class: no, you do not have to draw your comics. Can you imagine how much time that would take?) As far as I know, this is the first time comics class has been offered; up until this semester 21W.758 was a class that covered a multitude of genres but stuck to the realm of prose.
As it exists now, 21W.758 (or MIT.616, as our mailing list is named—spot the reference?) is a cozy nine-person... read the post »
Oct 12 2014
Hello Internet! I had a very writing major day, which is to say that I spent this morning sitting in 1369 Coffee on Mass Ave writing new scenes for ThesisNovel before I sent the first fifth of it off to my advisor. Much idyllic, such hipster, wow. To play to stereotype, I even Instagrammed my food.
(In my defense, the latte art deserved preservation.)
The protagonist of ThesisNovel is a high school senior who’s just about to start the college application process, which might be an intensely familiar situation for some of you. But it’s a little further away for me, so in the interest of research—and inspired by a bunch of other bloggers who’ve recently written about their own application experiences—I decided to look for the essays I actually wrote when I applied to MIT.
They were surprisingly hard to locate. They hadn’t survived the transfer to my most recent laptop and could only be found in my old Hotmail, for one thing. For another, I didn’t actually put “MIT” in the... read the post »