For a few weeks now, I’ve been thinking of writing this “goodbye” entry, but I kept getting stuck. I wanted to write something profound, something that would capture the intensity, the awesomeness, the friendship, and the learning that shaped my last four years at this incredible university.
Sadly, after like a month of thinking, I still feel like I don’t have anything particularly profound to say.
The MIT experience is such a tough one to describe. I remember coming to CPW four years ago – wide-eyed with excitement (and probably overwhelmed by how insanely packed the CPW schedule was) and blown away by the physics demonstrations in an 8.01 (Physics I) class I observed.
(My CPW host - Vidya '12 (still one of my closest friends) and I during CPW '09)
I comMITed to MIT almost immediately after CPW, humbled (and, to be honest, pretty terrified) to join a school filled with people who I knew without a doubt were smarter than me. I felt so lucky: thousands of kids apply to MIT annually, and somehow, somehow, I had managed to get in. (To this day, I think it was a mistake – I’m no IMO winner, Intel finalist, or anything. MIT Admissions, what did you see in me??)
As soon as I arrived on campus (August 2009), I found people I connected with. Divya S. ’13 and I would take over the McCormick dance studio, trying to choreograph a dance to Jay Sean’s Down. Carin ’13, Swetha ’13, Divya B. ’13, Jeanne ’13, and I all took a spontaneous trip to Boston Tea Stop in Harvard Square for bubble tea and mochi ice cream. We'd spend altogether too long working on orgo psets, determined to get everything right, and I’d wake Jeanne ’13 up at like 7:30 am twice a week for our 8 am Pilates/Yoga (PiYo) class (later, the two of us spent the summer traipsing around Germany). And I discovered one of the best parts about my college experience: Camp Kesem.
(L to R: me, Divya S. '13, and Jeanne '13 modeling the three wise monkeys early on during freshman year)
(L to R: Jeanne '13, me, and Linh '13 during one of the World Cup public viewings in Berlin, Germany during Summer '10)
(My first summer at Camp Kesem MIT!)
Sophomore and junior year, school definitely got harder. People would disappear for weeks, caught up in their activities and classes. At this point, almost everyone had declared their majors and people were starting to take classes specific to their major. Still, we were all in the same boat. We would stay up together working, complain about how sleep deprived we were, and slowly find ourselves growing addicted to caffeine.
Admittedly, there were times at MIT when I found myself sad or lonely or simply exhausted by the seemingly endless amount of work (much in the way Lydia described). But always, there was someone there who noticed I was feeling upset or down. People like Nikita C. ’13 would surprise me with cupcakes from Sweet bakery or care packages or even a post-it note that showed me they cared. That’s the thing about MIT. We go through everything as a team – working, struggling with homework, comforting each other when it’s 4 am and we’re still not done with a pset, celebrating birthdays at midnight (even though it was never a surprise), and grinning so wide at others’ accomplishments and successes they might as well be our own.
(from MIT's 150th Celebrations - during spring 2011, my sophomore year)
(celebrating my 21st birthday at Bertucci's in January 2012 with a few of my closest friends)
While I’ve loved all four years at MIT, my favorite year has hands-down been this last one. It’s so easy to see how much my friends and I have grown together and bonded. The last few weeks of school were especially memorable and filled with so much fun. We took a road trip to Acadia National Park in Maine, followed almost immediately by a trip to Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. After that, we had – in quick succession – a picnic at Walden Pond, a day at Six Flags (courtesy of our Senior Week planning committee), a chance to watch a Red Sox Game (also courtesy of the Senior Week planners), and a series of photo shoots all over campus, our way of commemorating our time at this place by taking pictures of ourselves in all the places that meant the most to us.
(L to R: Jeanne '13, Divya B. '13, Divya S. '13, me, and Swetha '13 - one of the many photo shoot pictures we took, outside Stata)
(Taken in Building 6C - colored floors!!)
(How awesome am I? Just kidding :) Taken at Acadia!)
(Top Row, L to R: me, Carin '13, Aditya '13, Divya B. '13, Swetha '13; Bottom Row, L to R: Jeanne '13, Pooja '12; We've taken this same photo, with all of us sitting in the same position every year for the last four years <3 Friends for lifeee.)
These are the memories that I picture most vividly when I think back on my last couple weeks as an MIT student. As many of you might have heard through the MIT News website, our graduation was a pretty somber affair, with the sky crying tears of sadness at our departure from the Institute (at least, that’s how I like to think about it, since the alternative is being depressed that it rained ALL THROUGH GRADUATION DAY – grumble grumble) and soaking through our black gowns.
Now, 11 days later, I still haven’t come to terms with the fact that my MIT education is complete, that I am an MIT alumnus and no longer an MIT student, that at the end of the summer I won’t be coming back to campus and seeing all my friends once again, and that Boston – a city that has come to be so special to me – will no longer be home.
I don’t want to end on a super depressing note, so instead, I want to take a moment to thank a few people who have been an integral part of my MIT experience:
- First and foremost: my parents, for putting up with my teenage angst, for encouraging me to dream big, and for supporting me financially throughout my MIT career. You’re the best parents I could have asked for ☺
- Next, my friends here at MIT – we’ve laughed at stupid jokes, cried over lost loved ones, and created a huge number of memories that I’ll treasure for many years to come. I’m so glad we set up a groupme last week – I hope we never lose touch.
- Third, to my mentors – people at lab, in the Public Service Center, Kim in the GECD office, everyone in the prehealth office, my professors, and more. I’ve learned so much from you, thank you!
- Fourth, to MIT Admissions – I don’t know why you let me into this school, but THANK YOU. Seriously. Thank you so much for giving me these last four years. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for MIT, and I’ll always, always wear my brass rat proudly.
- And lastly, to all of you. Thanks for reading the admissions blogs with such dedication and showing us bloggers your appreciation through comments and feedback. It’s often hard for us to find time to write on top of our coursework and extracurricular activities, but when we write, we write for you – with the hope that we’re giving you a colorful picture of the unique place that is MIT. We love it when you recognize us at CPW, and we hope you continue to enjoy these entries <3
And with that, I think…I can’t believe I’m saying this…but I think, I’m done. Farewell, MIT blogosphere, thanks for the best of times :)