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Zeno’s Paradox by Paige B. '24

halfway there (again)

song: Passing Through (Can’t the Future Just Wait) by Kaden MacKay

In high school, when I’d start to get bored of a class, I’d sit and stare at the clock, and I’d count down the time left in the class period by intervals. “It’s 10:30, so that’s three 10 minute intervals before math class, or six 5 minute intervals. It’s fifteen minutes til we are halfway there.” And I’d repeat this throughout the class. It became almost a game. “Ah look it’s 10:45, now 7.5 minutes til we are halfway there from where we are now. And you just made it 15 minutes, how bad can 7.5 be?” So on and so forth.

I feel like I’m doing that with my time here at MIT too.

Almost a year ago, I wrote a blogpost about how I was halfway through my time at the ‘tute. Two years down, and two more to go. Since then, another year has passed, and I have another one to go.

Oh my god time is going faster.

I think this is to some extent what people mean when they say time is flying. Take for example MIT. When I was a first year, 100% of my experience at MIT was being a first year, and man did it feel slow. Then, I was a sophomore, and that eventually took up 50% of my experience at MIT. Now, ending my junior year, a mere 1/3 of my life at the institute so far has finished. It’s the natural motion of the world. More experience leads to a smaller proportion of the time it took to gain that experience. At least it feels that way.

Here let me give another example that might make more sense. When you are one year old, a year is 100% of your life. When you’re 2, a year is 50% of your life. Then 33%. Then 25%. Until suddenly you’re 50 and a year is 2% of your life. You just start experiencing life faster and faster. (This website has a great visualization of this.)

Now, of course, there are milestones that break up your life into smaller chunks, almost “resetting” your clock. For me, one of those milestones was becoming a blogger. For me, this past year was 100% of my MIT blogging life. Which is wild to me, conceptually. On the one hand, because I’ve been blogging slightly longer than that, but moreso because there are people graduating this year for whome one year is 25%/33%/50% of their MIT blogging life. And damn, am I going to miss them.

As their final blogs roll out (if they haven’t already), I implore you to read them. Take them in. Realize time is going by too quickly. And let time pass though.