Skip to content ↓

I Hate the Last by Paige B. '24

but at least, I'm trying not to

It’s 9:05am PST. I told myself I’d wake up past 9:14, but either due to stress or due to a (relatively) healthy sleep schedule my senior year, I’m up 9 minutes too early. It’s 9 minutes too early, because in 9 minutes, or so I’ve been told, the early action decisions for MIT are going to be released. I’ve spent the last week stressing over the question: “why in the hell are admissions coming out at 9:14am on 12/14/19?”, as if, if I can’t solve this riddle, I won’t be accepted into MIT. In reality, it’s just because they are releasing the decisions on 12/14 at 12:14pm EST. I sigh a breath of relief and think to myself “maybe– now that I’ve figured out the puzzle– maybe now I will have a shot of being admitted.”

Regardless, it’s 9:05am, and I am awake 9 minutes too early. I decide I will grab my iPad and go to the decision website in anticipation. It’s 9:06 when I think to myself: “I’ll just try putting in my username and password, just to confirm that I remember them.” So, I put in my information, and the webpage says something to the effect of: “WARNING: THE NEXT PAGE CONTAINS YOUR DECISION.” But surely the webpage is lying. The decisions won’t come out for another 9 minutes– no 8 minutes now. But, out of morbid curiosity, I click the button anyways. And I got in.

The beginning notes to Another Believer by Rufus Wainwright begins to play in the background. (0:00-0:37):01 to be clear these are time stamps in the song, I will use these this post. Also, this post is roughly modeled after my first Admissions post <em>I Hate the First</em>.  “Hello, I got something to tell you \\ But it’s crazy, I’ve got something to show you.”

I go to my kitchen where my mom was making breakfast. I don’t say good morning. All I do, is read her the first line of my offer letter. “Dear Paige, On behalf of the Admissions Committee, it is my pleasure to offer you admission to the MIT Class of 2024.” My mom is shocked and confused (hell, she doesn’t even know that MIT decisions are coming out today), and I start crying, and my guidance counselor on the phone tells me what I already know: my world will never be the same.

When I first started undergrad, I thought about what I wanted out of MIT; the things I wanted to take away, and the things I wanted to leave behind. There’s a world in which I just came here, took my classes, graduated, and left. No more, no less. But I didn’t want that. Or rather, I felt like I should want more than that. MITAdmissions saw me: a first-gen math nerd from middle of no-where02 relatively California. MITAdmissions took a chance on me.

(0:37-0:50): “So give me just one more chance, one more glance \\ and I will make of you another believer.”

There were certain obvious things I wanted to take away from MIT: making friends, learning math, etc. But when I initially thought about what I wanted to leave behind I came to the following conclusion:

I wanted to be a ghost.
I wanted to haunt the halls of MIT.

I wanted to be someone who was here. Someone you would remember when they’re gone. Not even necessarily a legacy,03 (0:50-1:13): Guess what? You got more than you bargained. Ain't it crazy? You got more than you paid for. So give me just one more chance, one more glance, one more hand to hold. but rather a memory. So that someday, when the light shined through the windows of the fourth floor of Building 2 just right, you’d remember that I was there.

And while in various senses I think I achieved that to some degree, these past few weeks my mind has been elsewhere. These past few weeks, my focus has shifted from what I am leaving behind, to what I am taking with me.

I used to hate the last week of classes. I hated how empty it felt. Either you knew folks who were graduating (or moving onto middle school or high school) and felt sad that you’d probably never see them again, or you didn’t and somehow that felt more hollow. Like, there were people who were living full and intricate and complicated lives, and suddenly they were just going to be gone.

It used to feel easier to ignore these feelings. To say “that’s just how life works” and move on. But that no longer feels true.

(1:13-1:45): “You’ve been on my mind, \\ Though it may seem I’m fooling. \\ Wasting so much time, \\ Though it may seem I’m fooling. \\ What’re we gonna do? \\ What are we gonna do about it?”

Coming into MIT I wanted to be a ghost, but that hasn’t been on my mind this past week or so since I turned in my last assignment. Rather, I’ve been hanging out with friends watching various Shrek movies and going on long walks and realizing that– my friends have become ghosts in my life. Or at least, they will.

I’m going to continue to stay in contact with my college friends, don’t get me wrong. But I keep having these dumb “realizations.” That, this will probably be the last time I am living in the same building with these people who have so deeply impacted me. That, I won’t be able to just walk down the hall and knock on my friend’s door and ask if they want to grab dinner (and for that matter, it seems like ‘real’ adulthood entails eating a nontrivial amount of dinners without your friends). That, though I will be here in two years to start working on my Ph.D, most of my friends will no longer be here.

It’s like I can already see their ghosts. I see them sitting at the table we used to play dungeons and dragons at. I see them in the math lounge eating sweet treats (because they worked hard today and they deserve it). I see them and I think: I don’t know how this (gestures vaguely) happened.

How did I get such good friends? At what point did they go from a person I said hi to in the halls to someone I will never forget? When did I stop thinking as much about how I was going to affect MIT, and started thinking about how MIT has affected/will affect me?

I don’t know. Perhaps I never will. Isn’t that how these sorts of questions always go?

(2:12-2:42): “So then, that is all for the moment. \\ Until next time, until then do not worry, \\ And give me just one more chance, one more glance, \\ and I will make of you, yeah I’m gonna make of you another believer.”

The music fades into the background.

So yeah, as past Paige predicted, I hate the last: the last weeks of undergrad, the last times seeing friends, the “last” blogpost. It’s silly: when I wrote my first MITAdmissions post, I knew that this one (roughly) would be my last. I knew that I’d want, more than anything, for this to not be how it ends.

Take on Me (Acoustic) by a-ha (0:00) starts to play in the background. The camera cuts to me writing this last post in the math department.

Technically, this isn’t going to be my “last” blogpost. There’s one or two more things I want to write about before I am no longer under the “Student bloggers” tab on the MITAdmissions website. I wanted this to be my official last post as an undergrad but that just. That just feels too sad. So I’m going to post one or two more things, and maybe write a blog or two for admissions when I am back as a graduate student. But I guess, this is it, more or less.

I can’t put into words how much this (gestures vaguely) is all I ever wanted. Hell, it’s more than I ever even dreamed of. I guess my guidance counselor was right: my world will never be the same. “How strange, and how lovely, it is to be anything at all.”- John Green

(2:40-3:04): “I’ll be gone \\ In a day or two… \\ In a day or two.”

The camera zooms out. The image of me sitting in the math department writing this post gets smaller and smaller as Killian court, and then the dome, and then nothing but the sky come into view.

  1. to be clear these are time stamps in the song, I will use these this post. Also, this post is roughly modeled after my first Admissions post I Hate the First. back to text
  2. relatively back to text
  3. (0:50-1:13): Guess what? You got more than you bargained. Ain't it crazy? You got more than you paid for. So give me just one more chance, one more glance, one more hand to hold. back to text