a brief walk to Caffè Nero by Ankita D. '23
alternatively titled: life update since i am comically bad at blogging this semester
it’s a cloudy Tuesday morning and i’m walking to Caffe Nero to get a matcha latte. Caffe Nero is conveniently only a five minute walk away from my house in Central, and the latte is conveniently free thanks to a voucher sent to me by an upperclassmen.
as i walk, a thought pops into my head: “ah. i haven’t blogged in a while, have i?”
a gust of wind nearly knocks my glasses off my face. i put on the hood of my sweatshirt and regret my choice of footwear (slides). i start to wonder if anything has been happening in my life that i could write about.
i could maybe talk about how i just found out that i’ll be moving into East Campus this fall. housing selection was stressful as always…seven fellow our dorm is being renovated. it reopens fall 2022, so my choices were moving off campus or finding another dorm and i stapled into an eight-person group (the maximum number for BC people), but we had an additional floor transfer who lived in another dorm freshman year. that person can only staple in groups of up to four people, and they also do not get first priority for their dorm choice, unlike BC students. the discussion of how to create housing groups was an anxiety-inducing two-hour long deliberation with the inevitable decision to leave the non-BC person behind. since we all want to cook for ourselves, our options are limited, and we didn’t want to lose our first priority because we likely wouldn’t get into the dorm we wanted otherwise. it sucks. we all felt so awful about it but didn’t know what else we could do other than accept the housing stipulations enforced on us and move on.
does it really matter though? we’ll be on campus, surrounded by people, able to go wherever we want freely, able to hang out when we want. i have a bike and am not a very lazy person in terms of meeting people—thanks to the pandemic—so i jump at any opportunity to go places. living in a different dorm than our friend sucks since we need to preserve Burton Conner culture, but it’s not like they’ll be living in a different pod amidst COVID restrictions. right…?
the first housing hurdle has been cleared, but now we need to rank our EC floor choices. my sister lived in EC and was able to tell me a bit about each floor, but it seems crazy to form preferences based on a two-sentence synopsis. moving onto my floor of BC was the most impactful decision i made in college. i’ll be leaving EC after a year, but it still seems like too weighty a decision for a single Google Form.
i’ve been reaching out to several EC students i know—and some i don’t—to inquire about floor culture. my options are limited due to my cat allergy, but i know i want to live in a close-knit community since the entire reason i decided to stay on campus was to meet people. i also want a party floor since, well, old habits die hard?
maybe readers won’t want to hear about my housing conundrum. or maybe they will since it’s very reminiscent of being a prefrosh. the confusion, deliberation, and anxiety surrounding choosing a living community is a constant in the MIT experience, at least for those who prioritize student culture. at the very least, know that in the wake of the pandemic, you can hang out wherever you want instead of being consigned to a group of six people.
oh, i guess i could also mention how it was my birthday this Sunday? yeah. i’m 20 now. it doesn’t mean anything, it just makes me feel uncomfortable about no longer being a teenager.
my roommates and i partied on Friday night. oh, my mom was there too?? and she got along with my friends great. we maintained our floor birthday traditions, which made me very happy since i spent my birthday just with my family last year. my mom got to see what a typical Friday night looks like, and also partake in it, which was a welcome deviation from a monotonous mid-pandemic life in suburban New Hampshire. i’m glad my mom is so chill…Friday night was a wonderful, albeit unusual time.
i’m stepping inside Caffe Nero now. it’s as dimly lit, but welcoming, as always. the dark brick walls and wood floors give it a cozy feeling that i can’t quite articulate. there aren’t many people there, just a few folks working in various corners of the sitting area. i loiter by the register to wait for my order, listening to the soft jazz and pondering when i’ll be able to work in cafes again. i step aside so a woman can recite her order to the barista—a large latte with almond milk, vanilla, caramel, and an extra shot. i wonder when people start to add things to their coffee orders instead of just choosing a drink straight from the menu. i don’t order coffee very much since making it at home with my milk frother is usually the highlight of my morning.
back to thinking about my potential blog post. i could mention how i might be in Israel this summer? i’m doing MEET, a program where MIT students teach coding and entrepreneurship to Israeli and Palestinian students. there’s a good chance i’ll be in Israel for at least a month, which is super exciting. part of me wonders if, given the chance, i would spend an entire summer in Israel; living with my six roommates has been a constant for the past several months, and the chance to hang out with them and dozens of other people this summer is tantalizing. all my friends will be in Boston this summer, and i’ll actually be able to see them! there’s going to be some sort of renaissance once everyone is vaccinated, and i want to be here for it. but also…Israel. i feel like i’m being silly to even think like this, so i’ll just blame pandemic codependence on roommates for engendering such thoughts.
i ordered my class ring a few days ago. i’m excited about in-person event where they give us our rings this fall. i feel like my class hasn’t had any events so far, so i’m really planning on going all-out for Ring Delivery. i hate that i’m almost a junior. no thank you.
i hear “online order for Ankita!” the barista puts my drink on the counter, and just like that, i’m out the door. that was so easy. and free! wow. i appreciate the warmth of the cup in my hand as i turn a corner into the graffiti alleyway. i’m in love with this part of Central and seize every opportunity to walk through it on my way home.
when i’ve left the alley, i return to thinking about my post. i guess it’s not really relevant, but i could maybe mention how i’m getting piercings next week? it’s exciting. i’ve been toying with the idea for a while. i could also talk about how i’ve been dancing a lot on campus with miscellaneous friends and my team members. i taught a Zoom workshop a few weeks ago to Mocha Moves and several of us gathered on Kresge to film a video of it over the weekend. teaching the workshop was hard, since i injured my knee skateboarding a little while ago, but super rewarding. i’ve been making plans to dance with a ton of friends since dance makes me very very happy. i’m dancing with two different people on campus this weekend—if the weather is good, that is. Mocha is planning in-person practices outside soon, which i’m excited for. i miss dancing with the whole team.
i’m opening the gate to my house now. i trod up the stairs and push open the front door with my free hand. i see an Amazon package for me—my guitar amp chord!! i got an electric guitar for my birthday and i’m obsessed with it. bursting into the kitchen, i tell one of my roommates that it’s arrived and we make plans to jam tonight. i bring out my guitar and ask him how to play some chords i was struggling with last night, and he teaches me as i make breakfast.
i finally enter my room and take a sip of my matcha latte. it’s gas. i settle into my chair and put on Loving, a band i’ve been listening to a lot recently.
time to write, i guess.
- our dorm is being renovated. it reopens fall 2022, so my choices were moving off campus or finding another dorm back to text ↑
- class ring back to text ↑
- back to text ↑