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MIT student blogger Phoebe C. '18

A Complementary Post by Phoebe C. '18

Canvas, balance, lanterns.

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On Wednesday, I went to classes, graded some psets, did yoga in my P.E. class, worked on a blog post, attended the first session of the oil painting class I’m taking this semester, and sat by the Charles River with a group of forty-odd students for a memorial event organized by Caroline M. ’18. Afterwards, I spent a few hours working on psets in someone else’s room, but by then it was Thursday, so it doesn’t really count.

Wednesday marked a year since the death of an MIT student–that’s what the memorial was for. Caroline assembled lanterns to mimic the Japanese tōrō nagashi ceremony; on Wednesday night, we remembered and shared stories and hugged as the lanterns drifted away.

Without going into any specific detail, I’ll say that this year has, for me, mirrored last year in a paralyzing way. And maybe this is a sign that I’m too self-absorbed, but whenever I hear about a tragedy, I will wonder, “What I was doing at the exact time it happened?” I can’t say I’m happy with the answers, especially this year.

I’ve been dabbling a lot in being out of my room and wearing suits because it’s recruiting season. But what if something happens to one of my friends and I can’t be there because I’m networking? What if something was wrong all along and I had no idea because I spent all my nights doing my work and all my days being a slave to my Google Calendar?

I’m always running to the next place on my schedule, but I don’t really know where I’m going or why it’s worth the time spent away from the people I care most about.

It’s all such a balancing act–keep your grades up, shower, find internships, make friends, eat meals, stay in shape, date, read the news, write good code, write good essays, be a shoulder to lean on, be passionate about something, be curious about everything else, plan for the future, stay creative and spontaneous, party, sleep, have intense conversations, be silly. Make time for psets, people, everything in between. I’m stressed, you’re stressed, and this entire campus could use a giant coffee, yet I just made a big post about career development, which is useful but also kind of awful because everyone I know is exhausted.

So I’m going to talk a little bit about everything else.

1) I’m planning to paint part of this image. It’s an edit of this photo of the sun rising over Llanganuco Valley in Peru. On Wednesday, after the hour by the Charles, I sat on the floor of my room with two friends. We struggled to open old tubes of paint, and it was so hopeless that I couldn’t stop giggling.

2) Building balance and strength through yoga is always fun and challenging, but I also love flexibility and relaxation flows. Here are two videos that I really enjoy, in case you need a good stretch: [1] [2].

3) It’s Saturday night, and there’s a party happening outside my room. My walls thrum with the bassline. I’m lying in bed, writing this, still dressed in my clothes from the day.

4) I ate a lot of Clif bars today. Oops.

5) I got up at 9 today to buy groceries for a club event and also for the co-op (a cooking rotation, basically) on my floor. A recurring problem: too much food.

6) I can’t stop looking at these photos of Iceland.

7) That’s all I can think of right now. Feel free to close this tab or even turn off your computer and go take a walk now!