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MIT blogger Sabrina M. '21

A Decade in Online Posting by Sabrina M. '21

looking back: from the forums to the blogs

As we say goodbye to the decade, it’s hard not to get sentimental. For many of you reading this, perhaps resting after submitting your applications to MIT, or off at a different school just enjoying the blogs, these past ten years made up the bulk of your adolescence. It’s certainly true for me. I think back to who I was ten years ago, at just 12 years old, memory a little worn away by time. I look at these years with incredible fondness, as a decade of so many Firsts that made me the person I am today. The beginning of a new year, or a decade even, always has the wonderful effect of allowing us to reflect on the past—to soak it all in, to remember everything we pushed aside and really feel it again.

On and off, I’ve tried the journaling thing many times (including the VOICE ACTIVATED password journal my aunt got me for Christmas one year). Every time I found the same result—I’d get into the habit of it for a few days, and then I’d stop, more engrossed by my daily life than the idea of writing it down for future me to reminisce over. Now, I find myself thinking, who was she? Of course, I remember important parts of my youth fondly, but the minute details are blurred away as I get older and time goes on. What did she think about on the day to day? Did she cry over a silly things that I can’t even remember now? What made her tick? I curse myself for not bothering to journal every detail of my life as I grew up. Even now, I remember somewhat meaningless details from then—watching Naruto AMVs (which embarrassingly stands for Anime Music Video), pretending to be Pokemon trainers and biking around my neighborhood with my cousins, crying over nothing way too often at seemingly random moments. Yet still, I’m faced with the dread of knowing my memory is not forever, that one day these silly or emotional or even formative moments, in some way, will vanish from my internal stores. It’s moments like this, looking back at the years I left behind, where a phrase that always made me wary growing up, now brings me immense comfort: nothing disappears from the Internet.

I, and many other people my age—you, the readers maybe, the future classes of MIT or colleges elsewhere, the current students, even some of the graduates—are in a unique place in history as some of the first people with complete access to the Internet for most, or even all, of our lives. Even further, the internet has become so much more intertwined with our daily lives in the past decade. Sure, it has been around and widely available since 1991, but never has it been so ubiquitous as it is now. I still remember begging my parents to hang up the phone so I could use the Dial-Up internet to play online games. My father owned an Internet Cafe when we lived in the Dominican Republic, when owning your own computer and having internet was still a luxury most could not afford.

And so, as a kind of lonely, shy, and awkward pre-teen, I was drawn to the internet immensely during my adolescence. At a time where my peers were beginning to learn how to navigate relationships with each other, I retreated into the vast, vast unknown. My internet usage started before the dawn of the 2010s, through Club Penguin and Pokemon forums that my parents barred me from using once they found out I was chatting with strangers on the Internet. I hopped through different websites over the years, some catering to niche interests and others more broad, figuring out myself and my interests along the way. I met people my age, some who I still see on our newer sites, who grew up alongside me, even if very distanced. Most importantly, I posted. I wrote, I drew, I chatted, I vented, I gamed, I put it all on the web where it still remains, a relic of who I used to be.

I’ve been scraping through these old bits and pieces that remain of my online presence, scouring through old websites I remember frequenting, searching through posts for any glimpse into who I was. Unfortunately, some of these websites aren’t around any more, or I spent more time lurking instead of posting. But, I’ve found the largest chunk of it, and have been able to re-piece that timeline through a series of posts or engagements. Here’s a selection of some of the best, most true to me posts I could find, taken for what they are (in addition to present-day commentary of what i can remember)—metaphorical pages in the vast, endless and collective journal that is the internet.

At the dawn of the decade, I was still in middle school. Halfway through my seventh grade year (which was actually my first school year in Yonkers, since my family had moved recently), I spent a significant amount of my class time doodling and daydreaming about original characters and stories. I watched anime and read Percy Jackson religiously, played card games and Pokemon with my cousins, and spent hours on the internet. I entered the year a daily user of DeviantArt, a site that at the time was immensely popular for artists to post their work.

2010

np 01 My first post of the year, on January 2nd. Most of my engagement on DeviantArt was responding to comments on my page, from artists who had thanked me for favoriting their work or following their account. A user named EpicOwnagexD commented <em>thanks for the favorites :D</em>, and this was my incredibly thought out response.

a drawing of a naruto original character with spiky hair

Drawn during social studies :D02 Occasionally, I posted art, showing the world the millions of Naruto ninja original characters I could create.

Thalia paced around the darkened hallways. She was alone, Luke was unable to fight and no one was there to help him. She had to go look for help, the deserted storage building had no one to help, much less care. But she did. Luke was grunting in pain from his still bleeding wound in his chest. Thalia stiffened.03 I participated in a writing contest, submitting a short Percy Jackson fanfic. It was an attempt at what one might call a “character study” for a character who appeared in the books.

LOL for cliffhangers.04 Complete with caption for aforementioned writing.

Have to do my homework *ugh*. Currently addicted to Facebook.05 I made a Facebook that summer, lying about being under 13, after spending a few days at West Point for a STEM camp. I wanted a way to keep in touch with these people that I would otherwise never talk to again. I spent most of my early days on it liking various pages that don’t exist anymore, and updating my status. This is my second status update on the platform, posted on June 14, 2010.

The rest of the next few months are filled with similar things: occasional posts of drawings on DeviantArt, and sort of mundane updates on Facebook. I wrote about movies I watched, being bored constantly, traveling to the Dominican Republic with my family, going back to school. I complained about things, giving everyone who cared to read access into my daily life:

Sooo mad >:( My only free period was switched to the dumbest class ever: Computers. I already know how to use a computer >:(06 This was right before the computer science boom, so no, I didn’t learn how to code. We learned how to use Excel and the rest of the Microsoft Suite

is scared of the giant mosquito currently in my room… :(07 On September 24th, I was apparently plagued by a bug in my room, in a thrilling two part saga

killed the mosquito :)08 Conclusion to the saga.

I wish09 I remember being incredibly sad about a lot of parts of myself then, wishing I could change. I spent a lot of time feeling immensely lonely and blaming myself for it, like there was some fault in me that would make it impossible for me to form deep connections. On November 16th, I updated my Facebook status. I wasn’t so shy :(10 To me, an awkward twelve year old, my shyness was holding me back from becoming the person I wanted to be. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to talk to people, but that I simply couldn’t. I was too nervous and constantly projecting my negative self-image on other people’s perception of me. My older cousins gave me advice in the comments, telling me that I’d grow out of it and that they were there for me. I don’t know how effective it was at the time, but for my sake, I hope it helped me feel better.

2011

HAAAAAPPPPPPYYYY NEEEEEWWWW YEEEEAAAARRR!
P.S: I haven’t played a video game since last year D:11 As a new user of Facebook, I entered the New Year in typical fashion: a status update.

Hellllloooo Everybody, its me [USERNAME] I’m just introducin’ myself here! I am a thirteen year old girl with a burning Blader Spirit!12 That Christmas, I had gotten a Beyblade toy for Christmas, so I could play with my cousins who’d already been into it. In January, I joined a Beyblade Forum I found online (one I’d already been lurking on for weeks) so that I could talk to other kids about this kinda niche interest. This is my intro post. I love video games and anime, especially Beyblade, Pokemon, Soul Eater, and Fullmetal Alchemist. I also love drawing, writing, and designing things like Beyblades. So hey everybody! :D

I heard footsteps at my rear, and I struggled to get up. More footsteps swarmed into my ears. I panicked and held my head as it pounded through my palms. I got up, running to… Running to, to… I don’t know, but I was running. More footsteps came, and my heart thumped in my chest faster than a bullet. Suddenly, I spiraled to the ground, the pain escaping… The light escaping… The sound escaping… Everything escaping.

Reality shoved itself into my mind in a flash.

The bright lights warped my eyesight as if I had just woken up. I could see a faint blur of gold spinning in a large circle, and a black flash steadily rotating in the center of the stadium.13 My activity on Deviantart tapered off into nothing in 2011, as I shifted my focus to Facebook and the forums. I focused more on my writing, and started posting Beyblade fanfiction about a character I’d created.

Spaghetti Tacos :3

The smell of the fresh morning dew in the air filled my nostrils as I trekked along the path. As I reached the entrance of the home, I could hear a faint whisper that got louder every second.14 I wrote some original work, too, and posted it on the Not-Beyblade-Related sections.

“Crane! Craaaaneeee!” the voice had whispered. A long, low whistle followed it. It appeared to be coming from the large bushes that surrounded the home and its boundaries. As I looked around to find the whisperer who called my name, I felt a strong tug on my arm that made me collapse into one of the bushes.

Now I could see who was calling me; Viper. Her black hair was uncombed like always and her face was smeared with dirt. And considering she had been in the bushes, it was no surprise that her clothing was covered in grass stains. Same old Viper.

I also spent a lot of time making avatar pictures and banners for people’s post signatures (AKA the greatest relic of the internet: a picture or words that show up after Every Post You Make). They’d request what they wanted on my thread, and I’d go home after school, open up Paint.NET, and get to work. It was a fun past time, and over time I became very fluent in photo editing software. Unfortunately, most of those images are lost now, since the image-hosting website took them down.

Today, I feel so confident :)15 Overall, 2011 seemed to be a better year for me. I was getting in to new things, branching out in school, and writing a lot more than before. In March, there’s this.

Okay, I need to pick my high school for next year, and I’m in a dilemma.16 I graduated from Middle School in May, and spent weeks after deliberating on my high school options. I was already locked into a local high school that my sister attended, but I remember feeling for weeks like I had made a grave mistake. Naturally, I turned to strangers on the internet to help me decide. Should I go for the school that is the top school in my district, and gives a lot of college credits, or the school that specializes in my field (architecture), and is right next to my house? I just can’t pick >.<

Got into Saunders :D !17 They all told me to stick with the first school, where I was already set to go. I didn’t listen to them, though, and eventually, I begged my mom to call the school district to see if they could change it. Luckily, it worked. On August 19th, I posted this.

And thus begins high school. I made new friends and new enemies (as serious as animosity can get when you’re 13), and life was okay. Some kids I’d spent time talking to on the forums branched off and made another small forum, just for posting our writing.

This causes the beyblade to tip over a bit, thus making it a Topple Defender.18 I entered a Beyblade design competition on the forum, and ended up winning. Some excerpts from my entry, since I can’t find the drawings I made. This signifies how Uranus rotates on it’s side, rather than vertically like all the other planets. The bumps on the clear wheel represent Uranus’ rings, which are similar, yet not as visible, as Saturn’s…

I’m so stoked to take Physics.19 The nervousness in my life was replaced with genuine excitement for the future, and it’s pretty nice to see, even when I nerded out. I took a small class for it during this STEM program, and it was the best. Physics is my favorite subject, especially since it requires a lot of math, and I love math!

2012

2012 was a bit less eventful for me. Now that the dust had settled from the apocalyptic scare, and I had begun settling into high school, there was less newness happening all around. I was still posting on the writing and Beyblade forums, and I’m pretty sure I joined another forum dedicated to graphic design at the time—though it seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth.

Suspicious, I gathered my composure and glanced around the room. Nothing seemed out of place, save for a chair out on the balcony that was slightly askew. The dining room table, a large slab of polished mahogany sitting atop four wooden legs, still had its usual layer of dust, and the lamp nearest the door to the kitchen still flickered unsystematically. Feeling sick to my stomach, I lumbered over to the bathroom, each step making my body feel heavier than the last.

Finally, I peered into the mirror, which hung over an off-white sink that still had water droplets clinging to the ceramic. My hands gripped the edges of the sink as I examined my face. The left side of my jaw was beginning to turn a purplish-blue color, and I couldn’t help but make a crooked grin.20 Part of an original story I posted to the writing forum. Unfortunately, I have a long recurring trend of starting stories and never finishing them.

Right now, I really like Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange.21 Thanks to my sister for always showing me the latest greatest music of the times. All the songs are so great, I just can’t choose!

I made a Tumblr account, and I spent most of my time reblogging content about the Hunger Games and the then-airing Legend of Korra. I started reading Homestuck. As I obsessively shared other people’s content, I gradually stopped producing as much of my own. I attempted fanart here and there.

College wear… Right now, I’ve got West Point and Harvard down.22 That summer, I went to a week-long leadership program at Harvard, where I barraged everyone on my Facebook friend list with a deluge of daily updates. I could’ve had MIT too, but most their stuff just had a bunch of science-y puns, all of which are waaay overused.

Well thank God for generators :o)23 Hurricane Sandy had swept the East Coast that fall, taking power lines out all across New York. On November 2nd, this.

And then Con Edison said “Let there be light,” and there was light! There was light! :’D24 The generator only lasted for a day. After a week of no school or power, the city finally fixed it. We wore our winter jackets indoors and spent a week huddled by the warmth of the fireplace, and I drew under the light of the flames and a large flashlight. Getting electricity back was a great moment.

a drawing of Homestuck character John Egbert surrounded by mathematical equations

Watch as the wild species,  ectousBiologistus,25 I drew a character from Homestuck on the cover of my Trigonometry notebook, and posted it on Tumblr. reacts in ashtonishment to a series of mathematical equations

This project has turned my simple love for life into a burning hatred ._.26 My last post of the year was a complaint on Facebook, and truthfully, I can’t even remember what project I’m talking about.

2013

In 2013, I made a Twitter account. I cut my hair, and started buying clothes I thought actually looked nice. I willingly wore skirts, and stockings, and earrings and every feminine piece of fashion I had shunned in my efforts to distinguish myself from other girls my age. I started playing Fire Emblem, a series that has since remained dear to my heart.

You know this test is bad news when I’m studying.27 Unfortunately these bad study habits kept up with me until very recently. Stop it while you can, kids! Freakin’ history.

follow for more soft grunge28 My first ever tweet, posted on April 30th

It is my lifetime goal to try a corndog

For the first time in my life, I made online friends. Sure, I’d spent much of the previous years chatting up the same people, but we never talked much outside of our interests. I met a few people on Tumblr after being pretty active in the Fire Emblem fandom, and we just really hit it off. We played online Mafia, Skyped often (unfortunately the chat logs are lost to time), and talked about our lives. I remember feeling happier, writing less but drawing more, and content with my real life as well.

Maybe that’s what wills you to sneak out of your snug apartment at midnight, to go somewhere you’ve never been before, with a woman you can’t even claim to really know. (She is an enigma to you; you, who spent your seventeen years flipping through the pages of a woman’s mind, who chased skirts on a daily basis.)29 I attempted fanfiction again, half in jest and half in seriousness, and laughed as I tried to make this totally never-gonna-happen pairing believable.

an animated gif of an character with spiky hair talking

more fankids yaaaaaaaay (・ω・`)30 a Homestuck original character, animated in the appropriate style

39) Talk about things you wish you’d known earlier.31 Tumblr Ask Memes, or a series of questions that would get passed around the site like wildfire, were really popular at the time. The premise was simple: you reblog a post with numbered/lettered questions, and your followers would tell you which ones to answer. My friend group and I always sent each other asks, keeping our mailboxes full.

i wish… i wish id known about a lot of things actually! i wish id known about a lot of the music i listen to now, i wish id known that candy corns melted in the oven, i wish i had known that i wanted to be what i want to be right now. it would make life a lot easier, but hey, we all have to learn at some point right

2014

2014 was a year of college prep for me— SATs, ACTs, SAT II tests, and applying to colleges. I still managed to get online during that time.

who would’ve thought I’d actually use twitter32 My first actual tweet, which really signified when I had shifted my online usage.

this is just gonna be my go-to place when my followers on tumblr get tired of my dumb text posts

im only a junior rn but im already getting super nervous about applying for college and my class ranking and everything,,,.. ..33 Don't ASK me why I typed like this okay, every one was doing it and I found all the punctuation accentuated the Nervous Energy I was brimming with anyway like if i dont get into mit i dont even know what im going to do with my life i dont even want to go anywhere else. i know its bad to have your heart set on one school but that is literally!!! my dream!!! school!!!! aag ag ghhh

ill never participate in throwback thursday because i want to erase any trace of me existing before this year

well, looks like im back (maybe temporarily?).34 I came back to the writing forum to see that there was still activity. It had been about two years since I had posted, and I did something similar to what I'm doing now: nostalgically read my old posts. I figured I could update people. lifes been pretty good since the last time i was here (god, i think i was still a freshman…). i changed my look, realized i wasnt as straight as i thought i was, saw my favorite bands live, kissed a girl + got my heart broken, went to europe for the first time, and now im a senior. im kind of excited to start applying for colleges, really shooting for MIT. its a big dream but i think i can do it. also its really weird looking back at my older posts, i was kinda lame back then. oh well, here i am, 100 percent cooler than i was two years ago :^)

im sad and i wanted to write a poem so:35 College applications were getting me down. Even though I was flourishing in school, I found myself continuously unhappy with feelings I'd long ignored.

for sixteen years

id convinced myself that paper certificates

and gold medals

and blue ribbons

could talk me out of my sadness

so my gsa36 After trying for about two years, I had finally gotten a Gay-Straight Alliance up and running in my school. A little late, but I hope it helped make the school feel like a safer place. is finally starting on Monday and gooosh I could cry from happiness tbh

I GOT INTO MIT THIS I S SO UNREAL !!37 I remember being in an H&M with my sister when it happened. I checked my phone in the store, waiting ages for the page to load. I screamed when I saw the news, and called my parents immediately, who were in another store at the mall. In hindsight, kind of a bad idea to check such an important thing in public, but hey, it worked out. Tweeted in a time before Chris starting retweeting everyone who got in and posted about it on Twitter.

it’s becoming so so real that im actually really going to my dream school

2015

2015 was a time for change, once again. I was running the last lap of my high school career, using the high from getting into MIT to keep me going. Everything was so exciting to me, and all I could think about was the future years that lay ahead.

A card from MIT, which reads: “We could model the compounds in chocolate, Trace the genomes in any bouquet, Or offer a market assessment, Of the future of Valentine’s Day. We could fill both your ears with the music of spheres, And we would, if it helped us say That we love MIT with a passion, And we hope that you’ll join us some day. Congratulations and welcome to MIT!”

MIT SENT ME A VALENTINES CARD38 Does MIT still do this? I'm not sure. But it sure made my day. IM LITERALLY IN LOVE

my goal is honestly to get picked to be a blogger for mit39 Goal for all of your 2020s: Speak. It. Into. Existence. like I read those blogs religiously from the start of my junior yr to now

People here get to class on motorized skateboards,40 I remember coming to campus during Campus Preview Weekend, mesmerized by the type of students I saw. It was really like stepping out of a movie. this school is literally a movie scene

can’t wait till college when I’ll be taking dozens and dozens of math classes and none of them will be statistics41 Total lie, don't know why I thought this would be the case. I've already taken one statistics course, and have another to go!

the most important part of writing is….. finding a good playlist42 Beginning the FEE, or First year Essay Evaluation. What you get on it determines if you will need to take a Writing Intensive HASS class.

it’s becoming so so real that im actually really going to my dream school

FINALLY finished these essays43 posted at 2:53 AM the day it was due

In May, I graduated. I remember being upset that I missed a Kooks concert that day, and a little wistful at the thought that high school was actually over. I was excited, sure, but a little afraid at what was to come. MIT, and Boston, was new place where I’d have to start over, essentially. I applied to be a blogger as soon as the applications came out, and spent the summer working at my local pool, counting down the days until August.

I GOT PICKED TO BE A BLOGGER!!!!!44 I was at a restaurant eating dinner with my parents. Needless to say, I was thrilled.

All in all, the word “home” can’t be defined by a set of arbitrary checklists or shiny, new facilities… It’s feeling all of this despite what anyone thinks of it (even your own parents). We don’t come to MIT to stay in our bubbles, we come to expand them.45 From my first blog post.

2016

tbh I would probably marry han solo46 My first post in 2016. Pretty topical now.

tw: my embarrassing past as a 12 year old on deviantart

finished my last final of freshman year, feeling too many emotions which are manifesting in many tears47 I remember walking through the Infinite after my 4.022, Introduction to Design Studio, final. I felt a rush of emotions when I saw the therapy dogs playing in Lobby 10.

That year, I realized I should probably stop posting the most extremely sad content for the world to see. I made a separate Twitter account, which I only gave to around 5 friends, to post my heart out.

it just hit me n all i want 2 do is cry but i have class 4 4 more hrs

MY PEANUT BUTTER TOAST COSTUME GOT ME NOTICED BY @teganandsara AND I GOT TO GO ON STAGE IM !!!!!

someone described my look today as “steve buscemi as an undercover teenager” and I’m fine with this

i am literally always in awe and incredibly grateful about the school i go to and can never shut up about it lol

please don’t talk to me im trying to run to my room so i can cry in the 7 minutes48 One perk of living very close to classes was that I really could go back for a short break. Much needed sometimes. btwn now and when I have to go to my next class

hope no one walks into my suite rn bc I just started crying while reading comments on my blog49 In November, I posted a blog about failing a class at MIT, and in general. It resonated with a few people who left me wonderful comments or emailed me, and I was very emotional about it. + listening to hamilton

journaling, more like how 2 get urself to face ur suppressed feelings and cry a lot

2017

I remember 2017 starting off okay. I went to Mexico with some friends from high school, and came back to take a class, 4.02A, How to Design Intensive, over IAP.

i go back to school in 9 days…. 9 more days until im back at Stress Central

honestly im literally Fantasizing and Salivating about sanding my cube down for my arch project50 My final project was a wooden cube with carefully designed voids. I made it by gluing differently sized wooden sticks together, which were measured perfectly to create the cube. However, gluing and my hands aren't perfect, so it wasn't smooth, yet.

lmao reading my Tumblr posts from 2 years ago and… nothing has changed! This girl is still Insecure and Sad Sometimes

the more stressed i am the more i wanna tweet i love having Online Presence

IM SO HAPPYYY it’s so NICE OUT51 That February, there was a day that was 70 degrees out. It's amazing how warm weather and sunlight can really positively effect mood! and i had a LOVELY PICNIC AND I HAD A GREAT DATE AND MY SISTERS COMING !!!! 💖☺️💐🙏🏽

yea i paid extra to get “sport death” engraved on my ring, can someone say the words “whipped”

complicated relationship between intense external stress, overwhelmingly negative feelings of self + crumbling interpersonal relationships

i still jam to call me maybe in 201752 Little did I know, the Carly Rae Storm that would hit me just a year later!

The entire beginning of the year had felt like something Big was coming and ready to crest, and that Summer, it did. My mood was spiraling downhill, and I was spending my days mostly alone in my East Campus room. I spent a lot of time online, and I made what the young kids call a Finsta, or a Fake Instagram. I posted a lot of very sad things on there accompanied by incredibly deep fried pictures of myself, mostly.

something something haircuts as metaphors for Big Changes

if i write all my sad thoughts down they’ll leave me right?

i just want to disappear into some kind of void

i touched a roach and since then ive stress eaten at least 3 gogurts 7 dumplings and a snicker doodle cookie53 A traumatizing moment in which a cockroach took refuge in my sneaker, which I put on. I thought, HM that's a strange thing, is that a bit of leftover fuzz from a sock touching my foot? So, I take the shoe off and pull it out, expecting fuzz. What I saw made me nearly black out.

i think it’s safe to say 2017 has been the Worst year of my life so far54 I still stand by this dramatic statement

I constantly feel like I’m stuck on a train heading towards a heaping fire and I keep seeing the ashes in the air and smell the smoke55 Now That's What I Call Anxiety! to prove to myself that I’m right and literally no amount of reassurance can help me get over this fear but I keep begging for it hoping one day it will

the only thing getting me through the present day is thinking about how one day ill write about these low points of life in my biography56 Who's to say I will have one? It doesn't really matter, it helped a bit.

my sister after listening in to my cousin and i’s conversation: “are all gay people depressed?”

anyways my therapist told me i should consider going on medication

my new years resolution is to draw more fanart so i can feel that rush of happiness and bliss and innocence i felt in early high school

2018

The same feelings remained, dulling a bit as time went on. The first year away from MIT was turning out to be rougher than I expected, as I grappled with trying to rediscover an identity beyond MIT student. But, I was getting better, ultimately. Life was looking up again.

i feel like I’ve ripped off a bandaid that was already peeling off, hanging on by just a small amount of adhesive and old and decrepit bc ive taken too many showers and the water degraded it over time, but it still ripped off some of the hair underneath and it doesn’t hurt, really, but there’s a weird melancholy feeling looking at ur small hairless spot. also im seeing a psychiatrist tomorrow finally

not to sound like a corny middle schooler but yea some music has seriously positively impacted my life and mental health,57 I was snowed into my home, alone. I spent a lot of time playing Breath of the Wild, and listening to Paramore, which reminded me of friends from home, and being younger one could even say it “””saved my life”””

reading my old tweets makes me very sad; i wish i could go back in time and comfort myself tbh but wow i guess things do kinda get better

#RecoveryIs smiling at dogs on the street again

not to sound corny but i can’t wait for this depression-free relatively-stable-life-prospects summer that’s coming up

As the old saying always goes, healing isn’t exactly linear. There was a fluctuation, a blip. It’s hard to know how it started, but it all happens so fast.

i feel like my hearts been ripped out of my chest to be honest58 One of my dear friends, my first at MIT, graduated that summer. She was moving to Germany, and it wasn't until the moment came that it really hit me. It was a lot harder to manage than I expected, and I spent a lot of time crying about it. and i don’t really know what to make of it

can people Stop telling me Rufus Wainwright’s Hallelujah is the one from shrek im trying to cry without thinking about the cartoon ogre

At the same time, I started to have a resurgence of negative feelings. I spiraled quickly, posting on my most private Online Journals, speaking frankly.

im not looking for reassurance so don’t bother messaging me.59 I commented this under a post I had made on Instagram. I knew friends usually reached out when they were concerned, but I was simultaneously not looking to talk and desperate to prove to myself that no one cared, which clearly wasn't true.

It blew over within a week, even if somewhat explosively. I got my wisdom teeth out that summer, which was just as miserable as people had warned. But generally, things were on the upswing again.

anyone else feel overcome with emotion during the bridge of taylor swift’s “mine” or is this just indicative of where i am in life60 It was. I know now, but really that was just the feeling of falling in love.

it’s so wild how mitski and i had the same exact mental breakdown in Nobody but she ended up writing one of the best songs of 2018 and i ended up in the hospital

2019

2019 was undoubtedly the year of Getting Better. I was prepping to go back to MIT, both excited and incredibly nervous for a change of pace.

i have to skip carly rae jepsen when im being emo bc i know she’ll instantly lift me out of my misery

thanks facebook for reminding me that 8 years ago today i forced my mom to make the abomination that is spaghetti inside of a hard taco shell for dinner so i could feel like a character on iCarly

never gonna forget that @carlyraejepsen show not only bc it was the sweatiest I’ve been in my life but also she reached out and touched my hand61 This was the greatest concert of my life so far. Her energy is infectious, I was covered in glitter, and I felt so alive.

proud to say that today i can officially join the ranks of the few who have completed Infinite Jest

Back at MIT, I felt a mix of emotions. It was strange being back, and the adjustment was hard at times.

daily motivation playlist and the only song on it is elton john’s “im still standing” repeated 50 times

oh to be a small puppy blissfully eating cigarette butts off the sidewalk that my owner has to pry out of my mouth

one day I WILL become a victim of poisoning via free food left in the hallway outside of my destination during lunch hours62 I was coming out of the MIT List Center, only to be greeted by boxes and boxes of free pizza. As a hungry student, I happily obliged and ate a bunch. As I chomped down my second slice, I started to question this habit.

when i say im “writing” i mean im staring at a single paragraph i wrote for an hour and rewriting it bit by bit, only to delete it later

The sun shines brightly behind her eyelids, filling her vision with a deep scarlet. For just a moment, she can see the tiny blood vessels making pathways along her vision, skirting across her lids from edge to edge in small blurred streaks.63 I'm practicing writing again! It's online... somewhere.

day 5 no hot water,64 A week I'd like to erase from 2019. Turns out hot water is incredibly useful. No showers, no laundry, and it takes forever to get grease out of dishes, if you even can. turns out the plumber ordered the wrong part and has to order a new one Again

Even though you’re sweating profusely, small hairs sticking to your forehead and face burning up despite the slightly chilly weather, you feel on top of the world. The wind blows through your hair and the ground seems to spring up in response to your feet hitting the ground. You feel joy, pure and unwavering.65 From one of my last blogs, Countdown to Burnout

listening to simple plan’s “welcome to my life”, don’t text66 Just got out of a soul-crushing final. Shell shocked and very upset.


Although most of it isn’t the deep, introspective content you’d expect in a journal, it’s something. Just reading a few words posted on a status brings back so many memories associated with it. A lot of the time, the memories are small pieces that bring a smile to my face. Other times, it makes me profoundly sad as all the bad thoughts come rushing back. I wish I could go back in time and comfort the younger version of myself, tell her that it would mostly be okay in the future, but instead I can only spectate through lines and words on the web.

It’s fascinating seeing the evolution of a person before your eyes. Especially when that person is you. All these posts lie on a road that lead to where I am now, oversharing and blogging at MIT. In a lot of ways, I haven’t changed much. In fact, when I look back, it almost feels like I’ve come full circle. I began the decade being really into anime and spending a lot of time drawing and writing. Over the years, I stopped doing a lot of the things I liked when I felt I outgrew them. Now, I’m watching rewatching an anime that I haven’t seen since 2010. I’m doing unapologetically nerdy things again. Some of those kids I met, way back, in the Beyblade forums or later on Tumblr? We still follow each other, except this time on Instagram and Twitter. A lot of them have gone off to college, graduated, experienced life alongside me. Sometimes we still talk about the old days.

I’m grateful for my experiences on the Internet. Not just because I had people willing to listen to me rant about incredibly niche interests. My writing, even down to the blogs now, is shaped by these experiences. Even when it wasn’t a full-out story, expressing myself online has changed the way I weave my words together in other contexts. I’m glad that these pieces of me exist out there, even if they are often embarrassing. I don’t want to forget these parts of myself, the thoughts I felt were so important I had to share them with the world.

It’s a new decade. Take a second to look back on everything you’ve done that remains on the internet, data that will probably remain long after we’re gone, in some capacity. Take those parts of yourself—the sad, the nerdy, the lonely, the joyful—and take it with you into the next decade. Don’t delete that embarrassing photo you thought was really cool when you were 12. Keep your Tumblr up. Just remember and reflect. And if you’re up for it, share your most embarrassing find of the decade in the comments below. It’s cathartic.

I’ll close this post with a list I posted in 2011, on a thread titled 5 Things you want to do before you die.

1) Become a well known architect.
2) Publish and sell a successful book.
3) Have my own family / Fall in love.
4) Become really good at a sport (preferably Skateboarding)
5) Visit every continent.

Ehh, generic things, but whatever.

Still haven’t reached all five, and I don’t know if I still want to, but it’s nice to see where my head was at.

  1. My first post of the year, on January 2nd. Most of my engagement on DeviantArt was responding to comments on my page, from artists who had thanked me for favoriting their work or following their account. A user named EpicOwnagexD commented thanks for the favorites :D, and this was my incredibly thought out response. back to text
  2. Occasionally, I posted art, showing the world the millions of Naruto ninja original characters I could create. back to text
  3. I participated in a writing contest, submitting a short Percy Jackson fanfic. It was an attempt at what one might call a “character study” for a character who appeared in the books. back to text
  4. Complete with caption for aforementioned writing. back to text
  5. I made a Facebook that summer, lying about being under 13, after spending a few days at West Point for a STEM camp. I wanted a way to keep in touch with these people that I would otherwise never talk to again. I spent most of my early days on it liking various pages that don’t exist anymore, and updating my status. This is my second status update on the platform, posted on June 14, 2010. back to text
  6. This was right before the computer science boom, so no, I didn’t learn how to code. We learned how to use Excel and the rest of the Microsoft Suite back to text
  7. On September 24th, I was apparently plagued by a bug in my room, in a thrilling two part saga back to text
  8. Conclusion to the saga. back to text
  9. I remember being incredibly sad about a lot of parts of myself then, wishing I could change. I spent a lot of time feeling immensely lonely and blaming myself for it, like there was some fault in me that would make it impossible for me to form deep connections. On November 16th, I updated my Facebook status. back to text
  10. To me, an awkward twelve year old, my shyness was holding me back from becoming the person I wanted to be. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to talk to people, but that I simply couldn’t. I was too nervous and constantly projecting my negative self-image on other people’s perception of me. My older cousins gave me advice in the comments, telling me that I’d grow out of it and that they were there for me. I don’t know how effective it was at the time, but for my sake, I hope it helped me feel better. back to text
  11. As a new user of Facebook, I entered the New Year in typical fashion: a status update. back to text
  12. That Christmas, I had gotten a Beyblade toy for Christmas, so I could play with my cousins who’d already been into it. In January, I joined a Beyblade Forum I found online (one I’d already been lurking on for weeks) so that I could talk to other kids about this kinda niche interest. This is my intro post. back to text
  13. My activity on Deviantart tapered off into nothing in 2011, as I shifted my focus to Facebook and the forums. I focused more on my writing, and started posting Beyblade fanfiction about a character I’d created. back to text
  14. I wrote some original work, too, and posted it on the Not-Beyblade-Related sections. back to text
  15. Overall, 2011 seemed to be a better year for me. I was getting in to new things, branching out in school, and writing a lot more than before. In March, there’s this. back to text
  16. I graduated from Middle School in May, and spent weeks after deliberating on my high school options. I was already locked into a local high school that my sister attended, but I remember feeling for weeks like I had made a grave mistake. Naturally, I turned to strangers on the internet to help me decide. back to text
  17. They all told me to stick with the first school, where I was already set to go. I didn’t listen to them, though, and eventually, I begged my mom to call the school district to see if they could change it. Luckily, it worked. On August 19th, I posted this. back to text
  18. I entered a Beyblade design competition on the forum, and ended up winning. Some excerpts from my entry, since I can’t find the drawings I made. back to text
  19. The nervousness in my life was replaced with genuine excitement for the future, and it’s pretty nice to see, even when I nerded out. back to text
  20. Part of an original story I posted to the writing forum. Unfortunately, I have a long recurring trend of starting stories and never finishing them. back to text
  21. Thanks to my sister for always showing me the latest greatest music of the times. back to text
  22. That summer, I went to a week-long leadership program at Harvard, where I barraged everyone on my Facebook friend list with a deluge of daily updates. back to text
  23. Hurricane Sandy had swept the East Coast that fall, taking power lines out all across New York. On November 2nd, this. back to text
  24. The generator only lasted for a day. After a week of no school or power, the city finally fixed it. We wore our winter jackets indoors and spent a week huddled by the warmth of the fireplace, and I drew under the light of the flames and a large flashlight. Getting electricity back was a great moment. back to text
  25. I drew a character from Homestuck on the cover of my Trigonometry notebook, and posted it on Tumblr. back to text
  26. My last post of the year was a complaint on Facebook, and truthfully, I can’t even remember what project I’m talking about. back to text
  27. Unfortunately these bad study habits kept up with me until very recently. Stop it while you can, kids! back to text
  28. My first ever tweet, posted on April 30th back to text
  29. I attempted fanfiction again, half in jest and half in seriousness, and laughed as I tried to make this totally never-gonna-happen pairing believable. back to text
  30. a Homestuck original character, animated in the appropriate style back to text
  31. Tumblr Ask Memes, or a series of questions that would get passed around the site like wildfire, were really popular at the time. The premise was simple: you reblog a post with numbered/lettered questions, and your followers would tell you which ones to answer. My friend group and I always sent each other asks, keeping our mailboxes full. back to text
  32. My first actual tweet, which really signified when I had shifted my online usage. back to text
  33. Don't ASK me why I typed like this okay, every one was doing it and I found all the punctuation accentuated the Nervous Energy I was brimming with anyway back to text
  34. I came back to the writing forum to see that there was still activity. It had been about two years since I had posted, and I did something similar to what I'm doing now: nostalgically read my old posts. I figured I could update people. back to text
  35. College applications were getting me down. Even though I was flourishing in school, I found myself continuously unhappy with feelings I'd long ignored. back to text
  36. After trying for about two years, I had finally gotten a Gay-Straight Alliance up and running in my school. A little late, but I hope it helped make the school feel like a safer place. back to text
  37. I remember being in an H&M with my sister when it happened. I checked my phone in the store, waiting ages for the page to load. I screamed when I saw the news, and called my parents immediately, who were in another store at the mall. In hindsight, kind of a bad idea to check such an important thing in public, but hey, it worked out. Tweeted in a time before Chris starting retweeting everyone who got in and posted about it on Twitter. back to text
  38. Does MIT still do this? I'm not sure. But it sure made my day. back to text
  39. Goal for all of your 2020s: Speak. It. Into. Existence. back to text
  40. I remember coming to campus during Campus Preview Weekend, mesmerized by the type of students I saw. It was really like stepping out of a movie. back to text
  41. Total lie, don't know why I thought this would be the case. I've already taken one statistics course, and have another to go! back to text
  42. Beginning the FEE, or First year Essay Evaluation. What you get on it determines if you will need to take a Writing Intensive HASS class. back to text
  43. posted at 2:53 AM the day it was due back to text
  44. I was at a restaurant eating dinner with my parents. Needless to say, I was thrilled. back to text
  45. From my first blog post. back to text
  46. My first post in 2016. Pretty topical now. back to text
  47. I remember walking through the Infinite after my 4.022, Introduction to Design Studio, final. I felt a rush of emotions when I saw the therapy dogs playing in Lobby 10. back to text
  48. One perk of living very close to classes was that I really could go back for a short break. Much needed sometimes. back to text
  49. In November, I posted a blog about failing a class at MIT, and in general. It resonated with a few people who left me wonderful comments or emailed me, and I was very emotional about it. back to text
  50. My final project was a wooden cube with carefully designed voids. I made it by gluing differently sized wooden sticks together, which were measured perfectly to create the cube. However, gluing and my hands aren't perfect, so it wasn't smooth, yet. back to text
  51. That February, there was a day that was 70 degrees out. It's amazing how warm weather and sunlight can really positively effect mood! back to text
  52. Little did I know, the Carly Rae Storm that would hit me just a year later! back to text
  53. A traumatizing moment in which a cockroach took refuge in my sneaker, which I put on. I thought, HM that's a strange thing, is that a bit of leftover fuzz from a sock touching my foot? So, I take the shoe off and pull it out, expecting fuzz. What I saw made me nearly black out. back to text
  54. I still stand by this dramatic statement back to text
  55. Now That's What I Call Anxiety! back to text
  56. Who's to say I will have one? It doesn't really matter, it helped a bit. back to text
  57. I was snowed into my home, alone. I spent a lot of time playing Breath of the Wild, and listening to Paramore, which reminded me of friends from home, and being younger back to text
  58. One of my dear friends, my first at MIT, graduated that summer. She was moving to Germany, and it wasn't until the moment came that it really hit me. It was a lot harder to manage than I expected, and I spent a lot of time crying about it. back to text
  59. I commented this under a post I had made on Instagram. I knew friends usually reached out when they were concerned, but I was simultaneously not looking to talk and desperate to prove to myself that no one cared, which clearly wasn't true. back to text
  60. It was. I know now, but really that was just the feeling of falling in love. back to text
  61. This was the greatest concert of my life so far. Her energy is infectious, I was covered in glitter, and I felt so alive. back to text
  62. I was coming out of the MIT List Center, only to be greeted by boxes and boxes of free pizza. As a hungry student, I happily obliged and ate a bunch. As I chomped down my second slice, I started to question this habit. back to text
  63. I'm practicing writing again! It's online... somewhere. back to text
  64. A week I'd like to erase from 2019. Turns out hot water is incredibly useful. No showers, no laundry, and it takes forever to get grease out of dishes, if you even can. back to text
  65. From one of my last blogs, Countdown to Burnout back to text
  66. Just got out of a soul-crushing final. Shell shocked and very upset. back to text