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MIT student blogger Anthony R. '09

Baby Steps by Anthony R. '09

It made tonight's newswire. The grass is still green in Boston Common.

My room’s dark, it’s late Monday night, and the January respite from regular term classes has officially come to an end. My glasses could use a cleaning, but at least the laundry’s done. I had a good experience with French class, our “final” consisting of a one-page composition in the past tense about a funny story from our lives. If nothing else, I’m waking up naturally at 8 a.m. on a daily basis and I’ve found a semblance of work ethic again. I also did a fair bit of reckoning, the fruits of which fed this entry. –Anthony

P.S. Classes start tomorrow. I’m actually excited.

I’ve always been told I need a lot of input. Inbound information, sheer amounts of data, visual or practical. Yes, always; sometimes to my benefit, sometimes to my detriment. My high school math teacher once likened my mind to a sports car because I’d jump to the end of a problem instead of being methodical. But there’s no denying it. The wide eyes of childhood met the brilliant pallor of an airport lounge and sired a beast called restlessness.

I began searching for answers toward the end of last semester. School just wasn’t working, integrals just didn’t seem so integral. None of my immediate peers at home had gone on to university, and a spread of gap years only removed me further. I had been accustomed to keeping school firmly under my thumb, and I was under the impression that I’d enter the next level of education on a footing equal to my new classmates by simple virtue of like age. I made my transition to Massachusetts on an eggshell notion that college would require of me the same adjustments familiar to generations of former freshmen, since I’d waited two years to finally be the same age as everyone else. I figured I’d be going through something along with a thousand others, and besides, I was merely thankful to no longer be marooned in the desert.

Sure, I arrived on campus, picked up my new ID, went through dorm selection and room assignment, and attended the first day of classes just like everyone else

22 responses to “Baby Steps”

  1. Anonymous says:


    but whats the point in this article?

  2. Troy says:

    Please give me back the last 5 minutes of my life I just wasted.

  3. Dan says:

    For all you people out there wondering what the point of this blog is…there doesn’t have to be one. Maybe all of you have your life planned out, and I pity you for it. Life is a journey, and that is just what this entry is about…so deal with it. It isn’t your life, and you chose to read this blog, so stop bitching about it and find something better to do with your time.

  4. Thank you, Dan, for getting it. Freshman angst is real and complicated, particularly for those who feel and experience life on a deeper level and take the “road less traveled”.

  5. And years from now, when you return to Cambridge, you’ll see the same familiar-yet-changed places, and yet see them in new ways. We’re usually not aware of ourselves as we develop a sense of place; enjoy the journey! (And the new semester, too!)

  6. Catherine says:

    That’s sweet, Anthony. =)

  7. Laura says:

    Hey people. Stop being rude. You know who you are.

    K thanks.

    Anyway, awesome entry. Pretty much everyone of my friends from home is going through some similiar “figuring my life out” type thing, so you’re not alone. =)

  8. Alexandre says:

    I enjoyed that…Everyday I see people who manage to miserable despite the millions of things they have to be grateful for. I’m glad you were able to avoid that before leaving MIT.

    Good luck in the new term! Which classes are you taking?

  9. Ben says:

    Awesome entry A. That’s part of what makes life fun – the not knowing, the journey. Often that perspective comes only in retrospect; good for you that you can appreciate it from the middle. You’re an expert traveler in more ways than one.

  10. Really cool entry, Anthony. I love such pensive entries.

  11. gregp says:

    You’ve made some powerful and adept realizations, ones not easily come by, especially so soon in life.

    Crap. I had something interesting to say earlier today, that I was like… wow, that’s so exciting I have to tell someone, and it was precipitated by this entry.

    So thanks, whatever it was. And maybe I’ll remember sometime… =P

  12. Minh says:

    Insightful and inspirational. From my own experiences as a student studying in a foreign country, I can relate to many of your feelings, especially the “delicious solitude”, “one-way ticket”, and finally realizing that one loves one’s own place after all. I’m just a little curious: do these feelings you describe form the dominant student culture at MIT? Thanks.

  13. Tom says:

    Thank you. Wonderful post.

  14. Mugisha says:

    A thoughful entry. Thanks for taking your time

  15. A.D.I.T.Y.A. says:

    Wow…i really identify with the inner sentiments of your article…this was really poignant…thanks Anthony…..this was an epitome of ‘life’s journey’ and the inherent vacillation of the concept of home that drives many people

  16. Angelina says:

    “trips alone can bring delicious solitude” certainly reflects my feelings…

  17. Jack says:

    I also associate transit with nuetrality. I love to run, and it’s my way of exploring new places. Eventually I get to a point where the running is effortless and all conscious thought ceases. It’s a sense of mental freedom that’s unequaled anywhere except maybe underwater. Then I usually trip over something, come back to consciousness, and realize that I have no clue how I got where I am.

  18. Christina says:

    “P.S. Classes start tomorrow. I’m actually excited.”
    That’s my favorite part of this entry =P

    Nah, not really. My favorite part is the happy ending. Good luck with the new semester =D

  19. Pia says:

    thanks for telling me about it, its lovely. good for you anthony =)

  20. Reli says:

    You are awesome, Anthony. I feel the exact same way.

  21. Johnson says:

    Hey bud,
    I just moved from Toronto to West Palm Beach (frankly.. i hate it :p) Your vivid descriptions have managed to unearth a nostalgia that I was searching for.

    Thanks wink