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MIT blogger Ankita D. '23

bursting the MIT Bubble by Ankita D. '23

when 🅱️ig 🅱️ome Energy gets too real

college is supposed to be a stepping-stone to adulthood, where undergrads can attempt to be functional human beings an environment conducive to trial and error. we can turn in our psets barefoot and then binge Netflix for eight hours and it’s completely acceptable because, hey, at least we actually did the pset!!!!

and when we’re living in this strange and beautiful enclave where it’s okay to fail at being real adults, a lot of us tend to let ourselves be absorbed in our own lives. keeping up with what’s going on in the world becomes something extraneous and not essential.

in Sloan Business Club’s Board Education Program, which I talk more about here, one of my weekly assignments is to prepare news briefs to present to my peers, the rationale for this being the intensity of the MIT Bubble. when i heard this, i realized how unaware of what’s going on in the world i am. i used to be so caught up with everything, but now i’m just preoccupied with my life here—which is fair, because i’m still adjusting to this environment, but i don’t feel like a functioning human being when the only news i get is from MIT Confessions…

this feeling of being trapped in the Bubble is tangible in my failure to take advantage of the city around me. in my two-ish months01 only two months?? feels like i’ve been here for an eternity here, i haven’t left campus all that much.02 frat parties don’t count lol Boston is right there, but i barely leave my floor?? (okay, my floor is amazing but i, a girl from a city 45 minutes away from Boston, feel like more of a tourist here than i did in Taipei and that kind of alarms me)

 

i have, however, notably escaped the bubble on a few occasions: 

 

camping trip! 

the freshmen and sophomores of my floor ventured into the woods of Andover, MA for some good wholesome bonding. the experience was exactly what i’d hoped it would be—building a fire, making s’mores, sharing trauma—the essentials, am i right? we also fit all 11 frosh into one four-person tent, which was nothing short of incredible. 

walking in the middle of ~n a t u r e~ made me realize how accustomed to MIT campus i’d become in the past few weeks. also, i had shut away my internal to-do list for the weekend, so i felt a strange sense of unease, as if besides stressing out about how much i procrastinate on my work, there was nothing to consume my time. for a brief period where the very tired and hungry frosh were lying in a tent listlessly, i was SO agitated because it’s weird to be bored at MIT, where so much is going on and you’re surrounded by so many people.

 

but being off campus and receiving emails from the free-food mailing list was hilarious. us while grilling hot dogs: “oh hey guys there’s thai food in Building 34” *cackling*

 

interesting note: on three separate occasions, different people asked if anyone had brought their periodic table.03 in one of our classes, Introduction to Solid-State Chemistry, the professor stresses the importance of having our periodic tables handy at all times, so a lot of students bring them to strange places and send him pictures of it my roommate had brought her periodic table shirt,04 the same professor randomly hurls these shirts across the lecture hall in some classes. love it so we took a picture by the camp fire and sent it to our professor, who put the picture in the next lecture powerpoint. 

 

incredible.

picture of freshmen posing with chemistry shirt

the pic that made it into the slideshow! wow look at us grunge-y emo frosh posing it up

 

Peabody Essex Museum!

my HASS class, “Introduction to East Asian Cultures: From Zen to K-Pop,” has two required museum trips. and since us college students are intensely busy/there lowkey are no weekends at MIT, each student has to go on their own time.05 according to my professor, field trips haven’t panned out in the past decade

i went to the museum with a classmate and had such a good time! to get there, we had to take the T and then the Commuter Rail, which was a lot of…transportation…for someone who’s used to walking back and forth across campus all day. It was a strange experience, and pretty much every step of the way i’d turn to him and say “oh my god WE’RE NOT AT MIT!!!” 

i’m really grateful to my class for, essentially, forcing me to leave The Bubble. exploring a museum in the middle of the school day was a wild and unique experience — and so was renting an electric scooter and y e e t i n g06 (at 13 mph lmao) across Salem.

 

apple picking!

undergrads from every dorm went to Stow, MA for a very frickin wholesome apple picking trip that Abby talks about here. we got a whole bag of apples (that i fully intend to consume for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next week), a caramel apple, a cider donut, actual cider, and access to a hedge maze and hayride.  i mostly hung out with people from my dorm, but bumping into students i’ve seen around campus for a while as i walked around the orchard was super cute!

 

picture of freshmen with fall leaves in background

new england fall is hella pretty

 

 

alright. MIT might consume your entire existence in ways both good and bad, and leaving campus definitely feels like a breath of fresh air

but coming home to it is always comforting :’))

 

 

  1. only two months?? feels like i’ve been here for an eternity back to text
  2. frat parties don’t count lol back to text
  3. in one of our classes, Introduction to Solid-State Chemistry, the professor stresses the importance of having our periodic tables handy at all times, so a lot of students bring them to strange places and send him pictures of it back to text
  4. the same professor randomly hurls these shirts across the lecture hall in some classes. love it back to text
  5. according to my professor, field trips haven’t panned out in the past decade back to text
  6. (at 13 mph lmao) back to text