When I think of suburban Ohio, my family’s current home, I recall the time I danced down the street under the Big Dipper constellation. A dozen fireflies lit up the trees. There was no one around—a terrifying scenario in Cambridge, MA, but a soothing one in the suburbs. That was a night the cicadas came back, and I wished city sounds would drown out their mating snaps.
During the day, the sky here is a plain blue and the houses are beige. The white picket fences have no locks or latches. Sometimes a contractor showers the fences with a high-pressure hose, and it confuses me. Why clean the fences when they don’t even close?
Cars here slow down for a deer family of four. In Bambi times, animals feared humans. Now the mama deer stares at me. I should’ve Googled if deer attack humans. But at least the mother deer’s three babies are concentrated on grass.
At sunset, the runway pond burns. On the Ohio planes, you can see the full sky dome. There’s periwinkle. Royal purple. A most vivid pink. Stripes and splashes across the sky. I miss it.
Before MIT, when I still identified as a math lover and major, I attended a cake decorating event at the local library. The librarian wondered if I was over 12 years old—not great to hear a month before college. But the decorating event went well. I was bad at spreading icing and making flowers, so I squeezed a on top of the cake instead. Then I added a “2”— is cooler, right?
Now when I visit Ohio, I don’t need a to feel cool. I enjoy role-playing with my sister and going to the zoo. Before I gained the freshman 15+, I even went with my sister on the playground. And it felt pretty darn cool because I was no longer in a rush to grow up. In college, youth is appreciated. It means a more flexible sleep schedule. You can often hear (MIT) seniors say they are old because can’t stay up late anymore. Of course, it’s probably due to sleep deprivation catching up, and not the age, but feeling old is better than feeling like you have made bad choices for the past three years.