This is the third rush to happen since I graduated MIT. And most of the time, MIT is not at the forefront of my mind. I’ve got code to write, planes to fly, trips to take. MIT isn’t my turf anymore, and I’m respectfully crufting in the background. But every August – when I start hearing the construction at East Campus, when I start seeing more people on the T – it hits. The memories always come flooding back.
I remember being the excited Californian who ran outside in her pajamas and flipflops at the first snow. I remember people explaining how frostbite works.
I remember feeling like a failure when I switched from 18.01A to 18.01. I remember feeling like a failure a lot.
I remember being in a state of shock when I got 100% on an 18.02 exam.
I remember taking medical leave. I remember, every moment, being desperate to come back.
I remember a post-finals bonfire. Our notes for the semester were the guests of honor.
I remember staying up until dawn in a cold November, talking to friends. I remember that when everyone else fell asleep, I took a bike ride through the city, freezing. I remember finding The Paramount about 10 minutes before opening. Never has a banana pancake tasted so good.
I remember watching the sun rise from Killian Court in my pajamas.
I remember my soon-to-be-(and-still-current-)boyfriend flirting with me over a 6.02 (digital communication systems) pset. I remember being dense about social interactions (and demodulation).
I remember an early morning arriving on floorpi. I remember unpacking in my temp room, hearing voices around the corner. “Is there a frosh in there?” These people became among my favorite people.
I remember when Boston was locked down. I remember listening to too many radio streams.
I remember people hurting my feelings. I remember hurting theirs. Sometimes we could make amends. Sometimes we couldn’t.
I remember trolling Tetazoo after their swim test.
I remember, after a particularly bad few months, receiving a surprise box. It had treats, a mix CD, and an anonymous note telling me that everything was going to be okay. None of my friends ever fessed up. I discovered that gouda is delicious.
I remember my first time scuba diving, my body rejecting the idea that I should breathe when submerged in water.
I remember my first time shooting a pistol. I sucked. I remember my first time shooting an arrow. I rocked.
I remember sleeping until noon in winter. Such little sunlight was a bad idea.
I remember late nights psetting. It wasn’t unusual for us to spend more time laughing than working.
I remember slicing planaria in half and watching them regenerate.
I remember the stress of my last semester, running from classes to job interviews then applying for more online.
I remember playing with space robots.
I remember friends teaching me how to handle liquid nitrogen. We made ice cream.
I remember the pouring rain as I sat back down in Killian. I remember huddling with friends, soaked, holding our diplomas, as the ceremony was coming to an end.
Frosh, welcome to MIT. You’ll make memories too.