Skip to content ↓
uzay avatar

finding place by Uzay G. '26

finding place

Note: these are some retrospective thoughts on my experiences finding place at MIT. I reflected back on the patterns and evolutions, but in the moment I mostly don’t think about this stuff consciously.

I haven’t posted in a while. Too long. It’s been one of the semesters.

MIT has taught me a lot of things about community. I was in a small high school, and although I made good friends, I always felt a bit isolated within my technical interests.

When I got to MIT, looking back I think I felt like I was a little kid walking into his first candy store. I was astounded by all these people with whom I had a lot of shared technical context/passions, organized into all these different colorful communities. Here are some pics, looking back (omitting a lot because I don’t want to personally identify anyone)

bacon quesadilla ramen

bacon quesadilla ramen

hike with friend

hike with friend


At the same time, it was a hard semester for me due to all the life changes of being frosh (first sem is hard!) and a challenging math class. So I spent the social time I had everywhere and nowhere. Dashing around, not sticking around long enough to build anything solid, with some lucky exceptions. You can’t rely on serendipitously bumping into people at university and a huge campus. You need to be more intentional, unless they literally live next to you.

I was not on top of things and was mostly unaware of how things were playing out. I remember, during IAP (Independent Activities Period), I was out watching the stars with a good friend when he called me out and said man, you need to be careful because last semester you came into some people’s lives for a quick burst and then flaked out.

I am very grateful for that call out. He put himself out there and give me an outside persective that was very important. I had been volatile.

On the other hand, that period was also illuminating. It gave me perspective on MIT; the different scenes, as well as the type of people I want to hang out with. And that there many people I’d like to see but won’t have the capacity to make it happen unless they do.

At the end of fall semester I was starting to feel tired of some of these shallow things and had met people I really appreciated.

But then I got hosedddddddddd in the spring. The people I interacted with became a small group of friends and the people I would work with. Many of the latter became the former (MIT students would utter the words trauma bonding, I won’t go that far). Community got submerged. I don’t recommend doing that, but it did teach me my limits. Some pics:

blackboard w algebra

galois math

field of snow

montreal for spring break

ocean, boston

boston cruise

blackboard of symmetries

physics symmetries

Finally, spring ended (and with it the hosure), summer passed, fall rolled around, East Campus closed, and I moved to Burton Conner (these are two different dorms) with a good roommate. I had more time, and I was definitely no longer wanting to explore as much. So I got closer to some. But my friends are spread out and my interactions were one on one. It’s a lot of effort sometimes though! It means you mostly have to interact with people through focused conversations or situations where you’re using your brain and talking about life.


went to rave

party in room

party in room

I threw a party in my room with roommate! This was really interesting. It was spontaneous but fun. Throwing a good party is really exhilarating and in general putting on events where your friends meet each other/grow the cohesion to turn into a group is nice.

Now, I live in Pika. Pika is very fun, and I feel at home. I’m trying to do more outings and have a bit of a group going on, which is great.

This semester I went to Mexico with some besties.

mexican pyramids



cricket taco

cricket taco


Nearing the end of my second year, I have a much stronger sense of place at MIT. This happened mostly through just putting myself out there and trying to bring people together to do fun stuff. For example, a few days ago, a friend and I decided we wanted to drive down for the eclipse so we hit up some other people and now it’s happening.

I am much more grounded and maybe less socially excited than that bright eyed kid freshamn fall. But I still feel the wonder of this place. I know myself and where I am, a bit more.