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MIT student blogger Afeefah K. '21

Four Years Through A Laptop Case by Afeefah K. '21

a walk down memory lane

When I started my freshman year at MIT four whole years ago, senior year and graduation and “the end” all felt so far out of reach. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it through my first semester classes, yet alone eight whole semesters at MIT. At some point, I realized that I couldn’t be looking so far ahead. All I had in front of me was the present and all I could do was make sure that I was bringing my best in that moment to the moment. Now, I have just about two weeks of classes left. In the next fourteen days, I have two midterms, three group projects and a handful of essays to get through. I should be stressed out – really really stressed out- but all I can think about is how the finish line is really in sight and I haven’t even begun to process and reflect on what the past four years have meant. The writer in me feels like there’s so much to deconstruct and talk about, so many metaphors to build. So as graduation nears and as my time as a blogger comes close to an end, I’m hoping I can get through a big chunk of my ever-growing list of blog posts to write. Today, I’m feeling pretty nostalgic. I figured, what better way to summarize the past four years than to take a look at something that’s been with me through it all: my laptop case! (P.S. Danny and Allan wrote this amazing laptop stickers compilation post back in 2019 and you should definitely check it out!)

I bought my laptop case back in the summer of 2017, before moving to MIT. Even though, I lost the bottom case and the top is chipping and starting to discolor a bit, it has miraculously survived all of the laptop droppings it has incurred since then:

  1. Palestine: I got this beautiful sticker from [email protected] It depicts the dove, a symbol of peace, wearing a traditional Palestinian Keffiyeh scarf and holding an olive tree branch in its mouth.
  2. McCormick Hall: my forever home under the dome. I got this sticker from 2018 REX, the entire dorm had transformed into a big Hawaiian Luau hence the palm tree
  3. RIP The Dead Succulents: throughout my time at MIT, I received a handful of free succulents, all of which did not survive in my hands :( This sticker commemorates all of the lost succulents
  4. Muslim Students’ Association: The MSA was the first student group I really got to know at MIT and they’ve been nothing less of a second family on campus. This sticker is one of the older ones that I have and it is starting to get worn out. But yes love the MSA fam
  5. IHTFP Part One: I got this sticker from some booth on campus my freshman year. One of two stickers, representing one of the two alternating definitions of IHTFP.
  6. Seaport: Seaport is one of my favorite areas in Boston. Right alongside the harbor, it’s super pretty to walk around and also is home to the Institute of Contemporary Art – a museum I would visit often.
  7. 21s Ring Premiere: I got this sticker at our Ring Premiere in 2019, which is when Ring Committee announces the brass rat design. Peak the hidden, or not so hidden, 21.
  8. “Love Begins From Within”: I’m pretty sure I got this sticker with some clothes I bought once, but I like the reminder to practice self-love.
  9. Blog Or Die: Okay this might actually be my very first sticker I put on my laptop case. This is the MIT blogger sticker that we got way back in like 2017 I think?
  10. A Hijabi Queen: I got this sticker with an online order of hijabs and I just think it’s so pretty and also just very me so yeah.
  11. San Fran: This was the one souvenir I bought for myself after the end of my summer internship in the Bay Area back in 2019. One of my favorite summers so far, and I’m happy that I have a sticker to remember it.
  12. Random Aesthetic Shoe: A lot of this is aesthetics. The shoe is pure aesthetic. I don’t even like sneakers like that.
  13. Rooh Afza: Rooh Afza is a South Asian drink. It comes in this beautiful bottle as a sugary syrup that you then mix into water and drink. It’s super good and it’s one of my favorite South Asian drinks, so gotta have a sticker for it.
  14. Health Is A Human Right: This sticker is from MIT’s Global Health Alliance (formerly known as GlobeMed). I was involved with GHA through a big portion of my time at MIT, and I’m forever grateful for a community of people that are thinking critically about the state of public health and healthcare.
  15. MIT Summer in Washington: A sticker to commemorate my virtual internship at the World Bank this past summer. MIT’s Summer In Washington program is super cool and it allows students with or without policy background to take a deep dive into the different facets of policy work in DC!
  16. Quizlet Astronaut: Also mainly just aesthetic. But also I think this is the only sticker on here that I snagged from one of the MIT career fairs. And also like many people, I too aspired to be an astronaut once upon a time.
  17. IHTFP Part Two: The second IHTFP sticker on here for the second meaning of IHTFP.
  18. HackMIT: I really liked the design of this sticker, and also I think I went to like two of MIT’s hackathons hoping to be able to build something meaningful. In both cases, I was simply humbled by my inability to do anything.

So yeah, there’s a decent summary of the past four years. There’s a bunch of stickers that I really like and that mean things to me, that didn’t make it onto my laptop case, because the aesthetics of it all just didn’t line up. But alas, I think my empty laptop case from freshman year has definitely grown into something pretty special.