Coming back to campus has been unsettling for many reasons. My identity as a clueless freshman has been stripped though I have inadvertently introduced myself as a freshman one too many times. Now, I take on the task of dismantling freshmen’s assumptions that I have my life figured out. (I don’t. Honestly, most sophomores and, dare I say, upperclassmen probably don’t either).
It’s upsetting to walk past rooms that belonged to beloved members of my living group who have now I miss you Annie:((( This and the influx of new faces have shifted the culture of my living space, and I find myself not willing or interested to partake in social activities. Though to be fair, you get what you put in, so my detachment is on me.
There’s an innocent energy to freshmen that’s inspiring and a little nostalgic. I didn’t come to MIT with my eyes wide open, ready to bear my heart to this institution. Indeed, I fully expected to be crushed at every corner my soul tried to run into. All this to mean that I’m not surprised that there are struggles and challenges, just a little shocked at how much it actually hurts.
I am still bruised from my freshman year. Some rooms and hallways and people have memories plastered all over them that sometimes dim my day. But I am learning to bow my head, breathe, and move on. This is unlike last year when I was remarkably overwhelmed by pressure to have an answer about the meaning, purpose, goal, and direction of my life. Nowadays though, I am learning to fold my thoughts and feelings, neatly stack them, and slowly unravel them when time allows and with patience and assurance that I don’t have to figure every part of my life instantly.
My summer has been refreshing enough to help me come to ~revolutionary~ epiphanies like the one above. Wouldn’t it be oh so great if wisdom would stick more when learned through advice than experience? Regardless, the time away from MIT put a lot of experiences into perspective, and applying that context as I continue with sophomore year has been calming, at least relative to freshman spring.
While my sophomore year loads, here are some recent tidbits of my life~~
- I’m falling in love with pink again. When I was little, my favorite color used to be pink while my sister’s was blue, and all our aunts and uncles would get us blue and pink gifts as a way to distinguish the recipient of each gift. Then sometime in late pre-teenage-hood, I suddenly renounced pink and fought endlessly with my sister for the blue This was followed by my mostly-if-not-all-black phase that my mom hated and that I am still recovering from. In hindsight, I suspect it’s because I got called ‘kebet’ at school many times, which roughly translates to a blend of westernized, spoiled, and girly. I think I internalized this and used rejecting pink to mean a rejection of because pink is for girls and girls are weak and i Am nOt LIkE oThEr GiRLs But I realize now that’s stupid, and I missed out on wearing pink Fimbs = Fake Timberland boots. My aunt gave them to me a few christmases ago, and I didn’t really wear them until I got to MIT. for multiple years because of self-inflicted shame. Also, the color scheme for my room is pink and green and beautiful.
- My sister is now going to that other school down the road, and we’ve been going to church together. Sometimes my sister and I will look at each other during the liturgy and have laughter boil up our throats for no reason and the struggle to hold it back reminds me of home.
- I am cooking For context, I really heavily dislike vegetables that are not fried potatoes. A few weeks ago, I buckled up and binge-cooked, and it was amazing. I made lasagna, home-made pasta sauce, creamy herb chicken, spicy chicken, and tibs (Ethiopian version of beef stir fry). On the side, I made roasted broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and cauliflower. I Okay more than slightly overdid the salt for the broccoli and cauliflower sides, but the benefit is that with the crunch and salt, I can kinda sorta maybe fool myself into thinking they’re McD fries. Baby steps.
- I went to my first hackathon! I applied to HackMIT with my friends from my summer internship. Honestly, the most fun I had was spending time with them and catching up lol. I’ve been intimated by hackathons for a while now, and going to this hackathon broke down that belief. I learned that hackathons are actually a nice place to learn something new on the spot and apply it to realize cool ideas. The greater lesson was to try not letting fear keep me from exploring my interests. Live and learn I guess. Relatedly, the hackathon was well-organized; I really applaud the organizers’ efforts and urge you to consider applying for next year’s hackathon.
- Lastly, I will share The Gift I’ve had on replay for a couple of weeks: Bigger by Beyonce. Listen to it. Listen to the lyrics. Listen to it again.
Step out your estimate
Step in your essence
and know that you’re excellent
- I miss you Annie:((( back to text ↑
- This was followed by my mostly-if-not-all-black phase that my mom hated and that I am still recovering from. back to text ↑
- because pink is for girls and girls are weak and i Am nOt LIkE oThEr GiRLs back to text ↑
- Fimbs = Fake Timberland boots. My aunt gave them to me a few christmases ago, and I didn’t really wear them until I got to MIT. back to text ↑
- For context, I really heavily dislike vegetables that are not fried potatoes. back to text ↑
- Okay more than slightly back to text ↑