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MIT blogger Ankita D. '23

halfway there by Ankita D. '23

musings about currently being an MIT student

  • I live a five-minute walk away from MIT, so I pass campus often. It’s a weird experience. I can compartmentalize the last 14-ish months of my life as being ‘on-campus and then not,’ but passing other students and seeing places where memories from my blissful freshman year linger blurs all the lines.
  • The semester is almost over. That means I’m almost through half of my time at MIT. It’s strange, and scary, and…viscerally uncomfortable. Is time real?? I’ve already lived at my current house for longer than both the places I stayed at this summer, even though those times felt like eternities. Did my freshman fall blow by this quickly?
  • Whenever I talk to other MIT students, there’s so much reminiscing. Always, without fail. It makes sense—pre-pandemic, everything was wonderful! and uninhibited! “Remember that time we [insert mundane thing here]? And when we were up at 3 am doing [insert mundane thing here]?” I wish I knew how special those things were while they were happening. I wish I could overwrite old memories with fresh ones. I wish I didn’t have to revere things that used to be very normal, like studying at a certain spot or bumping into people in the hallways or dancing with 30+ other people in the floor lounge.
  • But there were also incredible times that I appreciate much more now. Mocha Show, the show my dance team puts on every February, is far beyond anything that could happen in current times; we were dancing for hours in front of a crowd of 200 screaming people. The energy was wild and having a dozen of my friends hype me up from the front rows made me perform better than I ever had. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life, in retrospect, and I hope that I’m able to participate in at least one more before I leave MIT.
  • Also, REX. REX01 residential exploration was a week. A week. In just that time, I forged countless friendships, joined a community I love and cherish, and experienced MIT student life in such a liberated and carefree way. Looking back, I can’t believe how assertive I was, how eager I was to experience new things that I’d charge into new situations blindly, how willing to meet new people I was that I felt absolutely drained by the end of it all. REX was a wonderful time. It’s weird that the very first week I spent on campus feels like one of my favorite periods of time of MIT. God.
  • Even though the student life I’m experiencing right now is nothing like what it was, I’m still having a great time. I love my house and our little adventures, and I love always having something to look forward to. The other day, some of my roommates and I walked to Newbury Street and wandered through the Prudential Center, and even though it was 40 degrees out, it was really fun. Boston is beautiful and I’m so happy to be living here. I keep bumping into other MIT students on the street, so if I really squint, I can feel like a real college student.
  • A friend recently asked me for book recommendations. While thinking about books to recommend, I remembered the sheer number of books I consumed while in high school. That time almost seems otherworldly…I can’t imagine reading at this point in time; I managed to get through Infinite Jest this summer, but now that I’m well into the semester, my free time is spent unwinding, playing guitar, and, uh, vibing. When I walked into a Barnes and Noble, though, all my fond memories of books I’ve read came whirling back, and now I’m really…frustrated that I don’t have the emotional capacity to read right now.
  • My ex-roommate came to visit last week, so my Burton Conner triple was finally reunited. We were last together the (very tearful) day I left campus back in March. Out of curiosity, I went back and watched the video I took of the three of us on that day. We’re so cute!! I missed our dynamic.

“we were going to pack our stuff up because we’re getting kicked the fuck out, and we ended up on this giant beanbag. i can’t be here…the world is ending and i have an apartment to fill”

“i have a suitcase to pack”

“and i have food to eat but i’m not going to because i ate six bags of chips for dinner yesterday and it SLAPPED”

  • So…job hunting and academics aside, I’m vibing, but thinking about how I experience life as a college student nowadays is strange. I get through my hell weeks by thinking about some future event, but realizing how far into the semester sends me into a crisis…
  • I maintain, I am VIBING.
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