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MIT blogger Ankita D. '23

i [don’t] have covid?? by Ankita D. '23

in conclusion, i am the absolute worst at managing stress


I had a COVID false alarm this week, which is why I’m currently back at home instead of my new place in Cambridge. I think it’s ironic that my summer was so stress-free but that my life was so disrupted literally THREE weeks into the semester.


Last Friday, I woke up with a sore throat. I didn’t think much of it—I get colds quite often, it happens. My boyfriend told me that he’d had a sore throat two days ago, so I figured that I’d inevitably gotten it from him.

That night, I danced for four hours straight with my friends to 2010s bangers, which was the most fun I’ve had in a while. But it also was the first time I’d moved for more than like two (2) minutes at once in literal months, so my body wasn’t ready for it. Sure enough, I woke up on Saturday morning with awful muscle aches. My legs were so sore that I didn’t get out of bed for the rest of the day—I felt like a sandbag

On Sunday, the fevers kicked in (alongside my fight or flight reflex). I grew convinced that I had COVID and spent the entire day locked in my room, venturing into the kitchen occasionally for a rare cup of tea or ~singular~ cherry tomato…my roommates weren’t really concerned about it since they’d disinfected the house and ventilated everything, but I felt pretty damn awful to be potentially putting them at risk.

Later that day, I found out that my boyfriend had just tested negative for COVID, but this did little to assuage my concerns. During my third nap of the day, at 6 pm, I was jerked out of half-consciousness by an…panic attack…? regarding why I’d have COVID and my boyfriend wouldn’t. It was terrifying and super weird—my barely-awake brain had one nonsensical thought that triggered a weird panic involving tunnel vision01 when your vision is encircled by hundreds of tiny pinpricks until you can't see anymore that started happening to me earlier this summer. They’re rare, but I require full mental facilities to calm myself down, which is why I am BEWILDERED about doing it while half asleep. Damn.

On Sunday night, I stress-emailed S Cubed02 student support services about getting extensions for two assignments: my lab for 6.009,03 fundamentals of programming which sucks a full 3-4 days out of my week on average, and my 18.0304 differential equations pset, which I simply did not have the mental energy to complete within the next few days. I pushed both deadlines from Friday to Tuesday and Monday, respectively, but given that I’d already lost three days I’d dedicate to both assignments…yikes. 18.03 and 6.009 are my hardest classes so far, given that 18.60005 probability and random variables has had only a SINGLE pset that I finished within twenty minutes the day it was posted…

My other professors were super understanding, though; my Chinese professor excused me from quizzes and attendance scores for all the days I was gone, and my CI-H professor, who is dope as hell, told me to chill on his assignments until I was feeling better.

When I woke up on Monday, my muscle aches were gone, which clued me into the potential of them having stemmed from dancing way too much last Friday. I still felt like death, though, so I left Cambridge and went home to recover. With just two days of rest, I was completely back to normal.

The issue is that I’m behind in my classes. Like, really behind. Getting extensions made it easier for me to relax about assignments this week, but it means next week will be utter hell. I’m going to have to work the entire weekend so I don’t go into next week with four big assignments to deal with instead of just two.

So…sophomore year is going great, y’all! 😬

  1. when your vision is encircled by hundreds of tiny pinpricks until you can't see anymore back to text
  2. student support services back to text
  3. fundamentals of programming back to text
  4. differential equations back to text
  5. probability and random variables back to text