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MIT blogger Cami M. '23

Take Care of Us by Cami M. '23

asking for change

I try my best to be as honest as possible on the blogs, while simultaneously trying to be kind to the institution that gives me the privilege of having such a wide platform to share my ideas on.

Which is also why it’s only fair that I talk about how this school is decaying my mental health with every day that comes and I want it to change.

For those of you who don’t know, many undergraduates, including myself, have been struggling immensely this spring. More so than past semesters, not only because of the pandemic, but because of the way MIT administration has handled this pandemic.

They removed spring break to prevent travel without realizing that students are going to travel, regardless of break or not, and the only impact this removal has had is burning out their students. Spring break was a band-aid of sorts for students, as they got beaten and battered during their spring semester, before receiving a week of relief to recharge. Now, with that spring break removed, we are given random “wellness” days throughout the semester, with three day and four day weekends sprinkled throughout the semester.

wellness break cartoon with students talking about how they're burned out

art from alina s. ’24 that summarizes what i’m talking about

But this doesn’t have the same effect as spring break. Whereas spring break was a full week of rest, these long weekends are not filled with rest but instead filled with playing catch up. Professors have been treating these long weekend breaks as normal and still assign the same amount of work in a regular semester.

I am…so sick and tired of being treated this way. Every week I talk to my friends and each one is doing worse than before. We’ve cried. We’ve broken down numerous times. We’ve consistently tried advocating for ourselves with various forms and petitions and despite weeks of complaining and telling faculty we’re at our breaking point, little changes have been taken. Campus feels like a ticking time bomb. I am simply waiting for the pin to drop, as every week we are pushed to our breaking point more and more.

I personally just feel constantly anxious and overwhelmed and it’s difficult having to look 2025s in the face and say ‘Yeah, I love this school and I want you to come here’ when the institution I’m lauding is the very same institution that is killing me. Simultaneously, I know it’s unfair to judge MIT off this one semester, which is why I’m still participating in CPW and why I still honestly and genuinely tell 2025s that MIT is good most days, just not this particular day.

I am just begging for some peace. Or for some break. For the sake of us undergraduates so we can regain our sanity. After reading countless stories about student suicides this semester, I grow more and more afraid for my peers’ wellbeing and I am tired of waking up every morning afraid I’m going to see one of their names in the news.

And it’s absolutely sickening that I have to live like this, in fear and anxiety and stress every single day inside of an institution that’s supposed to take care of me.

I am desperate for some change, and undergraduates are working tirelessly for that. But it’s frankly so awful that we as undergraduates have to push and beg administration to stop burning us out rather than them just not overloading us with work. As bad as it sounds, I feel like every day I’m losing a bit of my humanity and spark that made me feel excited to wake up and learn every day, but honestly it’s the truth. It’s so evident in my blogs, which have lost its excited tones and lustrous sparkle it once had. It’s evident in my vlogs, where I can see over the course of the week just how I grow more and more tired, and when the weekend comes, it’s just a repeat of the same ridiculous courseload with no plan of stopping.

I am burnt out. I am tired. I am asking for some change.