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MIT student blogger Michelle G. '18

Life etc by Michelle G. '18

“fine,” “nice,” “good," "quiet"

So I woke up before ten today, which is pretty new and probably good. My sleep schedule has been all over the place lately after staying relatively stable at something like “6 a.m. to whenever my first class is that day and then nap again if I still feel tired afterwards” then trying to fix that to something more normal but messing up by half-intentionally resolving to “nap” a bunch of times, creating a period of essentially no schedule at all, and then trying to fix that by listening to the advice of someone on Quora who claimed that 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. worked pretty well for them personally.

But yeah, I dunno. I’m not one hundred percent convinced that existing primarily at night has been a bad thing, but most people would probably say that it’s unhealthy because you end up depriving yourself of society and Vitamin D and disrupting your circadian rhythms, not that I am entirely sure what that does to your body other than that it’s “bad” in a vague or general sense but I guess I trust whomever is spreading vague information about circadian rhythms enough to at least consider them in any deliberate construction of a sleep schedule. The social isolation, on the other hand, has honestly been kind of nice. I know I shouldn’t confound “enjoyable” with “probably a good thing” but I do value the enormous blocks of time I’ve been able to dedicate to uninhibitedly thinking about whatever I want to think about and sort of developing truth independently of other people’s idea of it, or I guess with some inevitable influence, but nothing too overwhelming. I hope that doesn’t sound like pretentious or fake deep, or whatever. I’ve developed a clearer picture of how I think about the world and what I value (versus what I’ve thought I valued in the past cause of what my peer in-groups did, you know?) is what I mean.

I’ve also heard similarly vague evidence that erratic or unusual sleep schedules are problematic for your mental health.. While I don’t think I feel susceptible to the Sad types of illnesses at this point, I do think being around other people during daylight hours makes me feel more grounded (“grounded” is definitely the perfect word) and I wouldn’t be that surprised if after a while more of a mostly-isolated lifestyle something were to tick in my brain and I suddenly could only speak in like rhyming verse or became convinced the government was run by reptilian shapeshifters or possibly even both of those things at once. (I would definitely be more okay with both of those happening at once than either of them happening on its own.) At least that would be interesting. :’)

It’s also just nice to have friends to keep regular contact with, and feels bad to become less close over time.

But anyway. Yeah. I woke up at ten today. It was actually 9:47, but I stayed in bed for a bit longer so that it was about ten when I got about of bed and maybe 10:12 when I left Senior House (where I had slept) to go back to my room in East Campus and I don’t know, listen to music for a bit, think about how much work I had to do, think about how many unread emails I had in my inbox, decide to skip my HASS class, make coffee, try to get into a productive mindset. Think about blogging because ahh, it’s been so long, but I can’t think of what to write about because I feel like I never actually do anything and just read and work on my laptop fourteen hours a day. Drink the coffee.. finish reading a book about the Syrian conflict, text my friend Nick, start getting through my emails, spontaneously decide to email my advisor about an idea I’d been thinking about recently and spend a few minutes rereading the email after hitting “send,” wondering if it would be off-putting to him that I wrote so much or that I included exclamation points in two separate places in the email. I decided that if I hadn’t already sent it I would have replaced one of them with a period, but that it wasn’t really too big of a deal either way.

I think I also wasted a lot of time. That always ends up happening and I can never exactly pinpoint where or how. I have to study for a 14.02 (Macroeconomics) test on Thursday, learn the material for 14.04 (Microeconomics) and do the corresponding pset due Friday, learn the material for 18.600 (Probability & Random Variables) and do that pset for Friday as well, and read like a hundred pages for my Anthropology class then write a short essay about what I read by tomorrow morning. I hadn’t made progress on any of these things before I looked out the window to find it was already getting dark again, and I still really haven’t, so I guess that’s what I’ll be doing for the rest of the evening in the order of Reading/essay > 14.02 > 14.04 > 18.600. I have a feeling Thursday night will be sleepless, but you know, that’s nothing new.

Anyway, that’s pretty much been the past two months for me. Study, read, waste time, realize it’s probably bad that my sleep schedule is modeled after that of a raccoon, study some more, waste more time either way. I’m excited for the semester to be over so soon, not because my classes are hard or I feel burnt out or anything like that, but because everything just feels so stagnant regardless of what I’ve tried to deliberately change in my lifestyle. I think this semester has been a lot of vague and tepidly positive things – “fine,” “nice,” “good,” “quiet” – but I dunno, I’m really craving something different.