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MIT student blogger Afeefah K. '21

Listing It All Out by Afeefah K. '21

you get a list and you get list and you get a list

Places To Take A Nap On Campus, Ranked

  1. Barker Library – The pin drop silence of the reading room is honestly better suited for taking naps than studying in my opinion. Add in the pretty comfortable green sofas and you are set!
  2. McCormick Front Lawn – all you need is a picnic blanket or a hammock and you are set.
  3. The big lecture halls (10-250 or 21-600). There’s nothing like the anonymity of a large lecture hall
  4. Banana Lounge Bean Bags – pretty comfy the first few times I took a nap here. But after a few months I felt like they needed to be cleaned so I stopped taking naps here.
  5. Dorm Room – what fun is there in that?

Classes That Changed My Life

  • 11.011 – The Art and Science of Negotiation
  • 5.12 – Organic Chemistry
  • 6.009 – Fundamentals of Programming
  • ES.9112 – Prison Initiative: Philosophy of Love
  • HST.434 – Evolution of an Epidemic
  • 20.320 – Analysis of Biomolecular and Cellular Systems

Favorite Off-Campus Eateries

  • Sebastian’s Cafe- Conveniently located right next to the Koch Building in Kendall. The make-your-own pasta bowls are ~quality~.
  • Chipotle – In Kendall (actually right across from the new admissions building) and a decent enough distance  from my dorm to feel like an excursion of a sort
  • CAVA – also in Kendall, I love love love their braised lamb and the free mini pita
  • Saloniki- right on Mass Ave, love the zucchini fritters and the fries just taste extra delicious bc they are *free* for students
  • Asmara Ethiopian – proper sit down in Central Square and Ethiopian food is just so good and the Indian in me appreciates being able to eat with my hands hehe
  • El Jefe’s Taqueria – located in Harvard Square, high quality tacos
  • Man O Salwa- hole in the wall convenience store in Somerville that objectively makes the best and most authentic desi food in Boston. The biryani slaps

Places You Should Stroll In

  • Esplanade and along the Charles River in General
  • Hanover Street, North End
  • Boston Harbor
  • Newbury Street
  • Harvard Square
  • Acorn Street and Beacon Hill
  • Blue Hills Reservation
  • Commonwealth Avenue
  • Boston Commons/ Public Gardens

Distinct Recollections of Crying

  • Week 2 of MIT because I was homesick
  • Week 3 of MIT because I failed my first midterm
  • Some late Thursday night during Freshman year bc I spent too much time in lab and missed dining hall hours and was v sad about no food
  • Probably at some point during 5.12
  • While rewatching Taare Zameen Par with friends
  • The last night I spent on campus in Fall 2020
  • Definitely a bunch of other times that I do not remember right now

Afeefah’s Additions to ” 101 Things To Do Before You Graduate”

  1. Stay in office hours till midnight – TA or no TA
  2. Walk the Infinite corridor after midnight
  3. Fail a midterm – it builds character
  4. Cry in public – also builds character
  5. Go *chairing* in the tunnels
  6. Identify a fear and work towards getting over it (I finally petted a puppy whoop)
  7. Make some kind of scrapbook/album of your time at MIT
  8. Travel and eat good food on MIT’s money
  9. Remove toxic people from your life – you deserve better
  10. Go to a protest or march you care about
  11. Try a lobster roll
  12. Do a blind cannoli taste test (i recommend trying Mike’s, Modern and Bova in North End)
  13. Go on a bike ride through Boston (i recommend biking to the Boston Harbor)
  14. Take schmancy photos in a grad cap/gown throughout campus
  15. Do something nice for friends and mentors before graduating

Favorite Blog Posts I Have Written, Ranked

  1. Dear Seniors – December 7, 2017
  2. A Complicated Synthesis Question – December 7, 2018
  3. Love In The Time of Corona – March 15, 2019
  4. I’m A Muslim Women And... – March 27, 2018
  5. Take Off – September 6, 2017
  6. I’ve Been Staring At The Edge of The {Charles River} – May 26, 2018
  7. The Story of Tonight – November 1, 2018
  8. Advisor vs. Advisee – March 22, 2021
  9. Chasing Success – August 5, 2019
  10. 7 Rings – April 23, 2019

Places I Have Gone On MIT’s dime

  • South Africa
  • Cape Cod
  • Was supposed to go to DC but rip COVID
  • Was supposed to go to LA but again rip COVID

How To Feel Better After A Crappy Midterm

  1. Go on a walk along the Charles with some emo music blaring in your headphones
  2. Come back to your dorm room and do a deep clean so that you can convince yourself that you have at least something in order
  3. Sit in the dark and watch your favorite TV show
  4. Spend three hours in the dining hall talking to people bc what else is there to do now
  5. Eat a crap ton of ice cream in the dining hall
  6. Go to sleep and forget that this day even happened

Afeefah’s Coffee Shop Recs, Ranked

  1. Darwin’s in Central Square- like a 7 min walk from campus and is very homey, did most of my major midterm studying and essay writing here
  2. Andala Coffee House in Central Square- also ver homey and all around chill vibes
  3. Caffe Nero in Downtown Crossing – good place to study with a most likely very unfamiliar crowd
  4. Marriott Lounge in Kendall Square- if you feel fancy you do fancy

Books Afeefah Will Try To Read This Summer

  • The Secret Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalinithi
  • The Secret to Divine Love by A. Helwa
  • The City of Brass by S.A Chakraborthy