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MIT student blogger Jack-William B. '21

Looking Forward and Backward by Jack-William B. '21

10 Memories and 8 Resolutions

As I write this on the final day of the year, I cannot help but think back at how much my life has changed in just twelve months. It has, by far, been the most exciting year of my life to say the least. Last year, I sat with my mom in my house, watching the ball drop on my television, sweating because there is not winter in Southwest Florida. Now, I sit, bundled in three layers of pajamas resembling a plaid-colored icicle, on the fourth floor of next house, overlooking the frozen Charles River, viewing a skyline of a city I call genuinely like calling home. In a quick recap of what I consider the highlight reel, here are the ten moments that I probably will never forget that happened in the unique year of 2017:

1. Getting into MIT. I will never forget when I refreshed the page, and the page changed from the normal message to one that read something along the lines of, “The decisions are ready.” My heart skipped a beat, and my mom was in the kitchen. We were talking when I saw that it changed, and I stopped and read the first line. I started screaming on the top of my lungs that I was in!
2. Arriving at CPW and getting escorted to the second floor of the student center, where I saw Petey. I remember staring at him from my seat and thinking, “Whoah, the guy from the blogs and College Confidential is real, and he’s bald!” Now he is my boss and will be reading this.
3. Spending the last moments up to the AP Statistics exam whipping and dabbing to imaginary music, mind you in-sync with one another, with my two closest friends, Ruth and Gina.
4. Saying goodbye to my mom and sister after driving up the whole eastern United States and realizing, standing in my room on the sixth floor of Maseeh, “Oh Crap, I’m alone now. Now what?”
5. Being told that I actually didn’t exist. Apparently, after a few weeks of Interphase EDGE, a decent amount of people did not think I was a student in the program, and I was used as a fictional character in one of the communications sections. I was told later that day by my roommate that I didn’t actually exist. Definitely a first in my life!
6. Getting chosen as a blogger! This was definitely a cool one. I was on a Six Flags trip with my Interphase EDGE group, and I had just gotten off the Superman ride. I was walking back to the pavilion to meet my other friends, and I got an email saying, “You got the gig!” It has proven to be a really fun job that I enjoy that I never would have imagined coming here I would have.
7. Shooting a bottle-rocket 200 feet in the air and somehow managing to not break all of the eggs that were stuffed in as payload. I did the Discover Aerospace pre-orientation program, and my group and I decided we would just put half of dozen eggs in a barely functioning rocket. Somehow, on launch day, the thing went flying up in the air, and we all stood in disbelief. Although some of our eggstronauts had to meet their maker, two, if I remember right, survived the flight. #TeamBulgaria
8. Having to run around a table in 8.02 to demonstrate understanding of magnetic fields produced by moving charges. Yeah, it was odd! I did not wake up that morning thinking I was going to be an electron today, but I was and survived to tell the tale of table 3’s ultra-powerful magnetic field.
9. Experiencing the true definition of zero friction on an iced over sidewalk, resulting in myself meeting the ground on a street corner in Kendall in front of a packed restaurant. It was even made better by the fact that during my ever so graceful fall to the ground, my wallet flew out of pocket closer to the restaurant, so I had to get even closer to my audience to retrieve it.
10. Walking over the Harvard Bridge in 2 degree temperatures with a real feel of -15 degrees. Just don’t do this one. Highly not recommended. The Qdoba on the other side made it worth it though.

And with all that being said, I cannot wait to see what’s in store for next year. My whole life, I never really made a resolution for New Years. I always kind of brushed it off. However, this year, as I waited for my brownies to bake in the oven for my New Year’s party of one (campus is very empty and my mom just flew home from visiting for Christmas), I compiled a list of eight resolutions/goals that I have for the upcoming year that I am striving to complete:

1. Going to office hours. I didn’t go to office hours first semester, but I know that I will be in the upcoming one. Next semester I will be taking a lot of classes where all the material is completely new, and I want to start taking advantage of this resource when I need the help.
2. Get involved with the Cambridge/Boston community. There are a lot of afterschool programs at local high schools that I would like to help out in, and I am in the midst of contacting some for next semester.
3. Starting research in the Department of Physics. I really want to get into something Astrophysics related at the moment, and I am currently looking into finding a new UROP to work with in the coming semester and over the summer.
4. Get involved as a Teaching Assistant of some sort. In high school, I really loved tutoring and the idea of helping people learn, and I am currently on the hunt for a way that I can make myself useful in ways that I can be for people who are struggling.
5. Secure a position in a Global Teaching Lab for IAP 2019. I really want to see Europe and there are some Global Education Programs that head over there for 3-4 weeks in January. I have never been out of the United States before, so it would be something new.
6. Ride every MBTA Commuter Rail at least once to explore a new location that I have never been before. I want to see Gloucester and also take one into Providence, Rhode Island!
7. Get a picture with Tim the Beaver. I have yet to get a picture with Tim, and I’ve been on this campus for over six months now. It is not fair. I must find Tim.
8. Learn how to walk better on ice. Simple enough… I hope.