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MIT student blogger Afeefah K. '21

MIT IS … by Afeefah K. '21

reflections of a bright sunday afternoon

As I look outside the long windows of McCormick Hall’s penthouse, soaking in the last few glimpses of blue sky (oh no, winter is coming), it hits me: I’ve almost made it through two months of MIT! 60 long days filled with SO MUCH LIFE.

I’ve turned in a total of 15 problem sets. I’ve written 2 essays. I’ve gotten through 10 novels. I’ve taken 6 midterms. I’ve failed a midterm. I’ve aced a midterm. I’ve laser cut and assembled a brushless motor. I’ve finally learned how to properly breathe in Yoga. I’ve watched the sunrise from the Harvard Bridge. I’ve cried. I’ve missed home. I’ve stood in line at Maseeh’s dining hall at 12 pm for a halal burger. I’ve gone to office hours in my best pair of pajamas. I’ve turned 30 minute naps into 2 hr naps. I’ve repetitively failed at responding to free food emails. I’ve walked out of lectures not understanding a thing. I’ve burned out multiple raspberry pis. I’ve already cracked my MacBook screen (rip). I’ve woken up to emails about student deaths. I’ve woken up to emails about Noble prize recipients (go Weiss!).

MIT is all of that. It’s firehosing. It’s being scheduled down to the second. It’s consistent work. It’s making mistakes and learning from them (aka don’t put lecture notes in your mac, the staple will destroy your screen). It’s realizing there is so much you simply just do not know. It’s building yourself up to where you want to be. It’s taking a break to admire what’s around you. It’s good news. And bad news.

But most importantly, it’s being there for one another. Through ALL OF IT. It’s selflessly supporting and shamelessly taking support. It’s finding connection in the people around you in the most meaningful way possible. It’s crying without care about how much you miss home. It’s finding comfort in other people. It’s realizing that they are your second family. It’s random conversations that happen in elevators. It’s philosophical discussions that happen within dorm rooms. It’s staying up late at night to make sure everyone’s got their pset done. It’s TAs that check up on you after exams. It’s dining hall chefs that know your omelet and stir fry orders. It’s desk security that say good morning as you walk out the door. It’s friends that can brighten your day with a single smile down the Infinite Corridor.

And as time has gone by, day to day, I find myself in a constant cycle of never-ending work. But on days like this bright Sunday afternoon, when I get time to sit and think about the two months that have passed, I’m left just a tad bit amazed. Amazed that MIT is all of these things. And somewhere, between all of these things, MIT has managed to become one more thing: my home away from home.