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MIT blogger Cami M. '23

My First Semester at MIT by Cami M. '23

a thicc recap and a look into our conversation

As the final hours of my first semester at MIT come to a close, I wanted to take the time to reflect on what these past four months have meant to me.

I have truly met some of the greatest and most incredible people on here. I’ve befriended seven incredibly talented and intelligent individuals, each set with their own unique interests, passions, and strengths. Every day, I am grateful that I get to spend time around them and spend the majority of my days with them. It’s an incredible feeling knowing that, at the end of a shitty day or test, I can always just see one of them and immediately feel better.

This year has been a wild series of ups and downs, ranging from failing my first college midterm to becoming an admissions blogger to watching a movie every night for PNR. College has been an absolute dream and I am really excited to see what IAP and next semester brings.

I’m obviously a little bit worried because I’m actually going to be on grades and will have to, like, you know, care about percentages. But for the time being..

This Semester, I…

…participated in an FPOP (freshman pre-orientation program). I took Discover Product Design. There, I met so many cool people and befriended a lot of kind and wholesome upperclassmen. When we weren’t working, we took trips to Boston, watched Bachelor in Paradise, and just had a really good time goofing around. For about a couple of weeks I was sure I was a 2A-product design major. Obviously, that has changed, but through DPD, I met one of my best friends, Aiden Padilla, and I’m very, very grateful I took the FPOP. I highly recommend an FPOP to anyone who is on the fence about applying to one. Not only do you move on to campus earlier and get more time to get acquainted with MIT, but it just gives you a better opportunity to meet more people and explore topics you might be interested in in a fun and unique way.

…got a job for the first time. In fact, I got two. Having never worked a day in my life before, I was really nervous to actually start. The week before I came to MIT, I got the position to be a web-based research intern for the Massachusetts Science and Engineering Fair. Essentially, I research other science fairs throughout the country as well as create and curate posts for their various social media pages. About half way into my FPOP, I got an e-mail from none other than Petey himself telling me I would be an admissions blogger. Having read the blogs almost religiously during application season in my senior year, I was incredibly overwhelmed and emotional at the mere idea of even having the privilege to write content for the MIT Admissions blogs. I’ve come a long way since then and I’ve had so much fun creating content and writing for you all and representing MIT.

…got a UROP. I got a UROP in Chemical Engineering at the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology. Tried to experiment around with chemical engineering!

…dropped a UROP. Yeah, did not like it.

…got another UROP. I finally was honest with myself and realized that I wanted to do something fun and that excites me and not just something I’ve been “good at” in high school, so I decided to pursue something within video games. I signed up for the EECS-job-mailing-list as well as the Game Lab mailing list in search for any video game based UROPs. This IAP, I’ll begin working with the Education Lab and Game Lab in a biology based VR game as a UROP!

…learned how to weightlift. I took Intro to Weightlifting for Women and got over my fear of the gym kind of!

…played a lot of video games. In these last two weeks, Raymond and I made our switches communal and we’ve been playing video games nonstop. Lots of Breath of the Wild, lots of Pokemon Shield, lots of Smash.

…watched a lot of movies. A movie every day of PNR. (Will update accordingly.)

…traveled around Boston and Cambridge a lot. Newbury Street is probably one of my favorite places in Boston, simply just because it’s a good place for retail therapy and stress relief. We also found a lot of good food places like Courthouse Seafood and Milk Bar. I’m going to try and visit a lot more schools outside of MIT.

…joined a beauty pageant. I don’t expect much out of it, frankly, but I’m just really proud of myself that I’ve come this far. After dealing with a variety of self esteem issues throughout my entire life, I’ve finally come to a point where I’m proud of who I am and what I look like and this pageant kind of represents that next step forward.

…baked! and knit! Well, not me. The people on my floor. I used to bake a bit in the beginning of the semester, mainly banana bread and fudge crinkles. Aiden and Caroline then later took on the role of baking and cooking, with Aiden just providing the majority of my sustenance throughout the semester when I went through that rough patch (still going through that rough patch) of just not cooking or feeding myself like ever.

..did not sleep. I had a pretty good sleeping schedule in my senior year of high school. I slept at 10:00 every night and woke up at 7:00. It was really nice. Then I came to college and all of that went out the window. But I don’t stay up because I’m psetting or working; I stay up for the people. I cannot tell you how many late nights we’ve had here that have just come about simply because we don’t want to stop talking with each other and being in each other’s presence and it’s really nice and wholesome. I do not regret those late nights one bit.

…met so many new people and friends. I’m quite introverted and was very, very nervous that I wouldn’t be able to make friends at MIT and mesh well the people but it was actually the complete opposite. Boston and Cambridge is such a social hub that there is such a variety of niches and friend groups you can make here. I met up with a couple of people I had known prior to coming to MIT but had never met in person and it was so exciting to finally meet them. I also went out to a lot more parties, which I didn’t expect since I didn’t think I was a party person.

Overall, I’d say it’s a pretty successful semester and I’m excited to see what IAP and Spring semester brings. I plan to spend break writing essays and attempting to teach me

Bonus because they wanted to give their insight on their own semester:

Raymond wants to talk about his semester, too.

Me: What did you do, Raymond?

R: I got a lot of Beantown. Went to the Z six days a week pretty consistently. Flossed everyday. Water flossed as well. Drank lots of water. Um…what else?

Me: Keep going.

R: *takes long sip of water* There were multiple days where I would just go out with Aiden to fucking nowhere. We went to Chinatown that one day for no reason. It was great.

Me: God, our sitcom.01 We have a belief that crabmeats is in its own sitcom. It's a long story. You'll see it on television eventually, hopefully. Probably.

*long pause to talk about the sitcom*

Mariia: Did you learn anything this semester?

R: A little bit. Learned a little bit. *long sip of water* [redacted because we can’t tell you what he learned. You’ll see it in the sitcom.]

R: I taught myself how to write again. That’s pretty important, actually. I stuck with it. I think I’m really good at developing habits for no reason, especially if they’re like not important.

M: Like card throwing?

R: Oh yeah!

Me: Do you have anything else, Raymond?

R: Umm…uh…I don’t know. What else did I do? Oh, UROP. Solar car. Yeah, I forget sometimes that I’m not a complete degenerate. But I actually do, in fact, think, sometimes. Sometimes I use my brain. It’s not often. Once in a blue moon.

R: Did you mention solar car?

Me: Yes.

R: Lot of solar car. And then straight to the Z right after. Every Saturday with Aiden.

R: Um, *clicks tongue and makes strange mouth noises. This is something he does. A lot.* Spent a large majority of my time not doing work. I’d finish all my psets in one day, right, and then I’d not do anything for the rest of the week.

Me: You’re not gonna mention ZBT?

R: What is there to say? It’s a good community to have. A good support group. Happy to join. It’s easy to stereotype frats, but at MIT, it’s different here. There’s a big range, right?

Me: Yeah.

R: *chokes on his water*

Caroline, Mariia, and I: *just fucking laugh*

R, quickly: Yeah, I’m fine.

R: All the food is inedible.

M: Where?

R: Here. You ever have Simmons dining? God awful.

M: I’ve been to Maseeh dining and it was okay.

R: The peak here is okay. But, but the bottom is far, far worse. You’re gonna throw up.

Me: Anything else?

R: I don’t even remember. [redacted because he added something but then immediately retracted it.]

Me: You’re done. This is your feature. Good job.

Me: Caroline, would you like to talk about your semester?

Caroline: I haven’t done anything.

Me: Shut the fuck up. Caroline, name everything you’re a part of. Or I can do it for you, cause it’s a lot.

Caroline: Ballroom, ADT, MIT Biotech Group, Biology Undergrad Student Association Exec, MedLingual, Chinatown Citizenship Program with Harvard which is really cool actually. I highly recommend. It was a lot of fun. Very wholesome.

Me: You’re also dating Aiden. That’s cute. Very good.

Caroline: That is true.

Me: Just wanted to mention it cause it’s a very good, wholesome relationship.

R: Another thing, I met Caroline’s parents. (There’s a story here. But, that’s for sitcom.)

*Aiden enters the room* *everyone claps* *Feliz Navidad plays in the background*02 Holy shit this sounds like it's fake but this is literally what happened. I cannot fucking believe this.

Me: Aiden tell me about your semester.

A: Pretty good.

Me: What did you do this semester?

A: Took final exams. *nervous laughter* Ahhh..god…did solar car. Uhh…went to the gym.

Me: God it sounds like Raymond’s answer.

A: Learned a lot of math (he took 18.02 and 18.03). Stressed over Greece when I should’ve just dropped the class. Used PNR to the fullest. Watched some movies.  Uhh…made a lot of good friends. Much happier than I started this semester. I’m very happy that I’m in a relationship with Caroline.

*everyone awws*

A: Wait..wait..what do I have?

Me: You have solar car, greece, math. PNR.

R, interrupting: Dude do you wanna play chess? Aiden.

Aiden: *sighs*

Me: Aiden, continue.

A: EeeeEeeehhh….eeeehh… *nervous laughter* I’m watching you type every one of my reactions.

Me: Yeah and? Keep going.

A: Ah, uh, what else did I do? I played a lot of Pokemon towards the end.

Me: Yeah, this is true.

A: Oh, I cooked a lot! I went from a dorm that I didn’t vibe with and into one that I vibe with. (Next to Random.)

R: Literally just vibing.

A+R: Literally just vibed. Literally just vibed with semester.

Me: Yeah.

A: I think-I think that’s it.

Me: Mariia, what did you do this semester?

M: Talk about MTG! Talk about MTG! MTG! No, no I want you to talk about MTG more on the blogs.

Me: Yeah this is your opportunity. This is like a promo section.

M: I was an assistant technical director for A Chorus Line, an amazing show. People enjoyed it. We earned some money, despite going over budget. And, I’m going to be a technical director for the IAP show which is going to happen in the end of January. It is the Wedding Singer. You can just put it right there.

Me: No. When is the show so I can plug it for you?

M: Okay so the show is going to be on the weekend of–actually wait let me pull up the dates actually.

*excitedly gets up and rapidly looks for her phone. She is running around Loop.*

M: And also E33!! E33!! Oh MY GOD all theatre stuff. MTA. MIT Theatre Arts department. I’m taking a class in set design next semester.

*does finger guns*

Me: Would people even read this?

A: Yeah, I would. I will read this. I am reading this. I’m living it.

R: Aiden, do you wanna play chess?

A, laughing: No.

M: These are the dates. *shows me her phone

**** PERFORMANCE DATES: JAN 31-FEB 2ND; FEB 6TH-FEB 8TH ****

M: Yeah. It’s really fun.

Me: Anything else?

M: Um, you mentioned E33, MTA, MTG. Yeah basically I just get paid there. It’s really fun to work with them. You do a lot of shows and they teach you how to do stuff. Brandon is amazing. Yeah, yeah. Just period.

A: Who’s Brandon?

C: Is he the person you wrote about in your bio (Mariia’s MTG biography)?

M: Yeah! Yeah. Yeah. Uh, what else? Ooh! I started taking care of my mental health.

A+R: Wrowwwww

M: Don’t go to private elite boarding school.

Me, internally: lol, kinda too lazy to speak at this point cause everyone’s reading what I’m typing anyway

A: Wow…

Internal me: is this like strangely meta?

C: Raymond’s not reading.

Internal me: yeah but he’s also not paying attention.

C: Are you leaving him out of conversation?

Internal me: would he even wanna be in it?

M: *just laughing. just straight vibin.*

C: *also giggles*

R: What..whatchu talkin about?

Me, finally out loud: I think that makes it funnier.

C: Situational comedy.

R: What..what are you guys laughing at?

A: Don’t worry about it, Raymond.

Me+C+M: Don’t worry about it, you’ll see it in the blogs.

Bonus bonus bonus: I made a video compilation of my first semester here.

*post ends*

R: oh FUCK. Add Bloons Tower Defense 6.

A: Oh I crocheted!

Me: Guys it’s over. The blog post is over.

C: Should I keep listing commitments?

A: I watched High School Musical for the first time. All three.

M: It’s in the video.

Me: The…the blog post is over.

  1. We have a belief that crabmeats is in its own sitcom. It's a long story. You'll see it on television eventually, hopefully. Probably. back to text
  2. Holy shit this sounds like it's fake but this is literally what happened. I cannot fucking believe this. back to text