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nice moments on campus by Masha G. '24

things are okay, actually

It’s April. I’ve been on campus for close to two months now. It’s halfway through the semester, and I’m in this weird mood lately where I really don’t want to do much of anything except maybe lie in bed and stare out the window.01 curse my room for having such a good view I’m fine, more or less, and this isn’t complete burnout, yet, but I am definitely feeling the exhaustion creep into my bones in a way that sleep doesn’t quite manage to erase. Summer really cannot come soon enough. It is coming, though! Just today it was like 75 degrees,02 24 celsius for the normal people so I took the opportunity to spend the majority of it outside. My friends and I biked to Newbury street in Boston to do a little shopping, I got some good food from Trader Joe’s, we walked around and admired the flowers that are suddenly in bloom.

I have done nothing productive today, and that’s okay. I’m giving myself the day off after a ridiculously stressful week. And honestly, it’s days like these that make the grind of MIT bearable, and make me glad to be on campus even in covid times. Knowing that at the end of the week I’ll be able to go out somewhere, enjoy the city, spend some time with my friends really gives me something to look forward to. There are small moments, too, casual ones, that just make me pause and appreciate being here. This post is essentially a collection of all of this: moments big and small since I’ve gotten to campus that have made me smile.

  • the Charles river
  • I love water, and I love living close to a river – I think it’s a function of having grown up in NYC. Although I haven’t gone on a run in a solid two weeks because of how hosed I’ve been, when I was running regularly, I would take a path by the river. The views here are amazing, and it reminds me of running along the Hudson river back home. I really want to get back on running, but honestly even just seeing the Charles on my walks around campus or to Boston always brings a smile to my face.
  • flour bakery
  • One of the perks of living in New Vassar is its location, with just a short walk separating me from Mass Ave and all the establishments that line that street.I’ve become a fan of walking to Flour bakery for a muffin or a cookie and maybe some coffee,03 although the coffee from flour isn't amazing as just a nice treat and a break from psetting. On slow Saturday mornings, I might sit in one of the lounge chairs outside Vassar and soak in the sunlight while drinking my coffee.
  • stretched out feet on a bench

    just vibing in the sunlight, feeling like a reptile

  • walking around boston
  • Every other week or so, my pod and I have been managing to put psets aside for a bit and venture out into Boston. Sometimes we walk, sometimes we bike, we’ve even taken the T a couple of times. I love going out into the city, just because I love cities and walking and looking at pretty buildings; to the point where my friends laugh about how I walk too much and take too many photos. I’m loving Boston: it reminds me a lot of New York, but a little bit calmer and a little bit different. I love the diversity of it, from skyscrapers to brownstones to the New England-style homes here in Cambridge. Walking around the city brings me such pure joy, just from being able to take a break and take it all in.
  • cute bookshops
  • Kind of continuing the thought from above, I’ve been finding a lot of cute bookshops around the city. I adore books, and bookshop vibes are honestly so impeccable. I’ve bought a good amount of new04 well, technically all of them were used books since getting here, despite having no time to actually read them.05 really hoping for the summer here Some of my finds have included: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell, and an old book of German verse, among others.
  • people in a bookship

    some of my podmates at a bookstore in Cambridge

  • venturing into classrooms and the infinite
  • Although I don’t have any in-person classes or other obligations this semester, I’ve still been going into the academic buildings every now and then, either to walk around or to sit in a touchdown space and do work with friends. One thing that’s really stood out to me, actually, are all the windows – there’s so much good lighting, and I’m so here for it. Coming from a high school that was literally built to have as few windows as possible,06 I wish I was joking, but my school was built to match the aesthetic of a brick armory wall I’m really excited to actually attend classes in these spaces next year.
  • just being surrounded by people
  • I lived alone for the entire fall, which on one hand was nice, but did get pretty lonely at times. Now, I have a roommate, I have my pod, I run into people on my floor, in the dining hall, walking across Kresge. I find myself craving the company of others in a way that I didn’t realize I could: I’m a pretty introverted person, social interaction generally take a lot of energy, and yet. Here I am, being so pleased to just exist in spaces full of people again.

Honestly, all it takes to make me happy is a little sunlight and a little free time. Even as the semester gets harder, I think the warm weather will lend itself to more of these small, nice moments. I’m looking forward to it.

  1. curse my room for having such a good view back to text
  2. 24 celsius for the normal people back to text
  3. although the coffee from flour isn't amazing back to text
  4. well, technically all of them were used back to text
  5. really hoping for the summer here back to text
  6. I wish I was joking, but my school was built to match the aesthetic of a brick armory wall back to text