Oh, sweet freedom? by Keri G. '10
One girl's tale of how to (try and) fend for herself in college. Tire swing chat abounds.
Oh, the joys of being in college. Finally, we’re independent! We can do whatever we want, even if that entails eating nothing but ramen noodles until we get scurvy and staying up until 4AM day after day. (Actually, I’d still get a full(ish) night of sleep every night even if I did stay up until 4, what with none of my classes this semester starting before 11AM. Go ahead. Start throwing things at me while I rub it in. I deserve it.)
Of course, with independence comes responsibility. According to my parents, living on your own is the first step on the pathway to getting really old. Or they could have said “becoming an adult” – as a teenager, I unconsciously start tuning out the ends of all of their sentences. It’s an uncontrollable reflex, I swear! Anyway, this whole concept of responsibility apparently has to do with novel concepts like time management and being able to make food for myself. The latter is beyond terrifying, as I have the rare ability to set even water on fire. Thankfully, some of the people on my floor are much better cooks than I am, and every now and then they’re willing to share. Even the most independent of people sometimes need others to help them.
Having to fend for myself for the last two months has had me missing the security of home a bit, though. (Let’s ignore the part where it’s currently 77 degrees in South Florida, while here it’s 48 degrees and I can’t feel my toes.) I’m not the only one – many of my fellow frosh were in the same “MIT IS TAKING OVER MY LIFE AND I WANT TO GO HOOOOOOOOOME” mentality. Every now and then you want someone else to take care of you a little, you know? So last week Thursday, when my mom flew in from home for MIT’s Family Weekend, I rushed into her arms and squealed. Don’t even say you wouldn’t have done the same, as I was witness to plenty of others having similar reunions.
My mom tried to get a sense of what life at MIT was like, including sitting in on an 18.02 class, crossing Harvard Bridge to have dinner in Boston, and a trip to Star Market for groceries. It was here where we realized that parental instincts never die, as there were plenty of other students shopping with their parents. And by shopping, I mean arguing about which items are really and truly necessary – “Do you need pasta? You have it? You need more. I’m sure you need more pasta. How about a tomato?” (Hi, Mom.) Aside from that, we bought some paint. My room has been screaming “Paint me! NOW!” for the last month and a half, since painting is allowed in Senior House and Institute White is boring.
Speaking of Senior House, our tire swing died a week ago.
Well, not completely. During Orientation this year, a few of the other residents were worried about the swing’s future, as the branch it had happily hung from for the last thirty years was dying. Last week, an arborist told the House Manager that the branch needed to be cut down and the swing removed to ensure the safety of the students. This caused quite the kerfluffle here (yes, I said kerfluffle. Let it go.), as the swing is an essential part of the Haus. Three hours later, though, a few students and one of our GRTs had the swing up on a different branch of the tree.
You can see what remains of the branch the swing used to hang happily from. And now, it’ll never be the same. As the condition of the entire tree has yet to be determined, the future of our tire swing is still in jeopardy. For now, though, we’ll take what we can.
On a completely unrelated note, it looks like MIT’s Early Action applications are due in about a week. If anyone has any burning unresolved questions (or any not-so-burning yet unresolved questions), send them my way and I’ll answer them as best as I can. After all, I did apply to MIT once. Oh, wait. That was what, two seconds ago?