This past week was probably the worst I’ve encountered at my time at MIT so far. I know the future only has a lot more of these in store, but I’m surprised it actually happened this late into my freshmen year.
I had a relatively rough high school career and I really wasn’t sure how I was going to fare in college. Being slightly socially awkward and extremely self-conscious of everything I do, it was difficult for me to feel comfortable around my peers. I didn’t really know if I was going to find a group to fit in with. Coming to MIT, though, proved me completely wrong. I have a relatively strong, loving friend group that I adore. They’re so funny and wise and kind beyond belief and it makes me feel really grateful to have them during this hellish week.
I started my week pretty okay. On Sunday night, we made an impulse decision to watch High School Musical at 10PM, heading to bed around 1 after watching some dumb YouTube videos. Monday, we crowded in Stud5 to study. After hours of studying, we made an executive decision to continue our movie marathon and watch HSM2 (the best High School Musical, obviously.) I slept at 2AM that night.
Tuesday night rolled around and, yes, you guessed it, we watched HSM3. But realizing how much of a shitshow the movie was, we switched to Pitch Perfect to live out our acapella dreams. But instead of being reasonable and sleeping when Pitch Perfect finished (around 2), I stayed up until 6 in the morning talking with my friends about our lives, blatantly ignoring my looming 9AM only three hours away.
Needless to say, we passed out on the questionably clean couches of Loop Lounge, waking up around 10AM before deciding classes were not worth going to and skipped every single class we had that day. That was also the day I broke up with my boyfriend of one and a half years. My friends and I ended up getting up from the couches at around 4:30PM before heading over to HMart to have our first meal of the day and get some extra food.
At this point I kind of fell into a funk of sorts. I felt emotionally and physically drained, having ruined my sleep schedule and cutting ties with someone who had been such an emotional anchor for me during some really difficult times in high school. I really lost all motivation to really do anything.
Thursday rolled around and we, again, watched another movie. This time it was Requiem for a Dream. I wish I recorded everyone’s reactions to it because it was just one look of horror after the other as the movie progressed. Everyone just looked at the screen with great confusion and dislike during certain scenes and it probably was one of the funniest sights ever. As we watched the movie, I psetted for 18.01 (because I’m a dumb bitch that procrastinates far too much and put my 22 question pset off to the last minute) and “studied” for 8.01L. I opted not to go to the review session because I was just too tired to do so. I slept around 2.
I woke up on Friday at 7:45, hurriedly getting out of bed to rush to my 8.01L quiz at 9. I opened up the quiz. Our quiz is separated into two parts — a written section and an online section, each part worth 50 points. I read the written question. I quickly closed the written question. I had no idea how to solve it. I went to the online portion, haphazardly completing it to get a glorious score of 27/50. I tried my best to finish the written section, but I honestly doubt I got many points on it.
I estimated I’d get maybe a ~36% on the quiz overall.01
I actually ended up getting a 57% on this quiz. Honestly way better than I expected.
I quickly scribbled an apology to the grader — “sorry it’s been a really rough week i promise i’ll do better next time :^)” — and turned in my quiz 10 minutes early. Later, someone in 18.01 said they really admired my confidence in turning the quiz in early. I confessed to her it was actually because I knew nothing on the quiz, not because I knew it so well. C’est la vie.
Friday night I walked into my empty hotel room and allowed myself to breathe for the first time in a week. This was the hotel room I had bought for my boyfriend and I, as he was supposed to be coming to visit for this three-day weekend. Obviously, that didn’t work out. I hadn’t processed a lot of emotion during my breakup. In fact, I felt nothing after the breakup, as harsh as it sounds. I don’t know if it’s because I just had such a looming amount of stress and work that followed the breakup or if there’s some alternate reason, but I’m not sure if I will ever feel that traditional sadness that comes with a breakup. Maybe not this time. Instead, I transformed my romantic hotel getaway to a bonding retreat with my friends. I walked with my friend Emma to Target to load up on snacks, took a shower, and waited for everyone to show up. Surely enough, they trickled in after completing whatever other Friday night activities they had and we watched Zombieland and Coraline, while gorging ourselves on snacks.
When I looked around, I couldn’t help but feel just a huge wave of emotions. I was really scared that I would feel completely alone at MIT, as I wasn’t really the best when it came to making friends. But somehow I managed to be surrounded by these people awkwardly crowded on our king-sized bed, loudly criticizing some of the especially unrealistic parts of Zombieland and mourning the untimely death of Bill Murray. It was good.
Now it is a new day. I’ve been planning to throw a small get together in Loop lounge, inviting some BU friends to sing some karaoke and play some games. It’s a well needed break. But I also planned to have Saturday represent the end to a bad week and the beginning to a new, good week. My first plan was to work, since I hadn’t really touched any of my jobs at all, hence this post. I know it’s a bit personal, but I think it really shows a side of MIT outside of all the academics and extracurriculars.
The people here are some of the best people I’ve ever met. I’m constantly in awe of how amazing everyone is, not just in terms of skills or intelligence, but just their incredible empathy and willingness to help. Coming from a high school that taught me to fear my peers and suspect everyone, it was such a drastic shift to enter the extremely collaborative environment of MIT. My friends would easily drop whatever they’re doing to help a friend in need, and frankly, I’d do the same for them. It’s incredibly reassuring to know that if I ever have another bad week like this, I have people who can make it better. I didn’t really have that security in high school.
I’m trying my best to be productive, to move on with all the shit that’s happened this week. I’m trying to convince myself that I haven’t fucked up my classes too bad, that one bad week can’t really destroy my chances of passing. And it’s difficult. But slowly, I’m finding my rhythm again. I’ve found the motivation to write again, to bullet journal, to actually get work done. And I’m really happy to just be back on track again.