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MIT blogger Ankita D. '23

pathways by Ankita D. '23

where do i go from here?

“it’s been a year since I last saw that person.”

“it’s been a year since I was last in that room.” 

“it’s been a year since…”

in the past few weeks, my friends and I have been talking about where we were a year ago quite a bit. it’s inevitable; each day, SnapChat memories pop up and remind us of how quickly everything changed. the craziest, most tumultuous days of my life are now a year behind me, and it’s bizarre to consider.

every student has some attachment to campus that makes their current situation especially bittersweet. for me, it’s my former dorm, Burton Conner.  I won’t be able to return to it even when things are normal again since it’ll be under renovation until my senior year, so it’s strange to think about how that intrinsic aspect of my college experience won’t be restored even when we’re back in-person. i’m at peace with it—i’ve had a year to think about it, after all—but it shapes how I’ve been planning for the rest of my years at MIT.

right now, i’m living in a house with six friends from my floor in Burton Conner. we’ve lived here longer than we ever lived in the dorm, which is a hard truth to internalize. how did only a few months in a building I won’t return to for years influence my college experience so strongly? why does it feel like I’ve lived in Burton Conner much longer than I have in my current house? freshman year feels like it was five years long; this year feels like a single never-ending day. much of that can be attributed to how…nothing particularly new has happened due to quarantine, even if every day with my roommates is a lot of fun. but it’s still weird. my freshman year did so much for me, and I’m very grateful for being able to wholly embrace a few months of Burton Conner student culture. I don’t know how I would have made it through lockdown without it.

ever since we got an email from Rafael Reif stating that things would be back to normal in fall, I’ve been thinking more and more about what I want to do. I love living off-campus; it’s convenient, and I have everything I need around me. like good grocery stores, and a big, well-stocked kitchen, and a single!!! I don’t have to commute to campus right now, so that would be one aspect that would change in fall, but for the most part, it’s pretty ideal. however, given everything that’s happened, I’m considering moving back to campus so I can be surrounded by people. I know I’ll be on campus for my senior year, provided Burton Conner opens back up, so a buffer year in a different dorm could be a great way to meet more people before I move back.

but as for which dorm I’d move to, I’m completely lost, and it feels like the summer before my freshman year all over again. I know I want to cook for myself, so that narrows down my options, but do I try to stick with other sophomores from my Burton Conner floor or move where I want? does it even matter? to be fair, the few on-campus months of my freshman year were extremely impactful, so a lot could change depending on what decision I make. I’m scared about growing distant from my floor friends, especially the people I’m living with right now since I care about them a lot, but I don’t know if I want to balance meeting more new people or staying with my current friends more.

even worrying about these things right now, when I can’t really see anyone other than my roommates, feels weird. i’m torn between going with the flow and not thinking too much about stuff like this and trying to optimize the rest of my college experience since I feel like I lost a lot of time.

regardless, it’s going to be fine!! everything will be great, and normal, and fine. I’m looking forward to a lot of things, moving back to Burton Conner most of all.

it’s crazy that a building I spent barely six months in is the source of so much hope and anticipation for my friends and I. we have a lot of conversations about what things will be like when we’re back—what rooms we’ll be in, how we’ll handle certain events, etc—and it makes me so happy to know that all my housing concerns will be worth it when my closest friends converge within BC in fall 2022.

god, I can’t wait.