When I walked out of my last final, all I felt was a huge sensation of relief. I kept thinking Thank God it’s over and I’ve waited forever for this day to come, for this year to end.
But now, a large part of me really wishes I were still a freshman and not a sophomore. It feels strange to no longer be among the ‘babies’ of the school, to be replaced by the ’14s, and to hear about prospective ’15s, not to mention a few ambitious ’18s =P
I could describe this past year simply as a learning experience, but that doesn’t do any justice to the individual ups and downs I’ve been through this past year. So instead, I’m going to start at the very beginning of freshman year – and run through it all :)
Part I: Pre-Orientation
Several of you ’14s are looking into FPOPs (Freshman Pre-Orientation Programs) right now, and some of you might even be done filling out your apps. For those of you who haven’t applied already, I strongly recommend that you do! The FPOP that I did was DUSP (Discover Urban Studies and Planning – haha, yeah, I know – too many acronyms), which was essentially a three-day exploration of Boston. My first choice FPOP was actually DBCS (Discover Brain and Cognitive Sciences) – but DUSP ended up being a lot of fun! My favorite part was when we went to the very top of the Prudential Center and got to look out on the entire city:
Part II: Orientation
Following pre-orientation was, of course, orientation. Our theme was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and we had three wonderful Orientation Coordinators:
Orientation was basically a more laid-back version of CPW, with just as much fun but a little more time to enjoy everything. A couple of my friends and I got to go apple-picking:
And enjoy views like this:
Part III: Fall Semester
One of the most memorable events in 18.02 (Multivariable Calculus) took place the day just before our first midterm (photo credit to Carin ’13):
To be fair, he wasn’t kidding; the midterms were significantly more doable than the problem sets, which often took me a few days and some visits to TA’s office hours.
5.112 (Principles of Chem) problem sets tended to take a little less time – and 8.01 (Physics I) didn’t assign problem sets at all. That might have been a bad thing though, since the class average on our 8.01 final exam was around a 50…heh.
First semester, many of us did our homework in groups – before we figured out that we ended up taking more study breaks than actually doing work, haha:
And have some fun with garba at Milan, an event organized by MIT SAAS (South Asian American Society):
It was with deep sadness that I bid farewell to first semester – and the safety net that is Pass/No Record :(
Part IV: Winter Break + IAP
I spent some time during winter break, wandering about Disney World and repping MIT with my hoodie:
And then proceeded to return to MIT for my EMT class, from which was born the following photo:
And the following birthday surprise:
And the following adaptation of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”:
Despite the long classroom hours, choosing to take the IAP EMT class was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Also – we’re getting a new stretcher! And it’ll have a button to lower/lift it! Which means my biceps and triceps won’t fail me anymore! YAY! Yes, I’m excited – in case you couldn’t tell.
Part V: Spring Semester
While much of this semester was cold, some warm weather eventually came our way, and we took full advantage of it.
There was Holi – the Indian festival of colors:
And classes that took place outside:
And chairs that somehow found their way to the top of Kresge Auditorium:
And all of this was mixed in with some good old organic chemistry, complete with M√∂bius strips I’ve come to know and love:
I actually think 5.12 (Organic Chemistry) – and not 21W.755 (Reading and Writing Short Stories), as I wrote in a previous entry – was my most enjoyable class this past semester. Not the least because there was a 5.12 poetry competition, from which one of my favorite excerpts is the following, from “We Didn’t Start Reactions” (inspired by Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”) by Maita ’13. (Warning: some knowledge of organic chemistry may be required):
P-sets twenty pages long, my carbon count is all wrong
Nanobeaver, Newman, retroanalysis
Solvents, selectivity, prediction of stability
Mechanisms, structures, design a synthesis
Curved arrows, enantiomers, draw all the isomers
Transition state, conjugate, gauche, anti, mesylate
Enols can tautomerize, radicals polymerize
Who won that Nobel Prize? It’s all too much to memorize!
Part VI: Post-Finals Euphoria – and Home ‚ô•
When finals ended, it was liberating but also surreal – to be done, to pack, and to see my once-full room like this:
And now, I’m at home – loving summer, missing MIT people, and getting ready to go to Germany (more on that later :D )