Since Fall 2018, I’ve lived at WILG, an independent living group at 355 Massachusetts Avenue, a seven-minute walk from main campus. You may know us from my previous blog post where I investigated a fire that occurred at our house. I’m happy to announce that we did not, in fact, burn down, and that we still exist!
I first moved to WILG after I took a gap year and thus couldn’t get on-campus housing anymore. I used to live in McCormick, and being in a community full of other marginalized genders was important to me, but I didn’t want to stay on the mandatory meal plan. WILG also has a meal plan, but it is all cooked by us! We get dinners six nights a week, as well as plenty of snacks.
We usually go on retreat once a semester and have lots of social events, like mixers with other living groups and an annual formal. Also, we are not required to be “dry”, a.k.a. we can have alcohol in the house. (For any potential employers reading this, I personally would never drink . . .)
Also, we have bunnies! As promised in the subheading of this blog post, here they are.
In case you’re curious about the house itself, here are some photos of our amenities:
If I were to be sentimental and talk about what WILG means to me, I would say something like: it is difficult to look back on my time at MIT and not also see it as my time at WILG, since the two are so inextricably intertwined. My memories of dorm life are dim and faraway; I’ve been in this house since fall 2018, save for a year and a half spent elsewhere due to the pandemic.
For a long time, I thought that WILG gave me close proximity to people who were very different from me. In my classes, I mostly meet students who are in the same major as me and have the same professional interests as me. At WILG, I meet people in all sorts of majors, wanting to do all sorts of things with their lives after MIT. And this is still true, yes, but I’ve also come to realize that WILG attracts people with similar values: people who place importance on self-reliance, on creating a community distanced from institutional authority, and on eating yummy food.
I’ve met a lot of the most important people in my life through WILG. I do believe that serendipity and geographic proximity plays some role: after all, who is to say that I wouldn’t have an equally fulfilling and amazing support system elsewhere? But it helped that WILG has a lot of queer women and non-binary people of color, and it helped that WILG has a lot of people who have taken time off from MIT or need more semesters to graduate. It helped that I never feel academic or professional pressure at WILG: I haven’t encountered any of the typical “so where are you interning this summer” posturing that is prevalent in some other corners of this school.
But that’s what I would say if I were sentimental.
I’m one of the rush chairs for WILG this semester, and we are looking for new members! Check out our events below:
All events at 355 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139.
- Mid-Autumn Festival @ 6 PM
- Ribs Dinner @ 7 PM
- Boba & Board Games @ 8 PM
- Karaoke Night @ 9 PM
- Sushi-making @ 5 PM
- Jeopardy @ 6 PM
- Ramen Dinner @ 7 PM
- Dance Workshop @ 6 PM
- Fideo Dinner @ 7 PM
- gaaayyy @ 8 PM
- Hair Dye/Tattoos/Spa @ 9 PM
- ???? @ 11:30 PM
- Crepes-making @ 10 AM
- Embroidery & Jewelry @ 11 AM
- Paint ‘n Sip @ Noon
- Useless Skills Tournament @ 4 PM
- 2 plus 2 is 4 minus 1 that’s 3 @ 5 PM
- Taste of Central Square @ 6 PM
- Succulents & Pot Painting @ 10 AM
- Chopped @ 11 AM
- Graffiti in Central Square @ 1 PM
- Bake-off @ 2 PM
- Clownery Night @ 6 PM
- Rice & Beans Dinner @7 PM