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Selam’s First CPW by Selam G. '18

Some thoughts and odds and ends~

Hello Interwebz!

Our campus is swarming with high school students and free food. It’s all very exciting. Everyone is very excited! Ahhh!

I’m excited too! In fact, this is also my first CPW ever. I did not attend as a prefrosh. But this is really fun as an MIT student, too~

I didn’t think I had been super committed to CPW activities, but I actually did get myself involved in things (hooray!). Today I went shopping for a CPW event tomorrow, and then I went to Meet the Bloggers, in which I met some of you, and we Bloggers also met each other–most of our interaction is on the interwebz rather than IRL. Tomorrow, I am going to be at the CPW Midway for Chinese Students Club, and our Noodle Extravaganza event afterward. Then, I’m going to Chocolate City for Ill Vibes, an open mic sort of event. The pre-frosh are all very exciting, and I enjoy being excited along with them.

It’s weird that only seven months ago, I was a pre-frosh too. Now I am a freshmen, soon to be rising sophomore. Technically speaking, I already am a sophomore…o__O

Yet, the density of my experiences these past seven months have been tremendous. I’ve learned so much–academically, about myself, about the world, about others.

In many ways, I have grown much at MIT–I thought I was top notch at failing, but I leveled up and got even better! (more on that later)

I wonder if I am a different person from who I was. I believe my core values remain the same–I am an optimist. I believe in the good of people. I believe every person has good in them, somewhere, and that many people have their side of the story yet to tell. It is for this reason that I try to be as tolerant and lenient with people as I possibly can.

What’s been most taxing this year actually might not have been academics–first off, academics is hard. LIKE REALLY HARD. I cannot stress this enough, because I don’t think freshman are ever told enough how hard it is. I came in hearing “yeah, no one gets an A here” but really it’s more like “most people get C’s here” and you know what that’s ok. It is ok. Many people have failed a class, or even multiple classes. And they are still amazing and very, very successful.

But actually what I was worried impacted me most negatively this year as a person were the social issues I experienced. A friend became romantically involved with someone and they got into a big fight. Without saying too much, we were all intertwined in our activities, such that I became exposed to abuse of power, petty arguments, rifts between people. As someone who believed strongly in the good in people, this was taxing. It’s hard, after all, to keep being tolerant, when you feel like others will not do the same for you or for each other. It probably all sounds very mild, the way I put it, but in actuality, it almost made me lose a little bit of my faith in human beings, and definitely made me reconsider where to put my friendship.

In addition to that, there was a lot of sorrow that occurred during our long winter. The fallen snow muted the tragedies that befell us, and on top of all of that, it seemed like our classes decided to push us to our limits all at once.

Coming out of all this, I wish to remain, in some core aspects, who I was and who I am, and I may have to fight myself to remain that way. I still want to believe in human beings. I believe the good in them is there. I believe in good–unconditionally.

All in all, this CPW has made me very reflective. Talking to all the prefrosh makes me very happy; I love enthusiasm and I want to maintain it. I hope for the best for every one of them.