Last night, I went to bed at 5 am. This morning, I woke up at 9 am. My eyelids currently feel ridiculously heavy – and yet, I don’t regret the loss of sleep one single bit.
Milan, MIT’s annual Garba, Dandiya Raas, and Bhangra dance event, took place yesterday at the very same Walker Memorial in which I have endured many a painful midterm. Thankfully, the usual exam tables were replaced by the following decorations:
My friends and I were among the first to arrive at Milan; not being particularly proficient at garba, we spent a few minutes dawdling awkwardly about the dance floor and covering up our noob status by fiddling about with our cameras:
Upon the arrival of more experienced dancers, the energy rapidly picked up, and the next few hours were spent lost in the whirlwind of glorious endorphins that accompanies any form of dance:
I absolutely lovee dance (I even wrote one of my MIT essays – the “Tell us about something you’ve created” question – about dance! ^.^), but after nearly four hours of gallivanting about the dance floor and intermittently gulping water, I decided to call it quits. Accompanied by two friends, I made my way back to McCormick at about 11:45 pm, naively thinking that I would be in bed by 1 am at the latest.
Nope. 1 became 2, and 2 became 5. Why? Because MIT people are absolutely phenomenal.
A year ago, when asked to write up a brief biography for my blogger homepage, I listed out the reasons I picked MIT over the other schools to which I’d been admitted. #3 on my list was the following:
“I like the people here. When I was deferred EA from MIT, I started questioning my match with MIT; in March, when my acceptance letter arrived, my joy at having gotten in was weighted down by uncertainty. Did I really fit in at MIT? I attended CPW hoping to find the answer to this question. And I did. I met Siemens champions, Intel finalists, child prodigies, but what really struck me was how everyone seemed so genuinely nice. ”
So genuinely nice.
For five hours last night, a few friends and I just talked. About life. About school. About Glee. About the most random stuff in the world. We shared our stories, our experiences, our struggles, our successes. I learned so much about them, about their journey to MIT, about their interests and pastimes and passions. As I drifted off to sleep at 5 am, the following thought dominated my mind: “I’m so lucky to be here, at MIT, with these people.”
MIT is challenging, there’s zero question about it. When it’s 3 am and I still haven’t finished my lab report, I think wishfully of my high school days where midnight was considered an ungodly hour for me to still be awake. When I have three tests in one week in addition to psets that need to be completed, I want desperately to curl up in a hole and wait for time to just pass me by. When Camp Kesem meetings and EMS shifts and dance practices all somehow manage to conflict with one another, I’m thoroughly at a loss as to where to go and when.
But I always get through it – and it’s solely because of the people around me here at MIT, the people who pull me up, give me a hug, and tell me it’s going to be okay.
In an email sent out to the current MIT admissions bloggers, Dave wrote: “MIT is a singularly wonderful place. As Stu always says, that’s because of the people.”
It seriously is. I honestly cannot imagine what my life would have been like if I had never met the people I’ve come to know so well over the course of this past year.
For those of you in the process of applying to MIT: come to campus, meet the students here, and taste the humility that permeates this place.
You’ll love it.