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MIT blogger Ankita D. '23

socializing safely by Ankita D. '23

...but also leaving my room maybe once a day

here’s the thing: most of my MIT friends are currently in the Cambridge area. however, even if there wasn’t a pandemic, I wouldn’t be able to meet up with all of them since I’m hosed all the time. given current circumstances, I’ve had to pick and choose who to spend my [rare] free time with, and it’s been…exhausting, in a sense; I miss being able to bump into friends in the halls, at Stud, or as I’m hurrying down Dorm Row to class. I went to campus recently to get a flu shot01 all students were required to by MIT and felt so…distant? maybe it was because I saw so few students, or because I’ve been away from campus for longer than I was actually there (rip), but I felt like a stranger. the MIT people I see feel like the only evidence that I actually had a freshman year, that I actually formed connections that I’m putting in effort to build during this socially distant year. so, damn, I want to be better about that.

I saw people from a few different groups in the past month, but is it enough? should I be trying harder, given that the majority of my friends are in town, or less hard, since even the most socially distant encounters make me feel like I’m endangering my housemates?? man, I don’t know what the healthy balance is.

my process for meeting up with friends is ensuring that the friend/someone in their group has been tested recently, letting my house know and making sure they’re okay with it, and seeing the friend outside with masks. that seems…fine, and people in my house test negative regularly, but I still feel weird about it since I’m the only one in my group who meets up with other friends often.

in September, I met up with:

  • several bloggers in a park super near my house!! it was so nice to see everyone :’)
  • members of the Sloan Business Club in the Boston Commons
  • a junior friend in a park near his place
  • some Mocha Moves members to choreograph a piece for our virtual set
  • a sophomore in Harvard Square (we got bagels at Black Sheep Bagel Cafe and oh baby they were GODLY)
  • another sophomore SBC friend I’ve been hanging out with all summer; her roommate is at risk for COVID and they’re safe about their interactions, so I hung out inside their apartment

I’m also in a pod with three juniors and another sophomore,02 my ex dorm roommate and we’ve been pretty good about keeping everyone informed about who we’re seeing/when we’re getting tested.

when I think about last year, I feel like I’m missing out on a host of interactions that I could obtain if I tried a little harder. the number of “so when are we meeting up?” texts I’ve ignored is stressing me out; there are so many people I want to keep in touch with, and I know I can see them safely, but I’m so BUSY ugh

it’s frustrating that I feel guilty about not seeing people, but even more guilty when I do!! I’m being so deprived of a college experience that I want to at least maintain my friendships, but damn.

@people in the Cambridge/Boston area, how many people are you seeing? where is the healthy medium??? lmk


  1. all students were required to by MIT back to text
  2. my ex dorm roommate back to text