This semester has been weird for me. On one side I am for all intents and purposes I am a junior, a 2020. I will not be graduating until 2020, my degree will say 2020, and for the most parts my day to day classmates are 2020. On the other hand I am a senior. My oldest friends walked into MIT with me back in 2015, my brass rat says 2019, and despite not graduating this year I am still on the email list for the year I entered MIT with. So I am allowed to go to senior ball, senior week, and any other senior events that are planned for the class of 2019.
My main concerns currently revolve around doing my best for the last semester that will really matter before I apply to graduate school. I am taking five classes for the first time, I am spending a lot of my free time UROPing, and now I am pushing to do well on the four finals I will have next week. However, The last few months for a majority of my best friends has been something along the lines of applying or choosing a graduate school, med school, and occasionally law school, looking for places to live in their new found location after MIT, and doing a bunch of ‘lasts’ here at MIT (last DT dance show, last pset, last lecture, etc).
I can’t help but feel a bit displaced. I am happy to see my friends finally finishing up here and successfully making it through what is undoubtedly some of the hardest four years of their life, but at the same time…. I don’t want to say bye just yet. I have never regretted my decision to take a year off and study in China, but it slowly starting to hit me that this year is the ‘easy’ year as far as adjusting socially. For the most part the people that I grew through MIT with are still here, and are still very foundational to what makes MIT home to me, but these last few weeks I have had to come to terms that a lot of them are going on to bigger and better thing.
So when someone asks me “what year are you?” I often have a hard time answering. I am not graduating this year so the “congratulations you made it,” that often comes with me saying I am a senior often feels undeserved, but saying that I am a junior makes me feel almost as if I am losing a piece of who I am. I think I personally feel as if I am a 2019, but going through the whole “I took a year to study in China, but I studied Chinese, so it really didn’t contribute to me finishing my course 20 degree, so now I have a degree in Chinese, but I have to go for another year to finish my course 20 degree, so I am technically a 19 but kind of a 20…….” Seems like a lot whenever someone asks me what year I am, so more often than not I just say I am a junior to avoid any unnecessary confusion.
Now don’t get me wrong over this past year I have made amazing connection and friendships in the class of 2020 as well as 2021 and 2022 (….. <- these don’t seem like real years to me), but there is still something about looking back at my pictures from CPW and that many of those people are still a very integral part of my life. Seeing my friend’s tiny prefrosh little faces and then looking at them at senior ball grown and ready to take on the world really makes me appreciate just how far we have all come and how long we have been at the institute.
Before coming to MIT I moved every 2-3 years so knowing some of these people for 4 years makes them some of the ‘oldest’ friends I have, and they have become some of the few people I can look to and say ‘hey remember when that happened?’ But I am trying not be too sad in seeing them go, I mean look at my friends…. They have become amazing dancers, tattoo artists, writers, engineers, computer scientists, biologists, finance people… whatever that’s called, and just people in general, and I am thankful to have been a part of their life. I am making my own road through MIT and I am happy with how my life has gone but to any 2019 that is reading this, MIT isn’t going to be the same without you. I could not have asked for a better class of peers, friends, and family, I wish you all the very best in whatever avenue you have decided to go down!!!! MIT CLASS OF 2019 FROM NOW UNTIL FOREVER!!!!
Here are some glow up pictures of some 19s from prefrosh/frosh to senior year, see if you can make some connections:
Welp… they are seniors…..