After going to “Chemistry and Cake” during REX, I decided to switch into Random Hall less than 7 hours before the lottery deadline. The event itself was what you would expect from a REX event on chemistry; Random Hall chem majors and friends talked about their research while we all ate chocolate cake. What won me over was how chill everyone was while talking about their groundbreaking research, and afterward how one of the upperclassmen took the time to give me a personalized tour of Random and answer all the questions prefrosh me had about Random.
As I walked through the floors, I noticed the murals painted by residents before me, the decorations in the kitchen, and the uniquely warped floor in the basement named Alice in Wonderland. I breathed in fresh air on the newly renovated roofdeck. (Later, the roofdeck became a special place for my boyfriend and me. I couldn’t have predicted this at the beginning of the year, but it was a nice bonus.) It felt much more homey than dormy, and I decided to try my luck – successfully!
Now, I’ve lived here for a semester and some change. I love cooking with the new wok that we got with floor funds. I love how close Random is to the grocery store, so I can get baking supplies on a whim. I love that Random is on Mass Ave, so we’re more immersed in the city than the other dorms on dorm row (to be fair, I love the city, so your mileage may vary). I love staying up until odd hours hanging out with my floor mates – one time, we experimented with making brownies without butter and got something between fudge and cake.
Random is a place that fits my personality perfectly, and I’m so happy to celebrate with my family and home away from home. :)
Oh hey, it’s the end of the semester already. Doesn’t time just seem to fly as you get older?
(I have yet to find any hard science that backs up this claim, but have once heard someone suggest that, as we get older, our perception of time warps because we have more experiences and time to compare to, so a day, for instance, feels much shorter compared to our longer timeline than to that of a child. Of course, there have also been adults who feel that, while the days are still the same, the years are getting shorter, and vice versa, so as usual, take these things with a grain of salt.)
Since it’s the end of the term and all, I decided that it was time for an actual blog post featuring our wonderful new freshmen, members of the Class of 2019, who basically got no exposure here all term because they were busy getting acclimated to the new environment and joining all the clubs ever and what have you. So I (metaphorically) sat down with several frosh in the building and asked them what their first semester was like.**
**Basically, I sent them a list of questions, then added flavor text to make the whole thing read more like an interview.
I woke up this morning to the blessed sound of silence. No alarms, no buzzing phones, no emails clamoring for my immediate attention. No desk. No class. Just me, and a warm body, and the blinds drawn nearly shut, letting in a sliver of light that gently illuminated the room without being too harsh.
I dragged myself out of bed and made some jalapeño poppers.
So after ranting at one of my best friends, bawling my eyes out on the way to class, and going to H-mart to buy some groceries, I found myself, quite strangely, once again at peace. Sure, I had still bombed a quiz, given two bad presentations, failed to impress my professors, and generally made a bad impression of myself to the world at large, but the air was still crisp and the sun was still out, and while walking from Random Hall to H-mart, it occurred to me that the past week really wasn’t worth the angst that I was pouring out over it.
Maybe it was the Thanksgiving spirit, waiting to whisk me away to a night of festivities and the inevitable food coma. Maybe it was Lane G. ’17 and Lillian C. ’17, chattering away about the wonders of 6.004 and all the cabbage they were planning to buy. Maybe it was just me, feeling, as always, too much in too quick bursts that just as quickly disperse like they were never there.
Whatever it was, I now feel compelled to pour out some happy thoughts, because some days really aren’t that bad and I don’t write about those enough.
I woke up this morning feeling overwhelmingly terrible.
I had given a so-so presentation last Thursday, with a subpar poster that the instructors told me I would have to resubmit. I had spent the entire weekend managing an event for over three thousand students and their parents, only to be called out afterwards for running away when they had wanted me to stand up and be recognized at the after-party. I had had a minor panic attack during my 2.051 quiz (the one worth 40% of my grade!) on Monday, and completely failed it.
I had presented a module for Randomites last night, and had absolutely fucked myself over.
At this point, I am a mess.
I went to Stanford this past weekend. The campus was gorgeous, as expected, with sandstone arches and open plazas and the architecture of a Spanish monastery.
Is it a bit traitorous to start an MIT-related post with an image of the sprawling landscape and California sun that is Stanford University? It’s been over two months since I’ve written anything for this blog, so it’s likely I’m already too far gone to save. In a sad attempt to right the balance of the universe, today’s much-punted post will be a comprehensive review of every single thing that’s happened since late August. The Institvte is an unforgiving mistress, but I can probably distract her if I write enough.
(I was only in Stanford for the weekend. I still effectively live at MIT.)
When I first came to MIT as a bright-eyed young frosh, I was placed in my first-choice dorm, Next House. (I think my top four were Next, Simmons, Maseeh, and then Random.) I’d been to some good dinners at Next over CPW, and it seemed like a friendly, peaceful place with nice people. Random had some pretty awesome events, but it looked too wild and crazy for me to live there; it seemed like more of a place to visit every now and then. Frosh!dukhovni was kind of overwhelmed by this whole “college” thing, and just wanted some peace and quiet.
There was plenty of peace and quiet to be had at Next. Through a miraculous coincidence, at the last minute I was able to get a single room instead of the triple I would have been living in; I’m still not sure how I pulled that off. So I had a space all to myself, on one of the quieter floors of Next. It wasn’t a ghost town or anything like that; there were plenty of friendly neighbors and the occasional fun food-related study break, and I had people to chat, pset, and watch anime with. It was just a very calm, mellow, *normal* sort of place.
So it’s finally REX proper, which means that, by today, most if not all of you should be at MIT, safely ensconced within your temporary rooms in your temporary dorms (unless you’re in McCormick — then you’re there for the entire semester, at the very least). The desk workers are checking in the last batch of pre-frosh today and tomorrow. Your FPOPs are finishing up if they aren’t already done, and if you’ve been here for a while, you probably have a good sense of where some dorms of interest might be.
There’s not much else to cover for pre-REX information, so today’s final summer reading will be fairly short. (Not short enough to forgo the <more> tag though. Sorry.)
Late. Laaaaate. Such late. Much wow.
In other words, it’s time for the second to last installment of your summer reading and the third installment of the “Oh God I Can’t Believe I Forgot to Write This and Left It Off for Three Weeks” blog series. We’ll be looking at things to bring, things to leave at home, things that will be here when you arrive, etc.
Of course, for about half of you, this post won’t be live until after you arrive at Random Hall. And for the other half, it’ll probably be too late to stop you from making any big purchases like a fridge or a second bed or a microwave. So basically, the timing for this post was awful, and we’ll fix it for next year.
Anyways. Onwards to the lists!
Part two of the “Oh God It’s Almost REX and I’m So Many Posts Behind Schedule” series of blog posts. Is it bad that I’m taking so little time to write each of these up? I can’t help but feel like writing a series of helpful things for freshmen to know should be harder than this. Unless I’m not doing it very well. Ah well.
In this week’s installment of your summer reading, we’ll look at where to find friends. Because unless you’re a math camper or go to one of those schools that sends n number of students to MIT each year, where n >= 3, you probably don’t know anyone here and are really eager to make new friends.
(Whoo mathcamp reference. Maybe after this we can go back and count how many times in this series of posts I’ve referenced something that has practically no meaning to anyone outside of a small subset of people that I know.)