030. Peas in Pods

tldr: oh, so that is why we work in groups

When I was growing up, my parents had an… interesting ideology about who I would be allowed to hang out with after school. Essentially, I couldn’t go over to a friends house unless my parents had met theirs, but my parents wouldn’t drive me over to meet them in the first place since they hadn’t met. Slight paradoxes aside, clearly things have vastly changed. I am in a new city, in a new state, taking my first college courses, and living with friends I had only known online before moving in. I have to say, I think it is going fairly well.

When classes first moved online this spring, things went fairly alright for me. But, to be honest, I think I just got lucky. I was only taking two courses, and during the rest of my time I was tutoring. And even then, when I was waiting for students on Zoom I would be working on homework and studying for tests. I didn’t need any study partners because I wasn’t trying to juggle too many things at once.

Now, that is completely different. With five classes, tutoring on the side, trying to figure out what clubs to join, and psetting constantly, I am extremely busy. Just today, I stayed up until 2am, to finish a Physics PSET due next week, so this weekend I can work on a PSET for Algebra due Sunday, so that next week I can finish my other PSET for Real Analysis due Thursday. Hell is real, and it is Zoom University. I feel like I never get a chance to breathe.

That’s honestly why I wanted to fly 3,000 miles to live with other freshmen when I could’ve taken my classes at home: because I get to be nearby other students who are going through what I am. Us living together is its own hobby: learning how to cook, self-care, walking around New York. It’s more liberating than if I was stuck in my room going from my desk to my bed on an endless loop. Our little social bubble functions, and as far as I can tell, functions well.

As far as classes go, I feel like I am keeping my head above water. I have been told by a lot of students to just, skip a lecture should I need to. Especially since right now most lectures are being recorded. But that just makes me feel more anxious. I could be doing what I love more than anything else in the world, and if I have somewhere else to be, not enjoy it. I’m sure that I will skip a class eventually, but, not yet. This is because I want to type up my math notes, and I really have been trying my best to keep up with them. I’m never fully up to speed which is slightly frustrating. But PSETs come first.

Speaking of which, thank GOD for PSET groups. In the past, my homework has strictly been about examples we have done in class. Those days are long gone, and I am still getting used to deconstructing a problem to figure out a direction to go in. I never realized how helpful it is to just, think through a problem with someone. Even if we don’t reach a conclusion, some of our thoughts are out there. Every time I meet with a PSET group, if it isn’t insanely late, I put in my headphones and walk around the block. I think about all the problems we just discussed until I figure out which one I want to pursue. It’s very therapeutic. PSETs are hard, but honestly they’re making me more appreciative of the courses. Had my teacher just given me the answers, that wouldn’t have been as satisfying.

Besides the classes I am taking, there are a lot of clubs I want to join. But I keep questioning whether or not extracurriculars are worth it. Everything right now feels like it’s too much. For instance, as much as I would love to lead a workshop for SPLASH, that would mean having to come up with a lesson plan on top of my already busy schedule. If we were on campus, I know I would have joined a club by now. Part of me wants to wait until I get into the groove of classes before figuring this all out, but another part of me worries that by then it will be too late to join anything. Another part of me worries that I worry too much.

Would I be having these worries if I had been accepted to be an MIT blogger? Or if I were on campus? I don’t honestly know. At the first question: I want to keep blogging, but finding the time has been hard. Then again, I’m not getting paid to blog, and the only one with reasonable expectations of my putting content out there is me. At the second question: I would probably still be worrying, to some degree. However, I will say that I think I would have more energy if we were on campus. Using Zoom is draining, and all I really want is to be able to walk across the hall and ask if someone can help me on a Physics problem.

Thankfully, I am lucky enough to be in a position where I can do exactly that. I can ask my roommates to help me on a problem, or at the very least see if my solution makes sense. Or, I could message one of the 1,000,000 group chats on 20 different social media platforms I am now a part of. Or I can go to office hours, or message my UTAs.

I am a worrier. [I find it kind of funny that with my slight lisp with r’s I pronounced it warrior in my head.] But what is nice is knowing that, I am not in this alone. And that, should I need help, I know where I can find it. Hopefully, soon I will join a club. Hopefully, soon I will be caught up on my notes. Hopefully, soon the new normal won’t feel so jarring. Until then,


Published by Paige Bright

Hi- my name is Paige Alexandria Bright. I am a rising junior at MIT interested in mathematics and philosophy. I have been writing this blog since the beginning of COVID. Lets see where this goes.

2 thoughts on “030. Peas in Pods

  1. but my parents wouldn’t drive me over to meet them in the first place since they hadn’t met » catch 22 is shaking

    I feel like I am keeping my head above water » mood

    having to come up with a lesson plan on top of my already busy schedule » lmao my lesson plans for splash took me one night to come up with, its fine

    Liked by 1 person

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