Cami M. ’23 – MIT Admissions At MIT Admissions, we recruit and enroll a talented and diverse class of undergraduates who will learn to use science, technology, and other areas of scholarship to serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. Thu, 01 Jun 2023 00:58:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 thank you notes Thu, 01 Jun 2023 02:30:20 +0000 For my (maybe?) last blog post, I felt that it was only fitting to write some notes for the people that have made my MIT experience, especially this last semester, memorable and good. Here are just a few of them.


To my dearest, sweetest Emma. I feel like this will be a reiteration of my Peace Corps rec letter for you, but let this be a public display of my affections.

I am incredibly grateful that I happened to stumble into Maseeh Waffle Night all those years ago in April 2019 during CPW. And that I made the decision to walk up to Bryan despite not having seen him since the fifth grade. And that you took the initiative in the conversation and turned to me and asked “hey are you filipino?” and that interaction alone solidified us as friends for life.

I’ve truly never met anyone like you. It’s something that you can only understand once you’re actually in your presence, words unfortunately can’t do it justice. But being around you really does feel as though I’ve been transported in some manic pixie dream girl world, where the rules and laws of the world are beneath us and we are, in fact, the drivers of the plots of our own novels. Call it lucky girl syndrome, call it optimism, call it what you want; there is just something so magical and whimsical about being with you.

I entered MIT really afraid of what people were going to think of me. I was scared and self-conscious and worried about literally every little thing I did or said. I wanted so desperately to be liked.

But by seeing the way you existed — the way you’d burst into song in public, or break out dancing in the middle of the field, or laugh so, so loudly in the middle of lecture — without a care in the world, with no fear of repercussion or consequence, taught me that I could do the same. Yes, I’ll still panic when you knock something over and instinctively yell “Emma!” at you, or side-eye you when you play a video in a library without any headphones in, but I think I just will never be able to fully let go of my inhibitions in the way that you do.

I think at some point in our friendship, I used to envy you. The way in which you could parade around campus, waving and smiling at everyone. Seeing the way in which you not only thrived on campus, but thrived everywhere you went, how you could so easily build connections with anyone and everyone.

But as I grew, that envy morphed into respect. A profound, deep respect for you and everything that you are. I will never have the confidence to just walk up to someone and befriend them in the way that you do, but that’s okay. That’s why we work, such polar opposites of people that somehow found their way to each other.

Thank you for being my friend all these years. For telling me when I fuck up and teaching me how to grow from my mistakes. For pushing me out of my comfort zone. For teaching me to relax more once in a while, to trust in the world and the luckiness that pervades our space instead of trying to micromanage everything. For giving me the YA book life I’ve always dreamed of having.

There’s nothing else I can really say here aside from what I wrote in your letter.

I have always known Emma would be the person in our friend group to do fantastic things beyond even my understanding. Her aspirations are lofty and high. Someone who may not know Emma may look at her bucket list and scoff, thinking that it would be impossible to achieve such a range of activities even in the long life-span we as humans have. However, anyone who knows her would look at the list and wouldn’t bat an eye. Their kneejerk reaction would be “Of course” because Emma is a doer. She is known to do what she puts her mind to. That’s why I didn’t even react when she told me she would be applying to the Peace Corps. Instead, I had the same simple thought in my head: Of course. This makes perfect sense for Emma because not only is she a doer, she is a doer of *good*. And perhaps that is the most important kind of doer. Emma has always ensured that she uses her talents and intelligence for something that betters the world, that moves it forward. And I firmly believe that she will continue to better the world around her, just through her presence and existence alone….She has an incredible work ethic, having taken so many classes at MIT while balancing it alongside her various extracurriculars like Rocket Team and varsity volleyball. But most importantly of all, she is kind. She is always the first to cheer after a friend’s presentation. The first to call during summer break. The first to go in for a hug after a long period of not seeing someone.

I could not recommend anyone more to this program than Emma.

Emma, my favorite agile and power 5’3″, how lucky I am to know you.


To my dearest Eva,

I’m…so fucking sad to know that we met so late into our MIT career. I have never met anyone so acutely aware of their presence and impact on others, someone who is so in tune with not only their emotions but others’ as well. It’s something about you that I find incredibly admirable and something I’ve learned from you a lot.

I want to thank you for being the epitome of what a good friend is. I feel like you’re always the first to check in, the first to comfort, the first one to run over when something gets fucked. You’re the kind of person where I know I can tell you anything and I won’t receive any harsh judgments upon the first pass, and it’s something that I’ve really relied on and especially appreciated these past couple of months.

I also love the way you try and delve into people’s interests. The amount of times I’ve mansplained something stupid and niche to you like Twitch vocabulary or the Omegaverse or some other fucked terminally online thing, you actually make effort to understand it and get excited about it.

I think this letter is easier to write and feels less sappy because I have such a strong confidence in the fact that this isn’t goodbye, but a see you really soon, because you’re one of the most communicative and reliable people I know. I can say with certainty that we’re going to text. That I’m going to see you in July in SF. That we’re going to lose our fucking minds in the farthest back row of the Taylor Swift concert in August. That I’m going to come back and visit Boston and crash in whatever apartment or complex you’ve found. I just know it so strongly because that’s just the kind of friend and person you are.

But regardless, I’m going to miss our loud, inappropriate conversations in Baker dining or Hayden, spilling all our tea and stories in front of … literally everyone sitting around us. Our spicy Bridgerton nights where we’re just screaming at a TV for 4 hours over people making intense eye contact. Sitting in your room sipping on wine and talking.

I’m going to miss you so…so..SO fucking much, but I will literally see you so soon and I’m going to bother the shit out of you and sit in your apartment and you will not be able to get rid of me, Eva, I promise it. I love you so much.

Not a goodbye, but see you soon.


Dearest Kylee,

I’ve been meaning to write a message like this to you for fucking forever but every time I try to start I kind of tear up and get stressed because I really can’t imagine a world where we don’t go to the same school together.

You were the first person I ever met in person at MIT! I still remember walking with you around Random Hall and then to Flour to get my first meal ever as a real MIT student with another MIT student.

For a good, long portion of my life, I really didn’t believe that people were inherently good. Or that a truly good person existed. I think I was just 13 and really edgy, but, genuinely, knowing you has really showed me that there really are truly, wholeheartedly good people out there.

I always jokingly refer to you as my moral compass whenever I talk about you to other people, but the statement still stands. You’ve been there through every single major moral crisis I’ve had at MIT and I will go to you every single time because I know I can always, always trust your judgment on something 100%. You have such a way with words in a way that I never will and you always manage to express things so succinctly and accurately. I also appreciate how you will always remind me to consider the other person, to not just remind me to be empathetic, but really show me how to put empathy into practice.

I will always love your stupid deez nuts jokes, the way you always manage to bring up Georgia or the South into every conversation we have, the “hey that’s what they used to call me in high school” bit that we play into way too much. Thank you for being my Jeopardy buddy, my fellow Santouka stan, my favorite enabler of “hey….can I take a quick look at that?”

Just know that you can’t get rid of me that easily and that I will be bothering you in Ohio every chance that I get. I love, love, love you to the moon and back. Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for teaching me to be a kinder, more considerate person. Thank you for being my shoulder to cry on for all these years.

house members of dphie

To my dearest deephers,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the love and kindness you’ve shown me throughout these two years. The day I moved into the house I cried because I was afraid I wasn’t going to have any friends or feel like the hussy mansion would ever be my home. But oh how I was so fucking wrong. Some of my favorite nights from these past two years have been our rotting sessions, sitting on that (what I’ve only realized now is) gray couch, talking shit, eating Vivi’s chicken and boba, and procrastinating on work.

I’ve loved being your resident frat brother this semester. Thank you for giving me such joy in one of my hardest semesters. Thank you for listening to my rants and complaints and indulging in my wild, crazy stories about hookups and mistakes and messiness.

To the seniors that already have left us and taught me how to make dphie a home: I love you. I miss you all so much. I will come visit you all.

To the juniors and sophomores I’m leaving: I’m gonna come back and visit. I kinda have to, since all my stuff is in the house, but also I’m coming back because I love and care about you all so deeply. MIT is really fucking hard, and so please remember to care for each other and lean into each other when you need it.

And now some quick notes:

arianna – I love you so much, you don’t even know. You are one of the kindest, most compassionate people I’ve ever met. I’m going to miss your silly screaming, your fidgeting, your obsession with Zelda, and your silly meche activities. The world has thrown so much shit at you that you do not deserve and yet you remain so resilient and kind to everyone you meet. I adore you endlessly, even though you lied to me in poker and made me cry when I was drunk.

siyoung – I am so sad we became friends so late, but also I don’t think we could’ve been friends earlier because we hadn’t yet gone on our ~character development~ growth arcs yet. I think you really strive to understand people and to hear them out and the advice and perspective you give always is so precise and helpful. I admire the way in which you push others to grow and reevaluate themselves. But not only that, I think you’re a kind, caring person as well, in the way that you constantly check in on people and ask how they’re doing and really do take the time to listen. It’s something so rare and hard to come by these days, and you are so special for that.

mulan – You are such a talented, smart, and driven person. I’ve already said all these things in your senior shoutout, but I admire the way in which you hold yourself so, so much. You speak with such poise and grace, and simultaneously know how to stand up for yourself and stand your ground. I love how silly and goofy you are and I love your frat bro accent you develop when hanging out with frat men for too long. I love you to bits and can’t wait to see what you do in the future, mi amor.

sirena – Sirena!!! I don’t even know where to begin. I’m so happy we got closer this semester. I feel like even though we’re not very similar people, we get along very well and mesh together so well. Thank you for watching AOT with me and explaining all the little things that I don’t understand. Thank you for the deep philosophical questions and making me just think more about myself and the world in general. And ultimately thank you for being such a calm presence in the house that offers up so much wisdom and perspective to all of us. I can’t wait to hang out (and live..?) with you in New York. Have the most fantastic time in Japan and I’ll see you in June/July!

jess – I am so happy we got to talk more this semester. Thank you for listening to me rant and vent and giving me so much advice. I’m so happy to have spent so much time with you just shit talking and also talking about our crippling ADHD. I cannot wait to hang out with you in New York <3

this is for you!

I feel kind of silly for writing this one, especially putting you in my last ever blogpost, but also, I think life is too short to not to say what’s on your mind and thank the people in your life. I think you’ve changed the trajectory of this semester so much for me, even in the short period I knew you. And though time wasn’t on our side and I don’t even know the likelihood of us ever interacting ever again, I can say with full confidence that I am very grateful that I decided to go over that night. And all the days and nights after.

Despite being a blogger whose whole job is to write their feelings and thoughts down, I told you I’m not really good at words, and that I struggle to give out compliments and kindness because that’s just not how I was raised. So I figured I owed you this too, since I’ve never really told you all the things I think about you.

I think you’re an incredibly sweet person with a good heart. Thank you for giving me so many fun memories this semester and making me laugh and ultimately just giving me someone to look forward to seeing after class. There’s a lot more I could say, and maybe I’ll just send this to you personally, but just know that

You once called me out, saying that I like to act tough but inside I’m really just a big softie and if this blogpost is anything to go by, you’d be exactly correct. I really loved having you in my life and having our paths cross over, even for just a brief bit of time. I like to think that if we had met earlier, things would’ve ended differently. But that’s just not how things go, and even though it ended somewhat abruptly, I’m really happy with how this semester went and having had the chance of meeting and getting to know you.


Megan, I love you so so much. I love running into you randomly and then just talking for hours about anything and everything. Conversations with you always make me think so fucking hard about life and the world. I am so impressed by how much you do on campus and honestly just by how much you care. You are an absolute superhero. I also want to take this time to remind you to take care of yourself, make sure you don’t burn out, and also say that it’s okay to take breaks once in a while. Come visit me in New York, bae, and I hope you have a fun time in India.

bloggers & aos

I don’t even know where to begin! I feel incredibly emotional to be saying goodbye to the first ever real home I felt at MIT. In my freshman year, I became a blogger. And I got to meet so many people through the blogs and it was the first community I ever interacted with. Even though our beginning meetings were a little stiff and awkward, once the pandemic hit and we did our silly little zoom calls, blogger meetings became such a huge part of my life and my MIT experience. Every week, I would look forward to our calls and stay for hours just shooting the shit and chatting with everyone.

I want to just especially thank the AOs and the blogger community for putting up with my crazy antics, my endless blogs in which I overshare, my horrible ideas, my drama, and everything else. Every time I’ve had a question about MIT or life or needed advice on something, the blogger slack is one of the first places I think of because you all have so much knowledge and wisdom. I feel like I’ve learned so much from all of the admissions officers and bloggers on here but in particular:

alan – I literally just admire you so fucking much. I don’t know how you do all the things that you do, but you do them and you do them well. While simultaneously being a kind and great person to be around. I know this semester has been especially stressful for you, and I just wanted to say that I’m proud of you for all that you’ve done and you have so many people rooting for you!

mel – My blogger child, my MIT pen pal, my crocheting king. I’ve loved all of our conversations and I always love being around you and spending time with you. I literally adore you to bits and I promise to visit you lots and please hang out with me!!!! I am always wishing you well and I hope the world sends you good things.

ella – Ella ella!!! I am so so happy you became a blogger. I literally love sitting next to you in blogger meetings making side comments and talking shit with you. You are endlessly funny and intelligent. Your writing is incredible and constantly inspires me.

kellen – Even though you’re not an admissions officer here anymore, I feel like I’ve just learned so much from you. I am so grateful for all the trust you put in me, especially with the MIT Admissions account and letting me run wild with my stupid ideas. You’re honestly such a positive presence and mentor for so many people and I love and appreciate how you’ll always encourage students in their silly projects and endeavors. Thank you for believing in me and supporting me.

jeremy – Jeremy!!!! I don’t even know where to begin :( Thank you so much for always listening to my drama and my tea and giving me advice and also for always making me laugh in and out of blogger meetings. Thank you for always looking out for me as well and giving me advice whenever I ask for it. You honestly make the admissions and the blogging-sphere feel like such a safe and comfortable environment and have helped mold it so much into the community it is today.

petey – I don’t even know where to start! I will also probably write and email you a longer version of this so take an abridged version: Thank you for being such a supportive and kind mentor to me throughout these four years at MIT. I remember feeling very lost and uncertain during summer 2020 and the weekly MIT coaching whatever support calls we had were something that really grounded me and helped me figure out my place at MIT. I was so stressed about my major and my path and what the world had in store for me, but through these talks I was able to figure it out (ish, or I guess, worry about them a little less). I am so very thankful for everything you’ve given me and taught me over the years, constantly providing me and pointing me towards resources. I especially am grateful for the advice you gave me last summer when I was having difficulty with my workplace — I was very scared and didn’t know how to handle the situation, I felt as though I had really found myself in deep, deep shit and didn’t know how to climb out, but the advice and words you gave me were extremely meaningful. Every single time I faced some major hardship or roadblock at MIT, I could turn to you and the other admissions officers to support me and advise me through it and for that I am so endlessly grateful. Thank you for always looking out for me.

blog readers!

And perhaps on a cliché, thank you to every single one of you who has read my blogs and the blogs in general. I’ve kept every single email that readers have sent me and I’m just so grateful and honored to be able to have a platform and audience in the first place. This job is so fucking cool, like so fucking cool and I’ve gotten so many amazing opportunities through it. I am always so touched whenever someone tells me they’ve read one of my blogs, or sent it to a friend, or even tell me in person that they read them consistently. I always forget that I’m not yelling into a void.

This job has been hard — it’s been weird being perceived by so many people. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I love being a blogger, I love being able to write for the blogs, and I love reading all of your comments and emails. Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving me such a cool weird funky little job.

You can follow what I’m up to on my socials | x x

I will also be trying to slowly migrate all my blogposts to Substack in the very rare freak case where everything goes down and gets deleted. And maybe I’ll continue blogging..I’m not really sure.

goodbye goodbye goodbye Thu, 01 Jun 2023 00:58:58 +0000 After four years here at MIT, I am finally graduating. I have a lot of mixed feelings on graduating. On one hand, I’m nervous. I’m terrified to leave MIT. How do you make new friends as a new grad? What if I have no friends? What if I hate my job? What if my roommates don’t like me? How are you gonna tell me I’m just going to need to be an adult for the rest of my life now?

But on the other hand, I know that this chapter of my life is done and that in order to grow we need to put ourselves in uncomfortable positions and this is a necessary step towards growth.

Regardless of that, though, the irrational part of my brain has just been set to panic. I’m afraid to graduate. I don’t know what this summer looks like. And I’ve been trying to convince myself that that’s okay, because it is okay, and things will be okay, but it’s hard to know things will be okay when I’m not…in the okay.

But then I think back to where I was four years ago and how far I’ve come. I couldn’t have anticipated any of this — any of the things I’ve accomplished or seen or done. And so I’m trying really, really, really fucking hard to embrace the unknown, to open my arms out to it and welcome what the universe has in store for me.

This Saturday, I officially move to New York City. I have no plans, no itinerary, no agenda (well, until August, at least) and for the first time in my life and I will be simply doing whatever the world pushes me to do.

Despite the fear and the nervousness, I do have a lot of hopes for this summer. I’m excited to explore New York. I want to eat good food and explore the clubs and bars. I want to continue crocheting (did I mention I picked up crocheting?) and learn how to embroider. I want to cook and bake a lot more. I want to read more books and write a lot more and and and

I just have a lot of things I want to do, which reminds me of my blogger application back from July of 2019. In this application, I wrote a sample blogpost in response to the prompt ‘What is your current obsession?”

Here’s that blogpost:

in the beginning of the summer, i made this long list of things i was gonna do to improve myself and “glo up”

but unfortunately, my arch nemesis who i thought i had defeated in may began to manifest itself into ways never known before. high school had returned to haunt me and had conditioned me to believe that if i’m not going to be the best, then what’s the point in doing it? and in this singular thanos snap, my motivation was gone in the wind.

so instead of doing all the things listed above, i decided to procrastinate by turning to my holy grail: the sims 4.

the only people who play the sims 4 as much as i do are the ones who

  1. want to torture virtual people to let out their turmoil in a supposed controlled, safe manner
  2. live vicariously through their sims to feel less guilty about their actual life

spoiler alert: im the latter,,,thats me, folks!

thats how cami tdoog came to life – the sim version of me that is not only an accomplished surgeon, but also good at all of these things too:

she’s basically the ideal version of me, a version of myself that’s smart, athletic, and a cooking kween. (she also brings home BIG bucks for the kids so they should be grateful,)

originally, i went to the sims to escape responsibility and wallow in self pity as i watch her cook eggs benedict while i struggled to even fry an egg. but, funnily enough, watching my sim grow in her skills actually..motivated me to start doing the things i said i’d do.

for the past week or so, i’ve been watching my sim grow her talents. from starting house fires with her horrendous cooking to making dinner every night for our family with finesse, the sims helped me come to the somewhat painfully obvious conclusion that ~with practice comes perfect~.

to be honest, it was inspiring to see cami tdoog grow into the accomplished woman she is today. with a few clicks of my mouse, i put her to work. gym, cooking, handywork. and yeah, she definitely struggled. after about an hour at the gym she was ready to pass out, but now, she’s a gym rat. i realized that i could be cami tdoog if i really tried. i didn’t have to keep longingly looking at a screen and envy a freakin’ sim.

so i got my sh*t together. i whipped out my unused bullet journal and  started making plans. in the back of my head, there still was a bit of fear lingering. what if what i do ends up being bad?

but then i remembered cami tdoog. and she had the firefighters over at our house three times and maybe spent 5000 simoleons on repairs and she still cooked, so i’m gonna do it no matter the outcome.

this month, i’ve been doing everything i wanted to do.

i painted my first painting in the past three years.

i started learning how to cook and bake [cause i signed up for only cook for yourself dorms HAHAHahAh catch me starvin!!]

i started singing again and revived my dead youtube channel to document my progress because i am a sucker for progression!

i’m boxing? and dancing? and doing all the things i never had time for before and it is so, so fulfilling. i can almost feel the invisible skill meter bar above my head fill with that coveted green color.

so cami tdoog, this is my love letter to you. thank you for inspiring me to stop watching and start doing. i may not become a world famous surgeon like you, but at least i can cook a fried egg without burning my own home down.

I have gotten better at cooking. And guitar and piano and singing. And I actually do consistently go to the gym now. So I really feel like I’ve come far.

Seeing this blogpost…the excitement that I have when it comes to new hobbies and wondering what my future has in store for me, I feel that all coming back now that I’m moving to a new place.

So yes, the future is. Incredibly incredibly scary. I am terrified. But also, looking back on eager dumb prefrosh Cami reminds me that there’s so much I have yet to learn and discover about myself.

So here is to graduation! And to my summer in New York!

“So, what HAVE you been doing?” Thu, 25 May 2023 13:00:41 +0000 As per my previous post, I’ve been going through a lot of shit! But there’s also a lot of incredibly fun and freeing things that I’ve been doing this semester that I figured I should talk about.


I turned 21 in February! I don’t talk a lot about party culture on the blogs just because I find it kind of weird, maybe a little jarring. I prefer to keep my blog life and, I guess, like, party/hookup culture life separate, but I figured in an effort of maintaining my brand of transparency I’d just touch on it a little bit.

I love going to parties! I love going to bars! I love going to clubs! And I’ve been doing a LOT of that this semester. There’s a common club that a lot of college students go to particularly on Thursday nights so usually my weekends consist of me going out with a bunch of friends on Thursday, having a great time, and then going to other bars/frats/clubs on Friday and Saturday.

It’s been horrible for my sleep schedule and for my homework schedule, but I cope by telling myself the ever so common mantra “It’s senior spring, you deserve this.” I’ve been going to new frats that I’ve never really been to before and meeting so many new people which is also really nice. Before, I spent the majority of my time at ZBT for obvious reasons, so it’s been so fun branching out and seeing the different frats around MIT.

Spring Break

For spring break, I went to visit my family on Big Island in Hawai’i. I took this as an opportunity to really cool down and learn about myself and try and center myself post-breakup. I played a LOT of Hades and wore a lot of cute bathingsuits and really just bonded with my family. I also ate SO much delicious food.

I’m really grateful to have such a good relationship with my family and this trip honestly was so monumental to my healing process. I heard so many fun family stories like how my aunt and uncle met, embarrassing stories from my mom’s childhood, and just learning about island life in general. It felt so very peaceful to escape my life for a bit and just live like an Animal Crossing resident on the Big Island.

Crying in H-Mart Signing

I also met Michelle Zauner, aka Japanese Breakfast, aka author of best-selling novel Crying in H-Mart. I read this book in one sitting on the plane and sobbed my eyes out and it was such a healing, beautiful experience to really just throw myself into a book like that. So it felt fitting to go to a Q&A and book signing event with her and go through all those big, big feelings again. I also then took myself out on a solo date of sorts and got ramen and contemplated life.

open book with a signature from michelle zauner with the note 'Cami! Sorry for making you cry :('


I got new piercings! Maybe a stereotypical breakup thing to do. But I got my second lobes done. I plan to get another helix piercing on my right ear and then an industrial on my left and maybe some tattoos.

I went with my friend Jess, and she got her first helix!

girl angling her ear to the camera to show off a piercing on her second lobe


On a total whim, I went to Atlanta! And I saw my Salesforce friends and some friends I met online, as well as Julie, an MIT and dphie alum! I toured Georgia Tech, went to the aquarium, ate really good food, and just shot the shit with all my friends.

I essentially filled them in on the giant emotional crisis I’ve been going on since February which was really just like, relieving to get their input and tell people about my problems. And of course hear about their lives, too.

Perhaps an unpopular opinion but Atlanta reminded me a lot of Los Angeles, with like, its horrible traffic, bad infrastructure, and need for cars. It was weird.


On yet ANOTHER total whim, I bought tickets to Coachella and I went with bestie Emma and her family. I will admit I originally bought this ticket to see Frank Ocean, who then proceeded to drop out of the festival while I was on my way to the airport, BUT…

Nonetheless, this weekend was exactly what I needed. I described it to friends as full-on Dorian Gray hedonism. Pure self-indulgence, satisfaction, etc. in one sinful three day festival. A lot of unhealthy habits, for sure, that I won’t delve into too much on the blogs. But it was so fun and lovely to just be in full concert mode for 72 hours. I feel like I’m most myself when I’m at a concert, surrounded by people singing songs loudly. It makes me just so aware of my…my human-ness? I guess. And so it was just so lovely to be in that state all weekend.

I saw so many fantastic artists, namely Blackpink, Bad Bunny, Rosalía, Kali Uchis, fourtet, Skrillex, fredagain, Willow Smith, and so many more. It was great. I would 100% go again next year if Emma and her family went again.

It was also so sweet to just have a weekend with me and Emma and her family. I’ve known Emma since CPW and I just love being around her all the time, I think she balances me out so well. She so easily made friends with so many people at Coachella and I know my experience wouldn’t have been the same at all without her.

I am also so grateful to her family for taking me in as a last minute straggler!


Springfest!!!! It’s here again!!! I did not help plan it this year because I am simply too hosed BUT this year we had the lovely lovely Doechii perform. I absolutely pissed and shit myself when I found out the artist for this year was Doechii because I listed her as my main inspiration for rappers for my rap class that I’m taking this year so it was absolutely surreal to see her on stage. Her stage presence and just command of the stage is truly something incredible. I adore her with all my heart.

She also grabbed my phone and filmed with it during the concert, and also I got the setlist at the end of the concert.

Life made.

Ranking Every Class I Took at MIT Wed, 24 May 2023 05:02:43 +0000 As the name implies, this is going to be a tier ranking of all thirty three classes I took over these past four years at MIT + explanations. I’m leaving! So I can say whatever I want! Raaaraaaaa nothing matters rAaaaaaaa

image of tierlist of cami's ranked classes

**class that I cried in/cried over/broke down over

S Tier (Favorite Classes)

CMS.621 Fans and Fan Culture (Ed Schiappa)

My favorite class of all time (hence why it’s first, yes order matters.) I’ve already written an extensive blogpost on why I love this class and why this class is great. Ed Schiappa is a great professor and he’s honestly helped me through so many crises with regards to media studies things. This class was also what pushed me toward 21E in the first place and to taking media studies more seriously.

CMS.S60 Rap Theory and Fundamentals (Lupe Fiasco)

I will write a blogpost about this class eventually, I just have been too hosed this semester to do so. But this is a great class. Honestly one of the hardest classes I’ve ever taken at MIT, just because rapping and then writing raps just isn’t a skill I’ve ever tried out before (and I’m assuming not many people have, really) but I learned SO much. Through this class, I just started thinking about words, speech, and language a lot differently. I tried thinking of obscure references, ways to spin words to have multiple meanings, clever wordplays that I could include in my raps. I even made a notes doc in my phone to write them down in case they came to me. (I would write them here but a lot of them are…incredibly NSFW so it’s probably not super appropriate LMAO!)

CMS.614 Critical Internet Studies (Chris Peterson)

This is actually tied for second with the rap class. I loved this class a lot — I took it last spring + TA’d it this semester and though it was a lot of reading and the discussions were semi-intimidating, I feel as though I really learned so much and began to interact with/look at the Internet a lot differently. (I think about hidden labor a LOT. Like far too much, maybe.)

WGS.140 Race and Identity in American Literature through Superhero Comics (Joaquin Terrones)

I wish I knew about Joaquin’s classes before my senior spring, but alas. Joaquin is one of the best professors I’ve ever had at MIT. In this class, we evaluated superhero comics through the lens of race and gender and it really opened my eyes and changed the way in which I consumed media. For example, we’d look at The Batman movie through a more critical lens and ask questions such as what is vigilanteism? What differentiates a superhero from the police force? Who determines who has what authority? How is what Batman does different from police brutality? While sometimes yes it is good and nice to just consume media for the way that it is and do a ‘haha superhero cool brain off’, it’s also important to view media critically and understand “What narrative is being spun about what groups right now? What message is this subconsciously or consciously trying to push?”and this class taught me how to ask those questions more consistently.

ES.100 Intro to Making (Dave Custer)

This class is fantastic just in the fact that it’s a free for all kind of thing. Anything you wanna make, you just tell Dave and he will help you out. I’ll make a post also on all the things I’ve done and made this semester, but I learned how to laser cut, 3D print, rug tuft, and more. I wish I went to this class more — this semester was hard and I often skipped it because I just couldn’t make it or didn’t have the mental capacity, but I really did love it.

There is something so therapeutic in making something. I said this in my note to Dave, but I entered MIT not really feeling as though I was MIT enough, and even until now, I still felt that way at times. I thought it was too late for me to make things, thought it was too late to learn and I was too scared to ask and didn’t know where to go. But when I got accepted into this class, I realized I was given another chance to learn all the things I was too scared to do. Dave did such a great job at creating such an open, warm and welcoming environment where anyone could ask any question. No project was too big, no question too simple or complex — he treated all of us with such respect and kindness. This class really did change my life. This semester’s been so fucking hard and being able to just push the difficulties of the world away for a bit and spend three hours really dedicating yourself to a crochet project or your rug tufting is something so so sacred and important. I felt the same peace I feel whenever I play guitar or piano or sing.

This class helped me find peace, and for that, it’s one of my favorite classes at MIT.

21M.150 Introductory Music Theory (Garo Saraydarian)

Along the same thread of ES.100, this class was a lovely respite from all these difficult and burdensome this semester. I fell out of music a long time ago because I threw myself into my studies, but by taking this class, I was able to fall in love with music again. From this class, I found myself practicing piano 3-5 times a week before or after class in the music rooms near the classroom. Garo was also an incredibly supportive and kind professor; I would often email him asking for the time signature of certain songs and he’d take the time to reply. Overall, just an encouraging and kind class that helped me a lot.

8.021 Physics II E&M (Joseph Checkelsky)

I didn’t expect to rank this class so highly but as I thought about it, this class gave me a lot of confidence my sophomore year when I took it. I’ve also blogged about this class already so you can read all the reasons why I loved it.

A Tier (Great Class)

21L.590 The Spanish Incubator (Margery Resnick)

For this class, I traveled to Spain for a month and studied Spanish literature and history. It’s a pretty good deal and the class only met for a couple hours a day and it was full of field trips to beautiful museums and tasty restaurants, hence why it’s at the top of the A tier.

You can read more about my experience in Madrid here. You can find more about my travels in Madrid on my archive Instagram.

21W.744 The Art of Comic Book Writing (Marjorie Liu)

I’ve also written about this class before, but to summarize, comic book writing is so different from film and prose due to the fact that it’s just still images. You can read more about my experiences in this class here and here.

21H.S05 Encoding Culture (Ryaan Ahmed)

This class is extremely cool because it literally embodies what I’ve been looking for during my time at MIT. I will also do a blogpost on this class so I won’t go too much into it, but essentially this class looks at computer science tools and teaches you how to apply them sensibly and meaningfully to humanities research. We learned how to work with text, looking at techniques like sentiment analysis, TF-IDF, and topic modeling, then images and looking at machine learning, color extraction, kernels and filters, and also at audio and datasets.

Coding is honestly so very cool when I get to use it in contexts that are actually relevant and interesting to me.

21W.762 Poetry Workshop (Ed Barrett)

I’ve also written about this class already! TLDR great class that helped me explore forms I never really have before.

6.034 Artificial Intelligence (Kimberle Koile)

One of my favorite CS classes and one of the best taught CS classes at MIT! Super clear and understandable, engaging lectures, well-taught recitations, reasonable-length and difficulty psets/labs, fairly graded quizzes. A class that I think should be taken after 6.0001 (Intro Python) and before 6.009 (Fundamentals of Programming).

They’re trying to get rid of this class and I think that’s stupid because this class is fantastic. I believe this so much so that I wrote a letter called “Do not remove 6.034 from EECS requisites” and in it I write:

6.034 was the class that affirmed my place in computer science. As a 21E major, I am only concentrating in computer science, but I found my time and my work in 6.034 valuable, useful, and, above all, encouraging.

MIT computer science classes in the past were cruel and grueling and, honestly, disheartening. I found myself wanting to quit the major over and over again because it equated punishment and suffering with learning. Classes like 6.006 and 6.009 rewarded past experience and punished new students by moving the class at such a pace that was so difficult to catch up with. I had many of my peers drop these classes for mental health reasons, the class nearly driving some of them to suicide.

6.034 is truly a one of a kind MIT computer science class. This is the one of the only computer science classes at MIT where I can genuinely say I’ve had a positive experience in it and felt like the teaching staff cared about me. The only other one I can think of is 6.08.

Now read that again. How is it that I have taken 6 computer science classes and only two of them were kind to me? Not just tolerable, but kind?

I need 6.034 to stay in the curriculum because it teaches legitimate computer science work and fields, and does so in a good, effective manner. The labs are doable. The office hours are accessible and useful. The teaching staff is receptive to feedback and cares about the wellbeing of their students.

This class is necessary to keep computer science and give them resources to make them feel like they belong in this class.

Had I not take 6.034, I honestly would have quit computer science. But 6.034 convinced me that I could pick up computer science concepts when it was taught at an actual normal speed and I can do labs on my own when they’re not as high stakes or as high pressure as 6.009 or 6.006 coding questions.

I do not think 6.034 is “lesser than” any other intro class at MIT — it is simply more realistic. It is kinder. And it is what we need more of at MIT.

CMS.335 Short Attention Span Documentary (Vivek Bald)

Great class that essentially gave me an excuse to practice video editing and filming and I genuinely got a lot more comfortable in Adobe Premiere through the class. I’ve written about it here.

CMS.616 Games and Culture (T.L. Taylor)

T.L. is a fantastic professor. This class was great and I talk about it a little bit here. We talked a lot about race and gender in video games, sexism in the industry, etc.

7.014 Intro Biology with a focus in Ecology (Graham Walker)

Literally the nicest teaching staff EVER. I also love biology and thought I was going to be a bioengineering major at MIT so it was really refreshing being able to take a STEM class at MIT that I was actually good at. This class also made me consider being course 7 again before I realized it’s probably too late to do that (but honestly I wish I added some variation of 7 in there).

3.091 Intro to Solid State Chemistry (Jeffrey Grossman)

This class was my first ever lecture of my college career. I love chemistry a lot so this class was really easy and fun for me and lectures were so engaging, Grossman is a fantastic prof.

9.00 Intro to Psychology (John Gabrieli)

Previous 9.00 blogpost here. Super funny class with a great professor. Incredibly engaging and silly.

6.08 Intro to EECS via Interconnected Embedded Systems (Joe Steinmeyer)

Previous 6.08 blogpost here.

B Tier (It’s OK)

CMS.300 Intro to Videogame Theory (Mikael Jakobsson)

Also written about here. Good prof, good content, just felt the lectures weren’t super relevant at times or super engaging, but loved being able to play videogames and write about it.

CMS.701 Current Debates in Media (Ed Schiappa)

Love Ed! Only really took this class because it was a requirement. Got to do really interesting debates about media, but nothing super duper special.

18.03 Differential Equations (Tristan Collins)

Ok, I actually don’t know why this is lower than the other two, this should probably be above CMS.300 and CMS.701. I loved this class, but mainly because I loved the professor and found him super engaging and his lectures really entertaining. The TAs were all super helpful and it’s one of the few STEM classes I didn’t feel stupid in.

21G.704 Spanish IV

Okay class! Nice professor, nice environment, nothing super memorable. Got to watch a lot of movies :)

21G.703 Spanish III

See above.

6.145 Intro to Python

This class was poorly paced and also rough, I actually don’t know why I placed this so high, it should be in Didn’t really like it LOL but it was fun to take cause it was my freshman IAP and I took it with my friends and we suffered together.

18.01 Calculus I (Larry Guth)

Great professor who’s really understanding. Psets were kind of long. Lecture were super clear, though. Honestly should be above 6.145.

18.02 Calculus II (Semyon Dyatlov)

Great professor!!! Dyatlov is super great, he did little dances at the end of each of our lectures. I don’t think I absorbed the info super well, but that’s not the fault of the class, this was just Fall 2020 virtual semester.

6.S063 Design for the Web (David Karger)**

Poorly taught class in that it was messy and the assignments were hard, but I can’t fault them too much because it was their first time running the class. I learned a lot in this class and I spent so much time in Javascript.

C Tier (Didn’t really like it)

CMS.100 Intro to Media Studies

OK class. COVID semester class. Readings were interesting, but also didn’t pay a lot of attention.

21M.011 Intro to Western Music (Martin Marks)

Very kind professor! This was the first humanities class I took at MIT. I didn’t do super well in it and I found it kind of hard. Learned-ish.

8.01L Physics I**

Just a really fucking hard class. Not horribly taught, I’m just so bad at physics.

6.042 Math for Computer Science**(Srini Devadas)

Nice professor, he comforted me when I was angry about how we had to take a midterm the day we found out we were getting kicked off campus. Hard class, I’m just really bad at discrete math, but that’s ok.

D Tier (I hope this class burns in hell)

6.009 Fundamentals of Programming**

This class singlehandedly convinced me to fill out a transfer app to leave MIT. horrible transition from intro python to this class. Literally sobbed about this class every week.

6.006 Intro to Algorithms**

Literally dedicated 20-30 hours a week to this class and nothing paid off. I’m sure if I had another semester to get it, I would’ve. But this was the class that taught me that the amount of effort and time you put into a class does not always pay off.


I am finished with my undergraduate career. Sun, 21 May 2023 00:48:58 +0000 I am finished with my undergraduate career.

What’s left?

I officially stop being a student blogger on… *checks watch* May 31. So, I think it’s time we talked about things and I fill you in!

But for now, enjoy these photos of me throughout the semester.

The goal for the time left is to spend as much time as possible with people before I embark on a new adventure :)

12 days left.
coming off the path Mon, 01 May 2023 01:36:40 +0000

“Where have you been?” Dear Reader, I’m not sure if I can begin to even explain where I’ve been. At the risk of sounding edgy, I’ve spent the past month and a half feeling as though I am floating. Days passed and they would blur into one another, I neglected my responsibilities in favor of going out and wasting the night away, and ultimately just playing a game of distraction.

As of late, I’ve been watching my life happen before my eyes like a movie of some sort instead of actively living it and participating in it. I was recently asked by my friend “Are you okay?” and in response, I described a bunch of things going on in my life.

And she cut me off in the middle to say “Cam, those are things that are happening to you, but how are you?”

I didn’t have a good answer for her.

Since the breakup, I’ve felt like things are just happening to me. I just happen to wake up everyday and go to class and see friends. Parties happen to me and I meet people and I talk to people and I happen to have a good time.

These past weeks have been incredibly hazy for me. It feels as though I’ve just blinked and it suddenly went from March 7 to suddenly the beginning of May and frankly, I’m terrified.

I indulged in a particularly hedonistic weekend in the desert of California at Coachella a couple of days ago. It felt incredibly peak “Dorian Gray”, surrounded by people drunk or high off their asses, dressed up in these elaborate fantastical outfits, splurging on drinks and food as they swayed to music that would kill a Victorian child.

There was something incredibly freeing in it, as I inhaled smoke and sweat and dust, enough of it to know that my lungs will probably be permanently damaged from this weekend. And as I stared at the blinding lights from the stage in front of me, I felt incredibly at peace, for the first time in a long, long time.

Even though my description of Coachella must sound incredibly nightmarish, it felt the perfect amount of indulgent, the perfect amount of letting loose, living without a single care in the world.

I think for the past month and a half I’ve been carrying something with me. This baggage. This idea that in this single era I should be living my life in X way or Y way, that I should be using this time to find myself. I’ve felt a certain kind of pressure to do something, to be something. And under all this pressure, I felt myself crumble and shut down completely. Where I’m normally so in touch with who I am and what I’m feeling, I’ve felt somewhat cut off from my inner thoughts. When I try to think of how I’m feeling, all I get is static in response, like talking to a brick wall.

It’s been strange operating myself in this state, wandering through life like a ghost and trying to find different ways to ground myself. My thoughts feel incredibly scattered. I don’t really know what I’m supposed to be doing at points in time or where I should be. I’ve been so forgetful lately and slacking off on work, turning in work that I’m not proud of, neglecting my jobs, feeling distant from everything.

There’s a part of me that feels incredibly guilty and ashamed of these outcomes. I know that these things are tied to my breakup. And I stand by my decision to exit the relationship. But if I’m the one that did all the breaking up, why am I acting out like this?

(I feel obligated to put a disclaimer here — I don’t regret anything I’ve done. I’m happy with the new people I’ve connected with and friends that I’ve made, even if I’m in a disoriented state. And I’m grateful to the people that have been around, both old and new.)

Really, I think a lot of this ties to the fact that for all my life, I’ve had a plan. Since elementary school, it’s felt like I’ve been on a fixed trajectory. I do well in middle school to get into a good high school and get good placements in classes. I do well in high school to get into a good college. I do well in college to get a good high paying job and move in with my boyfriend and live in New York City for the rest of my life and live out my days…doing what exactly? Settling down and getting married? Having kids?

I’ve realized I don’t know what I want in life. And really I think that ironically is the answer to everything I’m feeling. I’m not okay with not knowing and I need to learn to be okay with it. There’s some part of me that feels so liberated by the phrase. I don’t know. I don’t know. But then there’s a greater part of me that is terrified. To not know what these next 6 months to look like. To throw away my stable, healthy future for…something so confusing and unclear and ambiguous.

I feel this pressure to do better because I know the life that I could have had. My life could have been cushy Upper East Side apartments. It could have been stability with a boyfriend/husband that adored me and loved me to the world’s end. It could have been romantic dinner dates on skyscraper roofs and domesticity. But there was some part of me that was raging inside, begging to not sit down, not quite yet. But to do what? What could I do that could possibly justify throwing away something so good?

But then I have to remind myself that those cushy Upper East Side apartment days would’ve been laden with arguments, with a deep feeling of dissatisfaction as I look down at the rest of Manhattan and yearn for life abroad, yearn for an MBA, for something outside of the cage of glass walls.

It’s been hard to keep that in mind, though. And that’s what I’ve been struggling with most. Pressure. Guilt. A need to surmount the alternate life I would have led. A need to prove myself to bystanders and watchers from afar.

I think that’s one of the downsides of having such a public relationship; I now feel as though I’m being compared to my ex partner. That people are watching my moves to see just what is to come of me. (When in reality, I know that no one is probably doing this and all of this is self inflicted.)

So, TLDR, these past two months have been hard, a kind of difficulty I’ve never had before. Because I haven’t broken down into tears or felt any heaviness or sadness. Instead, I feel a dull ache, a fear that I’ll never be known again in the way that I once was known. An exhaustion at the thought of having to reteach someone who I am. A dread at the realization that I could be learned by someone only to go through this all over again.

I’ve been told that I think in future terms too much. That’s probably evident from the whole ‘had a plan since elementary school’ thing. The same goes for relationships. I’ve come to realize that I see them as investments, that I’m always wondering how this will play out in the long-term, in the future, what return I’ll get.

And so I’m trying, really fucking trying, to live in this moment and to be grateful for the people I have in my life now. Push away the thoughts of “What happens on June 1?” and simply just enjoy their company that I have now.

31 days. That’s all I have left with some of these people. 31 days. So here I am, picking myself up off the path of self-destruction and self-sabotage.

I don’t think this path is a bad one, though. I think it was something completely necessary. In this numbness, I’ve learned a lot about myself. In my relationship, I thought I had such a clear idea of who I was and who I wanted to be. I thought I was rid of all insecurities.

But in my singledom, I’ve realized that this is, in fact, not the case. I still have so much to learn about myself, so much to understand and explore. I think ultimately the real big first step is learning how to forgive myself and be okay with the person I am. In these past two months, I think some shit has really happened and I’ve questioned my identity, my decisions, and my sense of self a lot. But by doing this, I’ve been able to really give who I am a real hard look and realize that there are some things that need changing.

And so hopefully I can continue evaluating and enacting that change.

[Guest Post] The Southbound Train Fri, 10 Mar 2023 14:00:30 +0000 This is a guest blog post by my dear friend (and first person I ever met in person at MIT post-CPW) Kylee C. ’23.

Few things on God’s green earth fill my little southern heart with as much delight and euphoria as a southbound train. There ain’t nothing like slowing down to ride an American train and take in the natural splendor you can find all across the country.

I’ve ridden my fair share of intercity trains here in the USA, on the East Coast and the West Coast, along the Great Lakes and down the Mighty Mississippi.

Among all the Amtrak trains I’ve experienced, three stand out to me in particular.

  1. The Crescent connecting New York City and New Orleans
  2. The Palmetto/Silver Service connecting New York City and Savannah/Miami
  3. The City of New Orleans connecting Chicago and New Orleans

The passenger train receives woefully little love in the US of A, but it’s historically played a massive role in the growth and development of this land.

I’d like to look in particular at the cultural role of passenger trains in the American South, with the help of country music. The first forms of transportation to come to mind regarding country music, and rightfully so, are usually the pickup truck and eighteen-wheeler. Pickup trucks are a staple of bro-country hits from Florida-Georgia Line’s “Cruise” to Tim McGraw’s “Truck Yeah” while trucker country is a fully fledged subgenre within country with hits such as C.W. McCall’s “Convoy” and the band Alabama’s “Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler).”

However, the train, especially the freight train, used to and, to some extent, continues to play an important role in country music. The freight train is a subject of particular fascination, showing up in classics like the Delmore brothers’ “Freight Train Boogie” and contemporary country, as in Alan Jackon’s acclaimed Freight Train album. Trains used to be all the rage in country music. Purported to be on the first country song to sell over a million copies, Vernon Dalhart’s version of “Wreck of the Old 97” details the tragic wreck and derailment of a mail train near Danville, Virginia. Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” tells the story of a man behind bars who, upon hearing a train whistle, envies the freedom of passengers. “Wagon Wheel” is the story of a hitchhiker heading south along the East Coast, imploring to be rocked “like a south-bound train.”

However, the story of passenger trains in country music is also the story of the decline of passenger rail travel. The classic “City of New Orleans” describing the route of the same name was released in 1971, when the route was on the brink of being decommissioned. 1971 was also the year Amtrak was founded to consolidate remaining passenger train services and, ideally, to save them. Country music is considered to have originated in a recognizable form in the early 20th century, and, thus, half of the genre’s history coincides with the decline of American passenger trains.

The story of country music is both a story of the rise and fall of train travel, but the prominence of trains even in contemporary music reflects the role of nostalgia in country music. Even classic country songs involving trains were often written after their heyday; the train is a tool for artists to hearken back to an imagined “simpler place and time,” as Gladys Knight and the Pips sing in “Midnight Train to Georgia” (the first non-country song cited).

Nowadays, trains aren’t what they used to be, but here are the rootinest, tootinest destinations that make me love the routes I mentioned at the beginning: Atlanta, Savannah, and New Orleans.

Atlanta, with its booming growth, is a distinctly southern metropolis, whose shadow I grew up in. It’s a truly lively city with a lot of diversity and life; it’s also the center of the South’s burgeoning film industry: Y’allywood.

From the cobblestones on River Street to the several regularly-spaced parks reflecting its historic urban fabric, Savannah is, to me, the most charming town in America.

New Orleans might be the most unique city in America, with its historic streetcars still running and the architecture of the French Quarter seldom seen elsewhere in the country.

I’ve visited all of these cities via Amtrak and had a truly wonderful time. I often visit Georgia by taking Amtrak all the way between Boston and Atlanta, changing trains once along the trip to visit friends or see the sights, typically in New York or Baltimore. I took a trip along the East Coast between Boston and Savannah, stopping in several cities along the way. My favorite train trip of all time was a 2-week trip from Boston to Chicago to New Orleans to Birmingham to Atlanta to Washington DC and back to Boston. I’ll never forget being in Chicago and boarding the train to New Orleans, hearing southern accents for the first time in ages and feeling at home.

And that is the power of the southbound train: getting a taste of home.


you’re on your own, kid Sun, 05 Mar 2023 14:00:15 +0000 92 days.

Lately everyone seems to be asking me how I am. Are you doing okay? How are you feeling? What’s your emotional state?

I find the doting quite flattering, to be honest, and it’s been very sweet to see how many people do care about me, people I wouldn’t thought to have considered me a friend taking time to check in on me.

Another common thing I seem to hear alongside these check-ins are “I don’t know a Cami without Raymond.” I started seeing Raymond in October of my freshman fall.01 It only just hit me at last night's blogger check-in that I literally broke the November rule despite being one of the biggest proponents of said rule, but let's not dig too deeply into that right now. And while we had our ups and downs, we started officially dating in March 2020 and had been together since then (until three days ago).

All of my college experience up until this point has been a joint venture, a co-op adventure of sorts. I don’t regret any of my time spent in the relationship; in fact, I think it was incredibly good for me to be in it. I learned so many things about myself, about who I am, about who I want to be, about who I can be. But I’m grateful that for the indefinite future I’m plunging into the unknown and seeing what it’s like to no longer have a safety net.

the good

I’m trying to navigate things on my own, like how do you make friends without relying on the same people you’ve been relying on for the past four years? How does one even go about dating in college or finding people to talk to?02 Note that I plan to be single for the next however many months or years or whatever, this is more just talking about the college dating experience. What is it like to go to events single? What do I do with all this free time?

I’ve been spending a lot of time with my friends — friends from my internship last summer, friends from my sorority, friends from Twitter, friends from essentially all my various communities that I’m a part of. I hadn’t realized how large my web extended, how many people I actually do consider a friend. I think I often forget that the world is a lot bigger than my intimate ten (or so) person friend group that I spend every day with, and that it’s actually okay to branch out.

In addition to that, I’ve been picking up old hobbies again. I bought a new guitar.03 Yeah I play left handed guitar please dont bully me for it I’ve been taking a freshman making seminar and learning how to rug tuft and laser cut and make stickers out of vinyl. I’ve been writing (short stories, fiction, poetry) a lot more and making videos, leaning into my hobbies a lot more.

One of the sillier benefits, I think, of going through heartbreak is also being able to reconsume old media that you couldn’t fully appreciate in the moment. I rewatched Someone Great the day of the breakup and fully cried in Hayden Library in front of everyone. I’ve been rewatching scenes from Fleabag and it seems like everything has gained a deeper meaning. Certain songs have just been hitting different like Supercut by Lorde, Eventually by Tame Impala, and About You by the 1975.

I’m still definitely sad (lol); I hope that’s, like, obvious. But I think there’s something very beautiful about the end of a relationship. I’ve never had one end positively before and this is the first one I’ve experienced where it’s amicable and it’s been a really interesting space to explore, how two people who used to be so close just unfortunately have outgrown each other and their respective needs, and coming to that mutual decision.

I think this is just the beginning of the (long, painful) growth process, but even in 48 hours after the fallout I think I’ve learned a lot already.

the bad

The loneliness is discernible to a near agonizing point. Couples on campus are just so much more visible than they used to be. The presence of merely married couples or couples that live together mocks me in some way, jeering at me, as if to rub in my face the fact that I couldn’t settle down.

My friend group, obviously, has been strained. In the breakup, we’ve agreed to “share custody” of our friend-children. I’m grateful that the breakup wasn’t nasty, that way no one has to choose sides, but it’s still difficult to just be a part of. I get nervous just thinking about it. My friendships in general have also just strained. I feel like I can’t talk to people as freely as I could before. I wonder which of his friends are still going to wave to me in the hallways. I wonder where I’m uninvited to or what people are saying behind my back.

the ugly

It’s really fucking scary. I feel like I have to occupy my mind 24/7 or else I’ll slip into a state of thinking too much, and I’m scared if I think too much, I’ll regret my decision. That really is my biggest fear, the fear that I’ve chosen wrong. That I will never find the stability and love that I found in these past three years, that I fucked up.

And so I don’t ask myself that question. I keep going, like a little machine, taking on task after task so my mind doesn’t rest enough to entertain that possibility at all.

I went to TwitchCon Fri, 03 Mar 2023 18:57:20 +0000 Back in October of 2022, I flew from Boston to LA and drove two hours to San Diego to attend TwitchCon 2022. Perhaps to no one’s surprise, I’m a huge fan of streamed content and consume a lot of it! Games, IRL stuff, what have you — I try to always keep a tab on what’s going on in the streamer world because I find the notion of livestreaming (specifically game livestreaming) so fascinating.

I went with my best friend of 14 years, Ethan, who is a student as UCSD and he kindly let me stay over at his place for the weekend.

For those who do not know, Twitch is video live streaming service that primarily focuses on video game live streaming. It’s been around for a while (I’ve actually been using it since its initial launch believe it or not) but I would say it blew up quite large over the quarantine period.04 It was actually big back then too but I think this is around the time where the concurrent viewership started to blow up to the 400,000+ range.

TwitchCon is a semi-annual gaming convention to celebrate Twitch as a live streaming platform! Content creators from all over the globe come to TwitchCon to hang out, party, throw events, make content together, and more. Vendors and sponsors like gaming companies, hardware vendors, and more also come to show off their stuff and give away freebies. It’s ultimately a really fun and exciting time. There’s also a lot of panels talking about being LGBTQ+ in gaming, being a content creator of color, or being disabled in the gaming space and how to make Twitch and really just gaming in general a more open and accessible field. One of my professors, T.L. Taylor, was also at TwitchCon to attend some of these panels.

Coming in to the weekend I knew it was going to be incredibly hectic. I tried to make a list of events I wanted to go to and creators I wanted to meet. I knew I wanted to go to the Minecraft Youtube meet and greets to meet people like Sapnap, GeorgeNotFound, Dream, Quackity, and others. I also am a huge fan of OfflineTV and had my eye on their meet and greets and booths as well. I made sure to pack a polaroid, some film, and a Sharpie because I had a really cute idea of taking photos with all the content creators I met and having them sign the polaroid.

I met so many fucking people. These are just the polaroids. Niki Nihachu was incredibly sweet and I told her how much it meant to me to see women in the gaming space. I also LOVED meeting xQc who has been one of my favorite content creators for a long, long time (maybe since 2016 or 2017?) He’s such a sweetheart in person. Alexandra Botez complimented my skirt which made me cry a little. I also loved meeting Syd and Peter and they’re just so gorgeous and stunning in person I was shaken to my core.

I also got a lot of photos just with my phone.

Meeting Steve was such an important meeting for me because I’ve been watching this man literally since I was in middle school and his dogshit humor influenced me a lot. Our conversation went like this:

Me:  Hi,  I’m so sorry I’m nervous but I’ve been watching you since the fourth grade and I’m like a senior in college now

Him: Yeah you seem really nervous that’s so embarrassing for you

Me: Right yeah I’m just gonna go shit myself out of embarrassment

Him (this is a reference to how he had to leave in the middle of the panel to “poop”): Hey shitting myself is a very sensitive topic for me

Me: Yeah you should’ve just shit yourself on stage

Me: Is it okay if I take a selfie with you and pull my mask down?

Him: yeah for sure

Me: Yeah don’t worry I’m just gonna cough all over you

Him: Perfect good thing I’m antivaxx

Me: Even better

I was so happy to have :’) successfully bantered with literally one of my favorite people ever and it was just such a good and wholesome interaction.

Meeting Toast literally made my whole TwitchCon. I have this sequence of photos where I tell him that my mom told me to go to TwitchCon just so I can meet him because she loves him (true story!) and I was able to get his genuine reaction to that on camera. Scarra and Michael also giggled and it was a great time. I wish I could’ve told Michael how much MIT students adore him, but Nisha was able to tell him so do not fear!

I also won a ton of swag from this event, like some keyboard caps, a free gaming mouse and mousepad, and a really nice RGB keyboard. It was overall such a great time and I’m so happy I went! I would 100% go again next year and it was so nice to have a break from the MIT Bubble.

faith in the future Thu, 02 Mar 2023 03:22:30 +0000 I don’t even know myself at all
I thought I would be happy but now
The more I try to push it I realize gonna let go of control

In my AP psychology class, we learned about the different theories of emotion; specifically what comes to mind is the Schachter-Singer theory, where the experience of emotions hinges on two things: (1) the physiological arousal itself and (2) the interpretation of that arousal. Obviously this theory is wrong; emotions can be experienced before we think about them, but I think a lot about (2) in particular.

These past couple of days I’ve been wading in a sea of big thoughts and feelings, but I can’t individually identify them. It feels a lot like trying to untangle jewelry; I try to undo it, ruffle through my thoughts to find a thread I can tug on, but find that the chains are tangled too deeply and I ultimately give up until I have the patience to think on it again.

I am going through a breakup. Maybe I should’ve read Rona’s post earlier instead of waiting until now to read it, maybe it would’ve helped me figure things out. But, yes, I am going through something that feels like the hardest thing I have done thus far into my life because I am doing the scary thing. I am walking away from something I know is good for me, but I know it is not what I need right now.

I have been in committed relationships back to back since I was 14. I haven’t been alone in life for longer than three months in this time and have relied on some partner as an anchor for these past seven years.

And now, as I graduate, I’m always, always, always thinking of the future. In a blogpost I wrote not too long ago that is now honestly probably the most painful to reread, I wrote:

But when we broke up, that future shattered into a million pieces and it became limitless. Untethered by the wants of anyone else except for myself. I imagined a life of biomedical devices, then a life of software, a life of grad school. I dreamed of Los Angeles beaches, of London fog, of New York City lights.

Now that future that I’ve dreamed of is rapidly approaching, becoming more solid in form, more real. The image that forms my head is a little fuzzy, splashes of vivid colors here and there and buildings I don’t quite recognize, but want to know. Seeing without glasses.

I’ve come to realize that this blogpost was not only about the fear of leaving MIT, it was the fear of leaving MIT and jumping into a future that was so solidly in place for me. It was the fear of committing to a single, defined path.

I’ve been talking with my friends and I told them that my biggest decision right now was understanding whether this fear of commitment was a personal character flaw I needed to push through, or if this just meant I wasn’t in a place to settle down yet.

And then one of my friends laughed loudly and said “I think commitment issues at 21 years old is fucking normal.”

I so desperately want to think that I’ve found the one. I so desperately want to be done and settle down and say that I’ve found the love of my life and that this is what the rest of my life is going to look like, but I can’t because saying that would simply just not be true.

I’m not ready. I need to be stupid and alone and I need to fuck up and I need to live on my own and just be a complete and utter dumbass for a little bit. I am not ready to talk about kids or marriage or moving in. And I think really that’s what this whole senior year has been building up to–this realization.

I finish that blogpost with:

I don’t know where I’m going, but I hope wherever I walk, it’s somewhere good and somewhere beautiful. Somewhere where I can grow just as much as I did at MIT, where I can thrive like I did here.

And all of this is still very true; I think the place that I will find the most growth is on my own.

I’m lucky to have loved and been loved by someone this deeply and genuinely; I think it’s a very rare thing to experience and I learned so much in this relationship. But for now, I push on.

Gonna let it happen, gonna let it happen,Gonna let it happen, just let it happen
It’s just a spark but it’s enough to keep me goingAnd when it’s dark out and no one’s around it keeps glowing