Before coming to MIT for the first time, I had kind of taken on the mentality that I would forever be on my own for a lot of things and had no place in the world unless I forced one for myself. I had friends and I’d go hang out with them but I was always the weird one, a different species composed of just me. Even surrounded by my friends it was easy to see which one I was. I was the one who stuck out. If my friends were up at 3 am, they never wanted to talk STEM or anything else of much interest to me. We could talk about doing stuff but nothing ever really happened. My ideas were crazy, I was insane for being so different. I was the only openly queer person in my grade, it wasn’t until end of my junior year of high school that people in my school started to come out at all and they were all in lower grades. I would do most things with my parents but talking about certain subjects was hard and still is with them. Some subjects can’t really touched with people from where I grew up.
Then came MIT, my hair was already dyed and my feet loved having no shoes on. People immediately said “you should really check out East Campus…”
Now I get it, there is a place in this world for me. Like it was waiting for me. More than just the funky hair, bare feet, and mere appearances, there are people I can finally relate to. 3 am is a good hour for anything. I feel safe here, there is nothing I can’t talk about, no reason to feel uncomfortable. No reason to feel like I don’t fit in. People want to do stuff and love to collaborate.
Each hall is very different and very cool even if they can be generalized into East Campus. The hall I chose and got into feels like it was tailored to me exactly.
Yes, it is crazy and the place can be messy from ongoing projects and psets but this is my home, and I finally know what home feels like.