Tuesday, June 21, 2011

the beginning

I'm trying to figure out a way to remember what it was like to go to Phillips Exeter Academy. So I'm going to write it down here.

It's the summer between Exeter and MIT, the summer after I graduated from high school, the summer before I head off to college. I tried to decide whether I was antsier and excited the summer before Exeter, all the way back in 2008, but then I realized that I couldn't remember. I remember that I went to Chinese camp under the dictatorship of a crazy Taiwanese lady. I went to Milwaukee to attend my cousin's wedding, and to Chicago to sightsee. I watched Michael Phelps dominate swimming in the Beijing Summer Olympics on TV. I can hardly believe that all that occurred before I started Exeter.

I remember that back in 2008, I got my Exeter acceptance letter for my birthday. This year, I got my MIT acceptance letter. How privileged I am, to be able to attend these two extraordinary institutions of learning.

I exchanged a few emails with my new roommate in August, after room assignments came out. I think that’s the most I ever got to know her. We were in Bancroft Hall, room 108. I thought I was lucky to have gotten a first floor room as a new student. My mom thought otherwise—too much through-traffic, she said. An acquaintance of mine from MathPath 2007 somehow landed in room 107. She ended up being one of my best friends. I didn’t know that though, that summer. I just remembered her telling funny stories about the Termichickenator, being awesome at origami, and coloring on people in silver Sharpie.

So here I am, waiting all over again. Waiting to see if I get into an FPOP tomorrow. Waiting for my housing assignment. (Will I get my first choice dorm? Who will be my roommate? Will we be those fairytale roommates who keep in touch decades later? Or will we simply coexist peacefully? We could even dislike each other, or be incompatible roommates, but I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen.) Waiting for my advisor assignment, so that I can start planning classes.

I’m bad at waiting. But I remember that September 3, 2008 did eventually arrive, those three years ago, and that I ended up on Exeter’s beautiful campus. So tomorrow, I’ll know about FPOPs. I’ll know what date I will arrive on MIT’s campus. I’ll know exactly how long I have to keep waiting.

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