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Room W304
Year 2023
Course Undeclared

Every time I talk to an upperclassman, I see a screenshot of what my life could be. I can see myself graduating Course 6-3 with two satisfying internships under my belt. Or double majoring in Course 18 and 24, taking five classes this fall, all from different departments. In one future, I stomached enough strength to take Course 21W, in spite of how bad I was at academic writing when I entered MIT. And in another, I'm in Course 2, and I see myself helping freshmen build lofts in their rooms.

It's easy to look back at the past and see history as this single strand, this ordained story we were meant to walk, fates set to us before we were born. It terrifies me how this strand is only one of the millions upon millions of strands that my life could have been. I could not imagine what it would be like had I not stayed that one afternoon in the math faculty in seventh grade, gotten into math and met the people that led me here; had I not clicked the right links while browsing when I was fourteen years old, and read words that would change my life forever; or had I decided to stay, that night, rather than leaving.

In front of me, I see myself blooming into a million beautiful futures. But beside me, I see strands of the future I am glad I had not ended up in. If I'm really fine with any other future, why would I not be fine with an alternate present? When I think about it, I can only think of one possible explanation. Maybe time is subjecting us to Stockholm syndrome. Maybe I don't really care that much about where I end up.

Maybe the only reason I like being here is because I can't imagine being anywhere else.

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