The New York Times, TIME, Facebook….everyone seems to do this at the end of each year, so I thought I’d take a stab at my year in pictures. So, let’s get to it.
Sophomore spring was the hardest semester, well, ever– I made some terrible scheduling decisions which meant I was taking two lab intensive classes at the same time in addition to Physics Mechanics, which is actually the bane of my existence. So yeah, I pulled about 12 all nighters, got no sleep, and didn’t really even do well in my classes.
Flash forward to summer- we made a quick trip to the East Coast for Meera’s graduation and then I headed to London for the summer of a lifetime. And wow, that was exactly what I needed. Everything about London– the dear friends I made, our townhouse in Chelsea, my coworkers, city life, food, the walkability– I was in love. I still am. London was the perfect remedy to a ridiculously difficult semester. I spent two weekends exploring Scotland and Norway, and made several day trips within the U.K. I got to party on stage with Bastille, see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, watch Kendrick Lamar and Mumford and Sons live at the British Summertime Festival, revel in the (street) art scene in Shoreditch, learn so much about policy, and also gain cooking skills. And all of that was just the icing on the cake. By the time the summer had ended, I could traverse London without a map in hand- which was quite an exciting feat for my directionally challenged self.
I returned to Mudd apprehensively in the Fall– for one, I had never wanted my time in London to end, and two, the Mudd lack of work-life balance wasn’t exactly on my list of favorite things. However, the fall semester surprised me. Though my course load was difficult and kept me busy at all hours of day (that’s nothing new for us Mudders), I felt more balanced. I felt that my friends and I made an active effort to spend more time together, I’d joined some clubs and was co-heading two others, and I started enjoying my work. Being out of core is incredible- now that I’m finally elbow deep in the engineering curriculum, I am starting to love what I’m learning and that’s been a huge blessing.
However, politically, things started to shift for the worse- Election Day was a disaster. Our campus- and I’m sure campuses across the country- was openly hurting and weeping. I cried for two days straight, and that feeling of despair didn’t leave for a long time. About six weeks out from the election, my mind has now had time to heal, as has my emotional investment in the election. And I’m working on feeling positive. I was speaking with one of the FSOs that I met this summer and he said something to me that really helped my outlook. Maybe it’ll help yours too:
“History is presenting you and I with an opportunity to show just how passionate we are about our beliefs. Our parents fought for the rights and civil liberties that many of us now take for granted. It was not so long ago that African Americans w ere riding at the back of the bus, that women couldn’t serve in the Foreign Service after marriage, and homosexuals couldn’t marry. All of these deplorable situations were changed by courageous people being willing to risk much, sometimes even their lives, to fight for what they believed to be right.
I’m frankly excited to fight for my beliefs. I’m a fighter. I think you are, too. At the end of the day, I know we will end up where we need to be. And it won’t be because the vague tide of history carried us there. It will be because we fought for it.”
We are going to spend every minute of the next years fighting for our rights, fighting so that our country can keep moving forward. This is our chance to show that our nation and our people are worth fighting for, and I look forward to being a part of that fight. President Obama set forth a great legacy and it’s up to all of us to keep working for it. As 2017 greets us around the corner, I’m unsure of what to expect- a Trump presidency could go a number of ways. But here’s to staying positive, staying united, and fighting for what’s right.
Now, onto the pictures: