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Sophomore Reflects on First-Year Wonders

Guest column by Tanya Zelevinsky

Rush, first real MIT classes, the excitement of anticipation, lots of new faces - friendly faces, intimidating faces, plain neutral faces. A mix of confusion and exhilaration is what comes to mind when we, now sophomores, think back one year and remember our first MIT experiences.

With the return of the season, those experiences seem to be so near, and yet a whole year separates us from those days - a year that is almost infinity, since for most of us it was filled with a multitude of things we encountered for the first time. Many of them took us by surprise, and others required significant efforts on our part. Some opened up opportunities which we did not dare to dream of before, without giving us a chance and time to appreciate them or direct them to serve a good purpose.

We were able to experiment with our lives, and, hopefully, we learned a couple of things in the process. If we are lucky, some of the friends we made will stay with us long after we get our degrees and wander away. And, of course, the incurable wrist tendonitis will forever remind us of sleepless nights at Athena.

We envy the freshmen for everything that's still ahead of them, and at the same time we are happy that some of our mistakes are in the past. Now - after a school year packed with explorations, and all the glories of the summer - is the time to evaluate our achievements and recall the mishaps we would like to avoid in the future. Now is the time to weigh gain and loss, and to think about what we really absorbed in these walls radiating endless human wisdom.

Some of us are excited about the new untouched year awaiting us. Some are sad to part with the summer. And yet others, no doubt, are already worried about their careers or graduate school. Whatever our apprehensions might be, it is impossible not to realize that we are about to embark on an adventure which may well be the happiest time we will ever be presented with. Later on, it will seem brief like this past summer, but still it is our time and perhaps the most exciting time we could wish to be living in. The least we can do is catch the moment and not take it for granted. Too many things to be done are our responsibility, being the Class of 1999.

But most importantly, I am indebted to the people who made my time here fun and worthwhile. Thank you for a wonderful year, and best of luck to all.

Copyright 19,95, The Tech. All rights reserved.
This story was published on 9/6/96.
Volume 116, Number 39.
This story appeared on page 4.

This article may be freely distributed electronically, provided it is distributed in its entirety and includes this notice, but may not be reprinted without the express written permission of The Tech. Write to archive@the-tech.mit.edu for additional details.