Taking A Break

Mudd is a lot of hard work. It’s true, and it’s one of the reasons a lot of people come here. You get the opportunity to push yourself as far as you’ll go, and see what in the sciences you’re passionate about or enjoy. Occasionally, however, it can be a bit much. None of us get here without being at least a little bit of a perfectionist, and going 100% all the time tires you out. This last weekend we had our Fall break, which means we had Monday and Tuesday off in addition to the weekend, and I took that time as a chance to decompress, do the things I enjoy beyond STEMS, and spend time with friends. As part of that, in this blog I’m just going to talk about my break, because having your own ways of de-stressing is really important at Mudd.

First of all, really at the core of my break, is that I spent a lot of time in bed. That doesn’t mean I just slept the whole weekend, but I spent a lot of time just in my room, on my laptop. I read, watched videos, did some laughing, some thinking, and some writing. Writing is one of the things I often don’t put time aside for here at school, but it’s really important to me, so it was good to do that. That’s honestly probably my biggest piece of advice for anyone in college in general: find times to do the things that you love, even if it takes some work, because you’ll feel better for doing it. I also spent a lot of time playing video games. When I graduate, I’d like to go into game development, and have spent lots of my free time here at Mudd working to achieve that. However, in all of the hustle and bustle of school, it’s easy for the work part of that interest to take the forefront, and to forget the fact that the interest in games comes from my love of playing them, and thinking about them. Interpretation and absorption of media is important, and a constructive activity, and I sometimes lose that.┬áThe entire break wasn’t in my room, though. Another thing that I’ve really had to reprogram myself to perceive as a constructive activity is socializing, so I took as many opportunities as I could over the weekend to hang out with friends.

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Heroes and Legends, a bar and grill in Claremont’s village area

The first opportunity I took to hang out with people was Saturday night. I went out with my BLAM mentor, Matt, and some other members of BLAM (Black Lives at Mudd), two freshmen, to a restaurant in Claremont’s village. It was really fun, and I don’t go out to eat often. We spent most of the time talking about different cartoons. Some people posed battles between various anime characters and Superman, and we also talked about a cartoon I’m a big fan of, Steven Universe. We discussed a bit an event, the Social Justice Jamathon, that we would be putting on later in the weekend. I talked to Matt about my how I was rethinking my major – from CS to an independent study related to simulation – and he gave me some advice. Getting a chance to talk and socialize, and get to know the freshmen a bit better, was a real great opportunity.

Shin Godzilla, or Godzilla: Resurgence

Shin Godzilla, or Godzilla: Resurgence

On Sunday night me and some friends drove down to Ontario and went and saw Godzilla: Resurgence. I was super excited about it. The movie is Japanese, with English subtitles, and because it’s a foreign film, even if it’s a relatively BIG foreign film, it was only playing in American theaters for about a week. When I first asked my friend Elijah if he wanted to go see it, he said yes, but retrospectively he definitely misunderstood what I was talking about (I told him Godzilla, and he heard Godzilla, but he thought King Kong). Later on, when he had a BETTER idea what I was talking about, and understood at the very least that it was a Godzilla movie, it was kind of an awkward time to tell him the movie was also in Japanese. So I kind of left that until the very instant before the movie started. None of us are perfect. But it was fine, because both of the friends I brought thought that the movie was great, and I totally agree! It was amazing. I’d recommend you go see it, but it might be hard. It’s gone back on screen for a longer run than was originally intended (because it did so well), but only at select theaters.

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Only an approximation of the pizza: Real pizza did not hang still in the void.

Immediately after seeing Godzilla, I went to Platt Campus Center for the aforementioned Social Justice Jamathon. Though the planning for it had been a bit last minute, the event was actually pretty neat. There were about 12 people, maybe a couple more, and we started the night out by going around and having each person say what was important to them, what change they wanted to see in the world. It didn’t particularly have to apply to Mudd, or being at college, we just wanted to think about the things we thought mattered. Once we had everyone’s interests written down, we broke off into groups discussing the issues: The causes, possible solutions, and how they effect us or have effected us. It was a great chance to see how people think on a lot of different issues, and kind of get my mind around some of the ways we can make the world better. Also, there was pizza. Gotta love some free pizza.

Captain Stickybeard, from Codename: Kids Next Door

Captain Stickybeard, from Codename: Kids Next Door

The last real thing of note that I did over the weekend was try to find stuff for my Halloween costume. School’s busy, and I’m not going trick or treating or anything, but I really want to have an outfit for Halloween! A couple of years ago I told myself I’d try to get stuff together to do Captain Stickybeard from the show Codename: Kids Next Door, one of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid (and now too, I suppose). I went to a couple of thrift stores to try to find some of the general clothing items I need, but thus far they have alluded me. This weekend I’m going to head out again!

I’m going to end this by saying the same thing that I said at the beginning: Mudd is a lot of work. But even though there’s a lot of work, balancing your interests, your friends, and things that you think are just lighthearted and fun is an important part of really surviving at Mudd. Fall break was a really good opportunity for me to do that, with all that time all at once, but it’s also important to sneak it in the little places, during full weeks as well.