Reflections on the End of the Year 2021-22

The school year is all wrapped up! Mudders have finished finals (I hope) and are prepping for next year. Before we head off to whatever summer brings, the social media interns took some time to reflect on the 2021-2022 school year.

A photo from a spontaneous photoshoot with my friends Mikayla, Kasey, and Rohan! Photo credit: Serena Mao

Serena Mao ’25

I can’t seem to reconcile how I’m feeling right now: I’m sad that I’ll be leaving my friends and profs for a few months, and also happy to get away from the seemingly inescapable next deadlines. I’ve been talking with my friends about this a lot, but it’s unfortunate that to have the positive experiences that college brings, it’s necessary to also endure the more difficult parts. Overall, though, I can’t believe the semester is coming to an end. This year, I’ve had so much fun participating in Mudd and 5C clubs, getting to know my professors through classes and office hours, and meeting people from all over the world. Mudd has really become my home away from home, and I’m looking forward to coming back as a sophomore! Before that, though, I’ll be sure to get some rest in the Bay Area, hang out with my family, and maybe even some friends from Mudd!

Enjoying a meal for my birthday with a bunch of my friends, way at the beginning of frosh year! Photo credit: Mikayla Mann

Mikayla Mann ’25

Farewell, frosh year! I can’t believe that my first year of college has already flown by. I feel like I’m coming back home as a different person than I was when I first dropped my 5,000 bins on the floor of the Atwood triple I would call home for the next 9 months. I’ve learned so much, and not just in the realm of academics. I’ve figured out how to manage my time, make lifelong friends, and thrive on my own. Plus, I’ve perfected the art of efficiently doing my laundry! Mudd has been hard, sure, but I don’t regret a second of it. From late nights in someone’s dorm finishing up a problem set, to hours spent in the machine shop creating things for E4, I’m amazed at the knowledge and experience I’ve gained. It’s been a blast attending all of Mudd’s fun events–including paint night, Wednesday nighters, and gingerbread house making (+ breaking!). I’ve had the time of my life making memories here. But I’m also excited to go home to San Diego, pet my cat, and spend time with my family (and at the beach). I can’t wait to see everyone in the fall!

My completed e4 hammer!! Photo credit: Amber Hughes

Amber Hughes ’24

This semester has been really exciting with a lots of firsts for me. First experience moving away from home, first time meeting professors and friends in person. First engineering courses. First collegiate cross country and track season. While some other things were firsts, they still were really significant moments of returning to some normalcy. Going to in person gatherings. Attending in person class. Exploring the village and all the fun restaurants and shops. It has been full of highs and lows as well, as in person college makes classes a lot more fulfilling, but also a lot more stressful at times. Completing the quintessential engineering projects like the E4 hammer and the E80 robot have been instances of the fulfilling yet stressful projects. But there are no regrets and it has been exciting finally feeling like an engineer. I look forward to the summer as well, doing more research in Prof Ilton’s POSM lab working on jumping robots. And when I’m not researching, I’ll be exploring more of the village with friends, zooming my friends and partner, or training for next cross country season!

My friends and I heading to the Hoch’s Valentine’s Day dinner! Photo credit: Malia Morgan

Malia Morgan ’23

It is the end of my junior year, and I am still not used to being an upperclassman (and certainly not ready to be a senior!) It is kind of crazy to think that this is the first year I spent entirely on campus rather than virtual. Being an upperclassman comes with some perks — I took a lot of very cool classes in my major this year and served as treasurer for the Living Learning Community (LLC) — but it is also startling to realize just how far I have come since I started at Mudd. Highlights from this year include: the research I did with Prof. Jim and HEAT lab, which started over the summer and continued through the fall and spring; LLC events (mostly virtual) including a lecture on California’s gubernatorial recall election, a discussion on how to contact elected officials, and a queer prof panel; and tutoring for the computer science and physics departments. This summer I’ll be staying on campus to do research with Prof. Wloka and the Lab for CATS, which I am very excited for. I am also looking forward to senior year and all that it brings, from clinic to decisions about life after Mudd!