Senior Reflections with Malia ’23July 12, 2023
I’ve written more than 75 articles for this blog throughout the past four years, and I can honestly say that this one felt very remote to even imagine for most of that time. My college journey has at times felt very weird (shout-out to Covid and being off-campus for a year and a half), but there has been one significant constant. It’s a cliche, because everyone says it is their favorite part of Mudd, but it is a cliche for a reason. The best part of Mudd is the community.
Community has meant different things throughout my years at Mudd – it’s the students I took Core classes with and the students I took major classes with, the students whose grutoring hours I went to and the students who came to mine, the AE physics facilitators I tutored with and the Living Learning Community members I researched social justice topics (and watched bad movies) with, the professors whose labs I worked in and the Office of Admission staff whose offices I wrote blogs and planned tours in. It’s the two roommates I was placed with freshman year, who have become my very best friends (shout out to Hannah and Anya for willingly appearing in far more blog posts than anyone not currently working for the Office of Admission really should have to), and the classmates I see briefly in the dining hall. If the meaning of community shifts throughout time, then the constant is that it is always there.
My very first ever blog was on the trip to Knotts Berry Farm from freshman orientation, before my four years at Mudd had even officially begun. At the end I noted, “That is, of course, probably one of the major points of the Orientation Adventure–to help us find friends and create a community. There are only 224 of us, so community is a pretty big deal here at Mudd.” Community is an easy theme to pick up on at Mudd. It was that community that got me through chemistry my freshman fall (not my strong suit), and an unexpected pack-up and return home my freshman spring (the real heroes of which are the professors, who pivoted to online classes incredibly fast). Zoom calls with friends to work on engineering or electricity and magnetism were the bedrock of my sophomore fall, and sophomore spring was marked by building my own little Mudd in an apartment with my freshman year roommates and learning how to cook for ourselves. Summer before junior year was working (via Zoom) in HEAT lab and learning research techniques, while junior fall and spring were marked heavily by work for the Living Learning Community. Senior year was a new research lab, the capstone project of Clinic, a co-presidency for the Living Learning Community and a thousand tiny moments–midnight snacks with Drinkward Dorm, Hoch Hearts, ice cream with the computer science department, Sherlock Holmes games with my clinic team, brunch with friends, and so many more.
If I think of the past four years, these are the moments I treasure. It’s a cliche because it’s true–the best part of Mudd is the community.