As I sat down in the lounge with aching muscles half expecting my mom to pick me up from this fieldtrip-like first day at Mudd, it was then that I realized that I would not be going home. At least not on the first night.
Long before coming to Mudd, many of us had envisioned what life at Mudd would entail. From the congratulatory pre-orientation emails to the gong that welcomed us as we first arrived on campus, we hunted for clues to convince ourselves that Mudd would be our new home. For me, the sense of belonging settled in instantly starting from the moment I took a hot shower after my orientation adventure and climbed onto my lofted bed. Apparently the contrast between the dorm mattress and the sleeping bag that I had slept in the night before was all that was needed to subside my homesickness.
As the days went by, my classmates also began to unveil their talents. They shared their wide range abilities from chugging down a bottle of water in less than 3 seconds to beatboxing. Not only did Mudd connect these talented frosh, it also reunited long lost best friends – several frosh from Seattle have found their elementary school friends at Mudd. Mudders who come from different corners of the world have also found friends and camaraderie here. Rakia Segev, a well-traveled international frosh, shared that her favorite part about Mudd is “the supportive environment” and “people’s willingness to work together.” There are always groups of Mudders solving problems together somewhere on campus. Their eagerness to learn and build is omnipresent: you can always find a group having a lunchtime discussion about a way to prove, for example, how every surface at Mudd has been used for one particular activity, or bedtime questions about special relativity, or dorm tables having a stacking-the-table-tents competition at Hoch.
Through these discussions and activities, we began to see where we fit in. Alice Chi from California came together with a group of friends who are passionate about drawing to take on the Inktober challenge everyday in October. Autumn Herness from Wisconsin decided to join the rugby team, and she was pleasantly surprised to find how she was able to become friends with everyone the minute she met them, or as Autumn put it: “You just know that you belong there.”
Mudd is such a quirky community that you can’t help but fall in love with it. These engineers, mathematicians, and scientists of the class of 2021 have more in store for Mudd and for each other waiting to be shared in the next few years.