Whenever I find myself missing MIT, I also start missing my Dunkin’ Donuts breakfast sandwiches from the student center.
Perhaps it is a weird association to make. How does my experience at MIT relate to a breakfast food?
I have always found comfort in routine. It calms to me to know what to expect at every point in the day. Life throws too many curveballs, so any time I can start a day in my preferred predictable way, I feel at ease.
Life at MIT was chaotic yet severely routine for me. My overfilled class and work schedule left very little time for my day to deviate into unexpected situations or unfamiliar circumstances. This is not to say that I don’t like spontaneity and adventure. Some of my best memories are getting into weird pranks with Secret Lounge or grabbing dinner with someone last minute in Boston. But there is a time and place in my schedule for these events. What I mean is that I am surprisingly picky about where and how I do certain things like meals or homework. Sticking to a routine allows me to do these types of things in a way that is comfortable to me without much planning. When everything around me was hectic and stressful, I could rely on the comfort my daily routines gave me.
Anytime I went to campus early in the morning, I would stop at Dunkin for an iced coffee and breakfast sandwich. Then, I would walk to the Energy Commons, start finishing assignments for the day, and eat my breakfast. I have eaten over a hundred breakfast sandwiches in that room over the years, and they came to represent consistency and comfort.
My life changes so rapidly since graduation, forcing me to constantly adjust. Over the past few months, I have missed MIT for several reasons–friends, faculty, resources. But I also miss the comfort of my routine sometimes. I miss my breakfast sandwiches.