From Day 0 to Chapter 1

Author: Juji

I chose the worst possible two days to write my blog posts.

Reading back over the blog post I wrote on Day 0, it was horrible. I didn’t take any pictures from that day so I had to scramble for pictures from pre-SSP bonding events. I attempted to make up for it by name-dropping people, failing miserably because I knew next to nothing about the people I mentioned. I forgot my teammate’s name while I was writing and had to look for him in the list of names on the Discord server (oopsies Aaron).

Regardless, other people’s more descriptive blog posts soon filled up the page and my heavily simplistic post was soon forgotten.

Here I am now, in almost the exact opposite situation as Day 0. Equipped with dozens of screenshots on my desktop of Zoom highlights, memories with every single person in NMT, and the experience of an (almost) all-nighter with team 7+11, you’d think that words would flow from my fingertips onto this Google Docs like puns stream out of Katrina’s mouth. Yet, this was a task that, like Day 0’s blog post, was doomed to fail from the start. Because there is simply no way to capture the entire experience of SSP in a blog post, no matter how many words I write or pictures I attach.

How can I ever accurately describe the joy I felt when my team completed a pset after working for hours after the work-play block, the laughter I experienced during Jeremy’s recorder rendition of “Country Roads”, or the sadness within me as I saw, for the last time, all 43 people of NMT at once on Zoom during the closing ceremony?

I know I can’t. But I don’t need to write a blog post about the past—the dozens of beautifully written, hilarious, tear-inducing posts prior are more than enough to bring back memories for years to come.

Instead, I want this post to be about our future. We are a group of 36 learners, but more than that, friends. We might not struggle together on our OD again, but we’ll help each other through whatever problems we face; we can always count on each other like “one, two, three”.

To my NMT family (or ONL, CUB, IU, PUR if you’re reading this): I’ve truly enjoyed spending the past five weeks with you, and I’m looking forward to writing the rest of the stories of our lives together.

About me: I’m Justin (Juji), an SSP alumnus.