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Wandering Through The Tunnels (And Why You Should Too)

by Nathaniel Waterman

It was the second day of Splash, and I was staring up at the dome of building 7. I had some time to kill before my first class, so I began to wander.

I came across a some papers taped to the wall, which claimed to be an unconventional tour of MIT. With nothing better to do, I followed the string as it slithered away from the construction-paper sign. It led me through a few buildings, occasionally ascending onto the wall to provide a fact or explanation by way of more papers taped alongside it. By the time I checked my watch, I had followed this tour deep into the labyrinth of MIT.

My watch indicated that I had five minutes to get to class. I glanced at my schedule – my first course of the morning was a two-hour lecture on what promised to be a thoroughly dry subject. I decided that this string would be a lot more fun than listening to someone talk for a hundred minutes, so I continued through the innards of MIT.

I could describe my wonderful journey from that point on, but I’ll summarize to save your time and mine: I poked my nose into every unlocked door I could find, on the highest and the lowest floors, and it was amazing. I found charming workspaces, concrete tunnels, nooks, crannies, overlooks, and all manner of secret, out-of-the-way places. I found a rolling office chair by a picture window, and pondered life as I watched cars and hurried people rush by beneath, cowering under the rain. These were the most serene two hours of my life.

I encourage you, during your next Splash experience, to do as I did. Stare at the pits and cracks in the concrete walls. Contemplate some piece of hidden architecture, or find an unexpectedly cozy spot. Recline in an out-of-the way bench.

Wander without the shackles of strict time-blocks around your wrists. Be free, at least for an hour or two.

This post’s author also shared some of the pictures he took on his wanderings around MIT. You can view them in Some photos from my Splashing on The Ripple.

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