- Class: Freshman
- Major: Other
- Gender: F
- High School: St. Croix Country Day School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about MIT is it's collaborative atmosphere. There are thousands of students who spent all of high school striving to be the best at everything we did, and then we get to MIT and you just can't survive on your own. Even the most antisocial person can be found at a professor's office hours with other students. P-setting (doing homework) until the early hours of the morning is one of the best ways to get to know people. MIT is a good size. It's not so small that you know everyone, but there are definitely ways to meet and get to know lots of people. It's not so huge that it's overwhelming, but there are places you can go where you won't know anyone, and there are lots of things to get involved with. People have different reactions, depending on whether they know what MIT is or not. Some have said "oh, where's that?" which is amusing. Those who do know, usually are pretty impressed. I spend a lot of time in lounges doing work. Or walking. I do a lot of walking because it's a very spread out campus...and I live in the dorm that is furthest from main campus (besides Fraternities and Sororities). Boston is an awesome college town. A lot of people who graduated from my class in high school are close by (7 out of 42) and there are lots of things to do in the city. MIT's administration could do a little better by it's students. They've lately been making big decisions that effect the students without letting the much less the student body president, much less the student body, what was going on. The biggest recent controversy would probably be the renovation of one of the graduate dorms into an undergrad dorm. However, instead of doing small renovations and making it available to undergrads next term, it won't be available for another two years. They're also adding a dining hall and not putting in any kitchens, a decision made without consulting those who would have to live there. Anything unusual about MIT...pretty much everything. Majors are Courses and they're numbered. All the classes, buildings, and rooms are numbered. We have no real dining plan, which can be frustrating. I'm only a freshman, so I haven't had too many super cool experiences yet, but I'd have to say that walking down the Infinite Corridor in the middle of the night singing the Elephant Love Medley from Moulin Rouge at the top of my lungs will definitely be up there. Most frequent student complaints are about not getting enough sleep, or the administration.
Some do, most don't. Lecture classes are too big for professors to get to know you, unless you go to office hours frequently. There are smaller classes you can take, or seminars, and recitation classes for lectures are smaller than the lectures, so it is possible to get to know some instructors well. My favorite class this semester is my writing class. There are fifteen of us in the class and we meet twice a week. Every class, three or four students read whatever essay they've written for the week and then we critique them. It's a really good class and I feel like I'm learning a lot. My least favorite class is 8.02, Physics II. It should have Calc II as a pre-req, but since that would put a lot of people behind in majors requirements (what with prereq and coreqs and all that), it's a coreq. So a lot of the math we have to do in 8.02, I haven't learned yet. Students study a LOT. Sunday through Thursday, basically I go back to my dorm after classes end and start doing work, and work until 2 or 3am, stopping only for dinner and short study breaks. Class participation depends on the class. In my writing class, for example, there is a lot of participation due to the class size. In my calc class though, since it's a lecture, there is very little participation, but we have recitation twice a week that gives us more of a chance to speak up and ask questions. Physics has a lot of participation because of TEAL (Technology Enhanced Active Learning), the purpose of which is to create more participation. MIT students have conversations about everything outside of class, and intellectual conversations are definitely part of that. Last semester, some friends and I were talking about which is more socially accepted, rape or murder. Students are definitely not as competitive as in high school. There is a lot of collaboration and interest in helping your classmates succeed. The Electric Engineering and Computer Science Department (Course 6) is the biggest, and arguably the hardest, department at MIT. Almost a quarter of students are Course 6 majors, and even students who aren't frequently take Course 6 classes. There are 3 possible majors in 6, 6-1 (just EE), 6-2 (EECS) and 6-3 (just CS). The curriculum for Course 6 was changed over the summer in 2007, so a lot of the traditional Course 6 classes have been revamped or even cut out completely. Some of the GIR's (General Institute Requirements) I think are a little ridiculous. I understand that they want us to be well rounded and all that, but Course 6 majors taking Chemistry or Bio, just doesn't have any purpose.
The student body at MIT is amazingly diverse. I come from a place where the prominent race is black, so it's interesting to meet people from so many different backgrounds and cultures. There are groups for pretty much anything you could want to be in a group for. There are "You are Welcome LGBT" signs all over campus, African, Asian and other ethnicity student groups, Christan, Hillel and Muslim groups, and people from across the country, as well as the world. I don't think there are any kinds of students who would feel out of place at MIT, there really is a place for everyone. Students wear whatever is comfortable. There are people in jeans and t-shirts (even in winter), skirts, ethnic dress from their country of residence, everything! People hang out with people. I don't really know what else to say. When you have stuff in common, or you don't and you just get along really well, you hang out. Table 1: Bunch of gamers - a couple Indian guys, a couple Asians, a grad student from the Virgin Islands, a white guy with a 'fro and a couple girls. Table 2: guy from the ski team and crew, a Course 4 (architecture) girl from California, a Course 16, Gospel choir brunette from Maryland, a blonde Course 6 major, 21M (Music and Theater Arts) minor from the Virgin Islands, a Course 16 Asian boy from Hawaii, and a gay couple. Table 3: one boy surrounded by books, papers, and a laptop. Table 4: group of freshman from one of the wings on a Residence-Based Advising dinner Most students are from the US, but from all over the country and with all sorts of ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds.
The Best Things
It's collaborative and supportive atmosphere
The Worst Things
How much work we're given.