- Class: Junior
- Major: Other
- Gender: F
- High School: Lexington High School
- Transfer Student: N
MIT is a wild place with intense subcultures. The housing system is somewhat unique and results in strong dorm cultures. Through a prolonged lottery system, new students are given the opportunity to choose one of MIT's many dorms, live there temporarily during resident exploration period, and then opt to either stay or try to lottery into a preferred dorm. Although some students find the process stressful (while others think it's a blast), the opportunity that it gives each student to find a place for him or herself is priceless. On a larger scale, students usually live all four years in their chosen home, resulting in a close-knit community of students who are at least somewhat akin. MIT is generally very hands-off, tends to let students do their own thing. This is an example where it seems to be a good thing. Naturally, there is a flip side. MIT will not take care of you. Where I live, East Campus, we are allowed to do practically whatever we want: paint the walls, do all sorts of crazy electronic projects, etc. However, when it comes to, say, feeding ourselves, we are on our own. There is no communal cafeteria at MIT. Some of the dorms have their own and the meals are subsidized for their residents, but for a resident of my dorm it would not only be inconvenient to eat at Baker Dining, but also financially unsustainable for most. As a result, we are left to scavenge or cook for ourselves. To be fair, it is a point of pride in my dorm to be independent in this way, a love of tough love.
Professors often shock me knowing my name... it is nearly impossible in a lecture of over a hundred, but some professors really make an effort. In particular, I remember Professor Winston, an AI professor who studied a list of names and ID pictures and seemed to know every student's name. Some of the computer science classes are classic, the websites are perfectly set up, the online tutorials are easy to use and helpful, the lecturer is brilliant and funny, the problem sets are interesting, the tests are fair and challenging. 6.001 and 6.004 in particular. My true passion is linguistics and foreign languages, however, so I get most excited in syntax class or during Chinese or Japanese class. Good students probably study a little every day, taking an occasional day off. In HASS classes and in recitations, class participation is common. MIT students banter about all kinds of things on their down time. Most students are not competitive; in fact, it is quite striking when I find someone who is and it always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The majority of us are just trying to learn the material and are not concerned with whether we are better than anyone else. In fact, it is normal to help our friends and classmates whenever we can. I think some of MIT's academic requirements are inappropriate or at least inappropriately complicated; everyone meets with frustration sooner or later.
This question is not particularly applicable. MIT's student body comes from all over the world and includes people of all shapes, colors, sizes, styles, religions, socio-economic backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, political views, interests, attitudes, and directions. To be fair, MIT has a disproportionate number of intelligent students, and I don't think this is an issue that admissions is even looking to correct.
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