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The opportunity to do hands-on research is the best thing about MIT. The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program provides...
The opportunity to do hands-on research is the best thing about MIT. The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program provides many undergraduate students a chance to get involved in current research projects and network with professors and graduate students. One thing I would change are the dim lights in the dormitories. They are not conducive to positive thinking when it's 2am and you are still trying to finish your problem set. I love the size of my school because it's not large enough to get lost nor small enough to lose one's sense of privacy. Most of my time on campus is spent at the student center since it has food, computers, televisions, space to meet with study groups, pretty much anything you need. Between Cambridge and Boston there are so many schools and events occurring that I would most definitely categorize this area as a college town. The biggest controversy I've seen on campus was Professor Sherley's hunger strike. Professor Sherley felt that his denial of tenure was racially biased and after his petitions were also denied, he decided to go on a hunger strike in front of the school. I think there is a lot of school pride, but it is not very apparent at first. The pride comes from the extreme workload we all survive and the feeling that we earn our grades in a way that we feel Harvard students do not. One thing that is unusual about MIT is that everything has a number such as course 6 corresponding to the electrical engineering and computer science major and building 1 corresponding to the civil engineering building. The most frequent student complaints revolve around the workload. The joke here is that of the three S's (sleep, social life, and school), you can only have two at MIT.
I have not had a lot of experience with MIT groups. I was a member of the MIT Muses, a female acappella group. I occasionally attended a Black Student Union or Black Women's Alliance meeting. The Black Women's Alliance has a retreat every semester and I attended once. It was a great experience. Honestly, I do not think there is a certain kind of student that would feel out of place at MIT. There are all kinds of groups on campus and if a student is like me, he/she does not have to get too involved to feel part of the campus. Students wear a range of things from pajamas to jeans and t-shirts to more fashionable attire. Different types of students do interact although there is somewhat of a division along racial lines when it comes to the dormitories. Students are from everywhere. There is a large international population but the majority of students come from within the United States. Students come from diverse financial backgrounds. I think most MIT students have a middle class background. Students are politically aware and predominantly left wing. Students rarely talk about how much they'll earn one day.
MIT is a lot of work, but it is worth it in the end!
The stereotypes about MIT itself are very true. However, the students come from a vast range of backgrounds and while we all love to learn, most of us also love to live.
Some professors know my name. Those are the professors that I actually made an effort to know. My favorite class was Artificial Intelligence because I enjoyed the material and the workload was bearable. My least favorite was computer engineering systems because it was a lot of writing and not very interesting. Class participation depends a lot on the class. It is not very common in a lot of my classes because of the lecture style. However, I have definitely had several classes where it was encouraged. MIT students definitely have intellectual conversations outside of class, sometimes to a fault. Students work together a lot which makes the environment less competitive. The most unique class I took was Hip Hop. My major is Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and my department is one of the largest in the school. My department is very supportive and I love my major. MIT's academic requirements are not too bad and are for the most part necessary for one's major. The education is definitely geared more toward learning than just getting a job.
Whether or not students leave their doors open depends on the dormitory and the section of the dormitory. However, for the most part, people do leave their doors open. Athletic events are not really popular. Theater is somewhat popular. The dating scene exists and there are several MIT couples. I met my closest friends through preview weekend before I came here and through classes. If I am awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I'm trying to finish a problem set that is due later that day. Since people work so hard, they party hard. I do not drink and I find several things to do on Saturday nights that do not involve drinking. Off campus I go to events at other colleges, a lounge, or the movies.
The stereotypes about MIT are that it is an extremely selective school and that it is the best for engineering. The stereotypes about its students are that we are all reclusive nerds that are only interested in school.
The best thing about MIT is the opportunities that arises from being an MIT student. Being an MIT student opens doors to plac...
The best thing about MIT is the opportunities that arises from being an MIT student. Being an MIT student opens doors to places you would never imagine, but graduating from MIT means the sky is the limit. One thing I would change about MIT is the cliques or groups that people tend to form. Even within the Black community at MIT, there is a separation between African-Americans, Carribeans, and Africans. I think there is strength in numbers and expanding our network of students enables us to know who we can go to for help and support when we are struggling with various subjects and problems. I think MIT is the right size. When you tell people you go to MIT, you can get different reactions depending on the person. Some people, mostly adults are surprised and impressed. Some are doubtful, but most are really impressed. When you tell a student from another school, they are also usually surprised. Although, sometimes people are under the impression that MIT students think they're better than everyone else, which at least I don't believe. While MIT is in Cambridge, which also where Harvard is, it is only across a bridge into Boston where there are many, many colleges. I would definitely say Boston is a college town. I think MIT administration is good. Students are very independent and aren't given many rules or restrictions , so in that sense it is nice not to have strict administration. There is school pride in the sense that everyone is proud to be and MIT student. It's especially nice when you go out to other places. There are many things unusual about MIT. People make liquid nitrogen ice cream, make DNA strands in through the middle of a stairwell, play tetris on buildings, and drive robots through hallways. There are plenty of unusual things here.
I am a part of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Black Women's Alliance (BWA), and Black Students' Union (BSU) at MIT. For me, it is great to have a group of people who are just like you which is a new experience for me. NSBE is great because it is a professional group of black engineers where you can take advantage of internship and career opportunities that may not have been presented to you otherwise. BWA and BSU are great for the social aspect. You have a group of students who can relate to issues or problems you may be having who support you. A student who is not willing to step out of the box or ask for help would feel out of place at MIT. As I said before, there are many different personalities at MIT, but people learn the importance of talking to each other and finding those whose strengths are their weaknesses. Most students wear jeans and t-shirts to class. People don't really dress up. Different types of students do interact, especially when working on psets. Students are from everywhere. There is no one place. You have domestic as well as international students. Students are relatively politically aware. I know people who have gone to rallies that have been in Boston and we keep up with the presidential primary votes and counts. The campus is predominantly left. This could be where I live, but a lot of people are liberal. Then again, this is Boston, so the majority of the city is left.
Some of the stereotypes are accurate like everyone is smart. Others like everyone is a geek, likes computers and Asian is not true at all.
If you want your professor to know your name, all you have to do is approach them after class and introduce yourself. Freshman year is different because everyone is taking general requirements, so the class sizes are large, but as you go through MIT and get into the specific majors, the class sizes decrease. My favorite class is American Literature because it is based mostly on discussion. It is interactive and interesting and the least stressful of all my classes. My least favorite class is definitely physics. The lectures are two hours long and the homework assignments (problem sets-aka psets) are very difficult. Students here study often. Rather, we do work almost every night of the week. Some people, like me, like to set time off to simply not do work and do something fun. For me, this is usually Friday night. I will not lie though, there is a lot of work to do and it is challenging. Class participation depends on the class. Physics, you have to answer questions every once in a while, so it's a little more interactive than calculus class where you sit in a lecture hall and listen for an hour. MIT students most definitely have intellectual conversations outside of class. It can be very common to hear people discussing classes, technology, or random intellectual things in general. Students at MIT are not as competitive as you might think. Students are much more collaborative than in high school where it was all about competing against everyone else to get into college. Here, it is all about working together to make it to graduation, and you will have to work together to make it. My major is chemical-biological engineering which is has one of the heaviest course loads at MIT. I haven't taken any classes in my major yet, but it will be an interesting four years. The fact that my major includes a large portion of biology classes while teaching me chemical engineering attracted me to the major because I love biology, and wanted to major in something related to it that was more hands-on. I don't spend time with professors outside of class unless I am going to office hours. I do interact with a few administrators though. I feel MIT's academic requirements to be challenging, but they prepare you well for what's ahead, especially if you're interested in grad school or a career in the sciences and engineering. The education at MIT is geared towards learning for its own sake, but more than amply prepares you for a job.
Students in dorms do leave their doors open when they're in. The part of the dorm I live is very social. We go into and out of people's rooms and enjoy each others company. Athletic events at MIT are not very popular. People will go out to see a play or other events in the auditorium sometimes though. I just went to see a dance show by one of our dance groups this weekend and it was really good. People date, of course. There is dating within the school as well as with students from other campuses. That's a great thing about Boston. There are plenty of other campuses around. I met my closest friends by being roommates with them. If I'm awake at 2AM on a Tuesday, I am studying for an exam, doing a pset, or both. Sometimes, I may just be talking to friends. As far as traditions/events every year, there are too many to list. My favorite is Campus Preview Weekend (CPW), which is when accepted students come for four days to experience life on MIT's campus. Even though, I have yet to experience this as an MIT student, I am very excited and really enjoyed taking part in it last year. People party every weekend or so. There's usually plenty going on over the weekend and everyone is ready to relax a little bit. Last weekend, I went to a dance show and a comedy show. They were really good. Since I don't drink, I find plenty to do over the weekend that doesn't involve drinking. Admittedly, I prefer a calm, relaxed weekend to one spent partying. I usually hang out with friends, go to a movie, or play games. There is plenty of stuff in Boston to do off campus from visiting other campuses to shopping to going to dinner.
There are many stereotypes associated with people at MIT. Some of which I have found to be accurate in general and others that aren't. The stereotype that everyone who comes here is geeks, is far from the truth. Geeks walk around with pocket protectors staring at computer parts and being awkward all of the time, at least from my understanding. I have yet to see anyone like that. MIT is home to many different personalities and there is somewhere for everyone to fit in. We have frats, sororities, independent living groups, cultural houses and regular dorms. Another stereotype is that everyone here is obsessed with computers. Although there are plenty of people who are interested in computers and in fact Electrical Engineering/ Computer Science (aka Course 6)is very popular, people major in a variety of other subjects. I am majoring in biological engineering. The stereotype that everyone is Asian at MIT is not true. MIT does have a diverse campus and you are sure to have friends of many different races and ethnicities. One stereotype I have found to be true is that people at MIT are very smart. While people have their weaknesses and few are good at everything, MIT is a place where you truly recognize the potential of the human brain including your own.
Best thing - surrounded by amazing people 1 thing I'd change - segregation of races in living groups size just right Peopl...
Best thing - surrounded by amazing people 1 thing I'd change - segregation of races in living groups size just right People are impressed/surprised In my dorm College down yes administration? I don't notice them I don't know controversy People have love/hate relationships with this school MIT is full of smart people, but they're pretty humble I'll always remember orientation Saferide isn't on time or kicks people off...I'm pretty happy (other than the work)
My professors know my name (most of them). My favorite class is kind of a part of some classes. I love the labs of Course 3, very helpful with understanding material and it's nice to not always listen to lecturers. Class participation is very common. Intellectual conversations...I would say that's rare. People compete against themselves usually...sometime there are those who compete against others, but not common. My most unique class was 3.094, we got to build a replica of an Incan bridge, life size! No time with professors outside of class. Academic requirements are just right. Geared toward learning how to do things so you can do anything...so maybe for both.
Nerdy, no social skills, stink, weird,
The best thing about MIT is the huge diversity of people here. There are students here from all over the world and it's a lea...
The best thing about MIT is the huge diversity of people here. There are students here from all over the world and it's a learning experience to get to know about how other students work and live when they're not from your big city / small town. Also, the professors are pretty a-ma-zing here. They definitely live up to the hype and then some. Also another plus: the most competitive thing about MIT is getting in. Once you're in, everyone is so helpful and willing to help you with whatever problem (homework or real life) may come up. Thing I'd change? I think it'd be great if we had a "reading period" to prep for finals, like Harvard does. It would make it less stressful for sure. But then again, I like getting out earlier, and I would probably blow all of that gained time doing something not related to studying for finals. So I would change the shuttle times. It gets unreliable sometimes and it makes me late for class. Pretty annoying. This school isn't huge. I personally think it's a great size. I know a good amount of people in my class (year), and it never feels overwhelming. But there's enough people to where you can blend in the crowd, if that's your thing too. Great size. When I say I go to MIT, I get the "omG you LIEZ" response. Then I get the "whoa, so that must mean you're a genius" response. I don't lie and I'm no genius, there's still tons left for me to learn. MIT keeps whatever ego I might have in severe check. Just as soon as it starts to creep out, here comes a test grade, or here comes an impossible problem set. So while responses are usually very flattering and all, and it does make me proud, I don't let it get to my head. I've done very well here so far with this mentality, and by the off-chance that you're reading this and you're a valedictorian at your high school, I'll tell you this now to save you tears later. You being valedictorian at your high school means crap here. You pulling straight A's in every class you ever took means even more crap here. You'll be overwhelmed like you've never been before. You'll have to (gasp!) ask for help with your work. No one will care how many AP's you took in high school. You'll more than likely fail a test or two (if you're lucky, only a test or two) before you graduate. Guaranteed. But how do you respond when you do? That's the most telling part of whether or not you belong here. I wasn't a valedictorian at my high school, but my high school was tops in the state and I was above average there. It's translated very well to MIT. My transcript would prove that easily - high school and college. Advice: come in with a clean slate and a humble attitude, and with a killer work ethic, and you'll be amazing. It's not impossible to get A's here. Hard, sure, but not impossible. Most of my time on campus I'm just hanging out in my dorm working there. Or I'm in my department's lounge working with other aero/astro masochis-- erm, students. :) If you looked up "college town" in the dictionary (wouldn't that be something?) you would probably find a miniature Boston map next to it. Boston decreases by a quarter million in population over the summer. I'll leave that explanation up to you. MIT's administration is very good in my opinion. They have to deal with so much crap, and yet they do it pretty seamlessly for the most part. When I came back for my sophomore year, I had changed my mind about my major, and the switch wasn't hard at all. It's all very smooth for the most part, never had a problem. The biggest recent controversy here?... Probably the thing with Marilee Jones last year. There was a lot of disappointment with how that all went down, and a lot of people I knew were sad that MIT had to let her go. But such is life sometimes... School pride, it depends. I think we're all proud to be here, but with sports? Personally I don't think our sports are advertised that well. I never know when there are any games. Makes it hard to "show off" my school pride. But you definitely see a lot of MIT gear being worn all the time. That has to count for something, right? Something unusual about MIT: the architecture. Some of it is just absolutely awesome (the Dome in particular is a terrific sight on a beautiful day, especially across Memorial Drive). Some of it is weird (Simmons, Stata, Kresge). But at least we keep it interesting, and we don't have boring little red brick buildings that are all indistinguishable from each other... cough, Harvard, cough. :) One experience I'll always remember: frat party hopping with my girls freshman year. Great times. Also, nothing spells bonding like working until 5-6 in the morning on a problem set, then taking a stroll at that time to go turn it in (and still seeing some people up doing who knows what). Most frequent student complaints? Having to write essays for humanities classes. Well, what do you expect? We're freaking MIT students. Much love for those majoring in humanities though. You guys have all my respect.
We're nerds in the sense that everyone here is extremely academically gifted and for the most part people take pride in their work. However, we're definitely not antisocial and there's a huge hybrid of different kinds of people here. You can definitely find your place, and make it so that you have a fun time and thoroughly enjoy "the college experience." For being so fast paced, there is a very relaxed and cool atmosphere here. We also throw pretty good parties and at the end of the day, we're still college kids and you'll find others who are "normal" like you, the definition of "normal" being your own. You'll find them though, guaranteed!
Some professors know my name, some don't. But that's mostly on each individual student to make that relationship happen. For the most part, profs are very approachable and friendly. I'm working on improving myself in this regard. My favorite class that I'm taking this semester is my Bioethics class. A class that debates issues like abortion, active and passive euthanasia, and issues in morality when it comes to things like cloning and the such - it's a very cool class that makes you really think about some issues that you probably only glance over. Some other really good classes I've taken: a Comparative Media Studies class featuring professional wrestling (I got to meet JR and Mick Foley, how awesome is that? Mick even signed my book and let me take a picture! very cool), my psychology class last year was great, especially after AP Psych, and I also thoroughly enjoyed the intro calculus classes here. Yes, I'm a math nerd, and proud of it. Least favorite class: biology. I hate biology. Sorry if you like it - someone has to. Just not me. But it's a core requirement here so I'm currently in it. Sigh. How often do students study? I can't speak for everyone, but I hit the books at least 4 days a week, most of the time 5 or 6. I take the weekends light (in other words, we just got Rock Band in my dorm and now my schedule's been rearranged a little bit). Anyways, I need to be more productive. Like reading up on aerodynamics instead of rambling on this site, for one. Class participation isn't great but it's not horrible. Eventually people start to open up, it's not that big of a deal here. We most definitely have intellectual conversations outside of class. Not all the time, but we do talk about ideas. It's interesting to hear what other people have to say about something like String Theory. We definitely engage the material on our own. That's not ALL we talk about but sometimes it's cool to see what other people are learning and to expand your own mind a bit. Are students competitive? Of course, but mostly with each other. It's a very helpful atmosphere here. Extremely helpful. Most unique class I've taken was my pro wrestling class. We looked at the history and evolution of pro wrestling and had lots of speakers come in to talk to us. Great times. I'm currently in aero/astro engineering. It's a great department, very intense though. The workload is definitely hard, and not for the weak. Our intro class weeds out pretenders, as well it should -- it's a 24-unit class that fuses four disciplines together under one subject. You better believe it's hard as hell. I love it though. It's definitely for me. The people in it are also very down to earth and very chill, and so we all slave away together. I personally love MIT's academic requirements (except for the bio part, because I hate bio). I think it gives a solid technical foundation for you, even if you go to some humanities major (there's nothing wrong with that, we have good offerings). The core classes in particular are awesome because you take them your freshman year with all your classmates, and you make friendships that will stand for a long time that way. The thing MIT gives you (besides a shiny brass rat and a piece of paper that flies a long way) that I find the most useful is the ability to learn and adapt to whatever situation comes up in front of you. We're problem solvers in one way or another, and we learn how to handle things when they get overwhelming, and we do it with a level head since MIT has beaten the ego right out of us. I think that's almost more important than the actual formulas and all of those things; we learn how to think here, and you can't put a price tag on that.
Nerds who study all the time. Severely antisocial. Don't know how to lighten up and have a good time. Not "normal" students.
The best thing about MIT is the tremendous amount of resources that being an MIT student brings. Last year, I had a nobel lau...
The best thing about MIT is the tremendous amount of resources that being an MIT student brings. Last year, I had a nobel laurate lecturer in my introductory physics class and a professional witness for my class on New Orleans. As a freshman, I had the opportunity to participate in a UROP (Undergraduate Research on Oppurtunities) in my department (Brain and Cognitive Sciences). If I could change one thing about MIT, I would improve campus dining. Currently, the few dorms that have dining on-campus only serve dinner and that is basically between 5 to 8PM. When the dining halls are not open, there are few options in the Student Center. Although the Student Center recently improved to add Subway, the quality of the food is nowhere near where it should be. MIT is the perfect size. The entire campus is accessible via the various shuttles. When you tell people you go to MIT, people either automatically think taht you are some sort of super genious or the classic... "MIT... what's that..... Michigan Institute of Technology..... Oh... So It's like FIT." I spend most of my time in my dorm, either working on psets or just hanging out with my friends. The Boston/Cambridge area is definitely a college town with schools such as Harvard College, Boston University and Boston College in the area. MIT's administration is really good. The deans are available to counsel and talk to students. The biggest most recent controversy was the incident with Professor Shirley. There was a lot of controversy as to the reason why he was denied tenure from MIT.Some say the incident was race related. There is a lot of school pride, mainly around academics and just love for the school. I think that everyone basically has a love-hate relationship with MIT. A big thing on campus is IHTFP, which doubles as I have truly found paradise and I Hate this F-ing Place. People generally do not have pride in athletics. One unusual thing about MIT is all the different types of people that are at MIT. There are two main cultures: East Campus and West Campus. In East Campus, you can do everything from building a roller coaster to having a steer roast. West Campus, is where the more traditional college students stay. In addition, each dorm on West Campus has its own individual culture. One experience I will always remember is getting kicked off the Saferide with my friends because we were being too loud. The most frequent student complaints center around campus dining.
There is something for everyone at MIT. There is not one set of dress for MIT students. Some people do not even come to school with shoes in the winter. Not all students interact. There is some splitting between the East and West Side of Campus. If there were four different students there would be the brainy kid who designed his own rocket at nine, the kid from East Campus, the athletic kid and the sorority girl. Students come from all over the country and the world. Students come from all types of financial backgrounds. Students are generally humble and never talk of how much they will earn one day.
In general, these stereotypes are not accurate. Although the workload can seem excessive at times, MIT students know how to use their weekends. The motto at MIT: "Work hard... party harder." Friday night, the frats have parties and many people get off campus and explore Boston. Most MIT people are social or can at least function in social environments.
Every type of club that you imagine exists at MIT. We have a Juggling Club, A Beef Lover's Club, and a Carribean Club. I am currently social chair of the Black Women's Alliance. As social chair, I have planned many events. MY favorite on was a mangeant that was held last semester. This was our first event of this kind. Each dorm has a separate culture. In some dorms, people leave their dorms open. In my dorm, people generally leave their dorms open and are very social. Athletic events are generally not popular at MIT. MIT is a Division III school. Needless to say, most people do not go to MIT for athletics. Guest speakers are popular within the various fields. Theatre is not too big, but there are definitely opportunities to participate in drama and the theatre arts. Since I have been at MIT, I was in two plays, "Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom" and " The Vagina Monologues." Dating in general is not a big thing at MIT. Some people do it, but being single is definitely accepted here. I met my closest friends in a pre-college program that I did at MIT, called Project Interphase. If I am awake at 2AM on Tuesday, I am most likely working to finish my problem set. Each year during Campus Preview Weekend, there is an exchange of hacks between MIT and CalTech. The best hack happended during my CPW when MIT captured CalTech's cannon and brought it back to MIT. People party fairly often. The frats generally have parties every weekend. Last weekend I performed in the Vagina Monologues. On a Saturday Night, you can go bowling out to karaoke, watch a movie, or go to a dancing party on or off campus.
People think that MIT is a really nerdy place. The work is really hard. Most people think that there is a significantly larger male population at MIT. MIT students are thought of as being geeky and socially akward.
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