I am a chemistry major, and that was a mistake. Chemistry is good, but the MIT chemistry department is neither friendly nor flexible. I have asked the chemistry department for many things over the years, and they have always said no. Questions I have asked include: Can I get help in a class, can I take an independent study, can I get a research job, can I study this really interesting thing, can I rearrange my schedule like this? The answer was always "no" or "we can't help you." At this point, I feel ashamed and guilty every time I ask a professor or department administrator for anything, and I am unsurprised when they say no. Often, the reason given for inflexibility or not helping their students is "if we did this for you, we would have to do it for everyone." The best comeback I can think of is "you SHOULD do it for everyone. X other department does this for everyone!" This argument hasn't worked yet.
IAP- the Independent Activities Period, happens every January and during this month regular classes are not held. Instead, this is the time when students can do cool things like make a cool project, participate in a less academically rigorous class, study even more intensely than usual in order to complete an academically rigorous class, do some research with a professor, or just hang out. The dorms do not close. You are not forced out during Spring Break or Winter Break or IAP. For an additional housing fee you can stay over the summer. There are early returns if you need to be back before term and rush actually start.
I love this place, but you have to really love a challenge, and enjoy an intense, nerdy atmosphere, to survive. It's really not a matter of absolute intelligence, or ability to pass a certain test; it's about wanting to learn, getting up in the middle of the night to look up some fact that's been nagging you, seeing--and saying out loud--the physics flaws in a fast food commercial, and knowing somewhere deep down that no matter how much a particular problem set tortures you or the tests seem impossible, it's the course or the topic that you hate, not the learning itself.
Even though MIT offers world-class education like many top tier schools, this is only one side of the school's character. The true value of the institute lies in the opportunities it provides for students to come together to do amazing things. It offers the most expansive and in-depth array of research projects for undergraduates, and provides research for students to create on their own. MIT is very diverse and accepting of new ideas, which lets even freshmen participate in groundbreaking work.
MIT is the best and foremost an engineering school in the world. In this place, you can be your geeky self and anything and people still accept you for who you are. Academics are very important, but having fun also counts as well! We play and work hard like no other schools. I also like how MIT is committed to addressing the world's most pressing issues in every aspects, even beyond the engineering and hard sciences (we even do have a strongly committed public service department!)
You can do anything here. That's what I love about this place. If you can handle 10 classes, you can do it (no increased tuition). You wanna be involved in clubs, you can do that. You don't see a club you're looking for? You can start your own. The tradition, the cultures of the east side and the west side, it's all something very special. ILTFP.
HIgh-caliber education at one of the best schools in the world. The school is fairly small, so although faculty are well-known and extremely pressed for time, they are accessible to meet with students. This school has mostly taught me how to learn and provided me with one-of-a-kind opportunities.
Going to MIT is the best decision i've ever made. if you are given the opportunity, you should definitely at least come visit and see if you like it. there is definitely room for every type of person here, and anybody who works hard enough can survive.
This school has a great engineering program, with lots of emphasis on hands-on learning. In addition, the school is known for the random, intersting personalities of its students.
MIT is an incredible place, but it is starting to feel stifling. The MIT bubble can be difficult to break out of, but the rewards you get from your years at MIT will be great.