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MIT student blogger Ben O. '19

1st Year at MIT by Ben O. '19

Everything there is to know about my first year here

Hey guys, I first want to start off by apologizing for not being around recently. However, I will make it up to you guys over this summer and into the next year. I have a ton of plans to make sure you guys know what’s going on both in my life and in MIT at general! (and one day I will get a camera so these videos won’t have such terrible quaility lol).

So just in case you don’t want to watch the entire video here are a few thumbnails on different subjects!
Classes- 2:14
Bio- 3:20
Chinese- 6:10
Math- 10:25
living- 13:25
cooking- 14:50
PE- 18:00
UROP- 20:00
Chinese summer culture program- 25:22
Finals/general tips- 27:30

So if you decided you don’t want to watch the video I do want to write a little bit more about what my first year here was like. In the video I skipped explaining a few classes that I took this past year, so I want to explain those a little bit more here.

So, one of the classes that I feel I did really enjoy here was 5.111, fundamentals of chemical principles. I think the thing I really enjoyed about this class was its ability to make sure you didn’t feel like you were just retaking AP chem. For me I feel like there were a lot of concepts that I had at least looked at before, but almost none of them in as much detail as we looked at in class here. I think by taking AP chem before it did help me as far as being able to recognize concepts, but I do feel that even if you hadn’t taken AP chem you would not feel left out. The class has a nice balance of new information combined with enough old information that I never felt too lost.

This year I also took 8.01 and 8.02. Though they are both physics I think I looked at each one in a completely different way. 8.01 I think I felt I had done before in AP Physics C as well as the fact that it was Pass no Record so I did not spend a lot of time studying for that class. However, as usual that was a terrible idea. At the end of the first semester I had to scramble a lot to make sure I could keep up with the class, and because of that I feel like I did not enjoy the class as much as I would have given that I had just started studying from the very beginning. However, when 8.02 did come around I think I was more ready, I knew what to expect and because of that not only did I find the class to be a little bit easier I think I just enjoyed it more overall!

Lastly, I had my CI-H which I actually loved a ton! It was basically just a writing class on how to write an autobiography. So we for every class there was a few pages we would have to read from different autobiographical authors, and then we would talk about them in class. As with most CI-H classes, we were required to write three papers that totaled to 5000 words. I think the class was nice because of the fact that I had so much room to really write about anything, and for the most part I feel that my best writing comes when I really care a lot about the subject. I obviously care a lot about the events that have occurred in my life time so I feel some really good writing came out of that class.

This year I also joined a Christian group on campus. ACF or Asian Christian Fellowship, how I ended up in that club as an obviously not Asian student is a wholeeee story on its own (Hopefully I can write a blog about it sometime soon). Either way, in joining the club I think I was able to make a very good group of friends there as well as continue to follow my religious beliefs. The group is super open to anyone and are probably some of the most genuine people I have met since coming to MIT. For the most part I spend about three days with ACF, one on Sunday going to church, another on Wednesday going to my small group, and the third on Friday going to large group. From time to time we also just go get food together or go to the movies, but all in all it is an amazing group and if anyone else would like a little more on what the religious groups are or what it is like being Christian on campus I can definitely do a blog post on that too!

When it comes to just what I did in my free time there was a ton of things to do. I was on TV once (again a whole other story in its own right), there are parties literally every Friday that I would go to maybe once every other week or so, going to the movies was a pretty popular past time, and then there were things like going to dinner or China town. All in all, I feel like when I had time to do these things I had balance. It felt good to do these things because I felt like I was not working 24/7. I would say free time definitely would arise the most on Saturdays. Fridays, I either went to a party or was just too tired from the week to want to go out and do something. However, on Saturday I felt that I had enough time to both get some psets done, and still do something else. I would like to say that I had free time after an exam, but more often than not I would spend so much time studying for that one exam that I would get behind on psets. So, after the exam I would have to hop on getting the psets that I had fallen behind on done. Either way, it is always possible to be working on something at any given time, but if you consciously try to put aside some time to be free it is definitely doable.

So yeah, that is about all I have for you guys on my first year. Think of this blog as kind of a predraft. If there is something you want some more of I can definitely try to add it, and if I don’t add it I will either respond to you on a one on one or maybe write a separate blog post for the subject!!! Have a great summer guys and see you all soon!!!