Look at this:
And maybe even this:
I am utterly in love with this building. Everything from its 90-foot-high atrium to its bamboo forest to its bold colors to its people. This is Building 46, home to all that is Course 9: Brain/Cognitive Sciences. Which, as of January 15, 2010, happens to be my major.
Generally, MIT students declare their major at the end of their first year; however, each December, the registrar sends out letters to some freshmen, offering them Early Sophomore Standing. The freshmen who choose to accept this are, as far as school records are concerned, sophomores. Which means that they no longer have a 57-credit limit for the spring semester, nor do they fall under the A/B/C/No Record grading system that second semester freshmen are privy too. The greatest advantage to Early Sophomore Standing is that if you know what major you want to pursue, you can declare it and be assigned a departmental advisor, who can guide you through the course selection process. There are so many different requirements at MIT (the HASS requirement, Communication requirement, General Institute Requirements, major-specific requirements) that it sometimes becomes slightly confusing.
I know several individuals so far who have elected Early Sophomore Standing. I chose to accept it primarily because I love the Brain/CogSci department here at MIT – the research being done, the classes offered, and the opportunities presented. I applied to MIT with an interest in Course 9, and nothing I experienced first semester did anything to diminish that ambition.
It did feel strange to declare my major. When I walked out of the Course 9 Undergrad Adminstrator’s office on Friday, I was a little too cheerful and smiling a little too much. I finally felt like I was a real college student and that I was going somewhere in this world. I still have a few GIRs left to complete, but after that, I’ll only have to study what I really want to study.
There’s something incredibly satisfying about that.