There’ve been several times when I felt like I didn’t really fit in at MIT.
- I nearly fell asleep during a Star Wars marathon. It wasn’t a result of sleep deprivation. I was bored out of my mind. The same thing will happen with Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, or pretty much any other science fiction or fantasy movie or series of movies. Or books. I remember the night when I was assigned an excerpt from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in my reading textbook in elementary school and being convinced that it was the most boring thing I’ve ever had to read for school. For some reason, the whole sci-fi/fantasy world has never excited me.
- I don’t like robots. Well, most of them are okay. The ones which for some reason look like people (vain creators perhaps?) creep me the heck out! But I’m sure if anyone is learning a lot from robots, it’s my (perhaps ‘geekier’) peers at MIT….
- I don’t come from an academic family. “80s are good enough,” my grandma once said to me in high school. Back in the early 1930s in the mountains of Puerto Rico, my grandma stopped going to school after 8th grade, though she was an awesome speller and can still multiply and divide just fine in her almost-senile 90 year old age. My aunts graduated from high school and went the vocational route, eventually to secretarydom and cosmeticianland, while my mom dropped out of high school and earned a GED at 17. So I’m a first-generation college student, yay! But I feel like many of my friends have doctors, businesspeople, professors or scientists for parents (or aunts or uncles or siblings), and I find that I can’t really relate to that at all, and perhaps they can’t really relate to me either.I’m not used to having lofty career dreams because all I wanted is to have any job, and not live in the projects. Now that I’m going to graduate MIT in a year I feel like I should be aiming higher.. :P
Some ways I feel right at home here. :)
- I want to study Urban Planning. I decided this relatively recently (too late for me to major in 11 now, but wish me luck on getting a minor!). I particularly think it’d be really cool if I could help transform the concept of public housing in the United States. (I have finally found the way I want to change the world!) :D But first I need to a Master’s degree, and others seem to consider MIT the best (#1) Planning school in the country. Do you think I could get into MIT.. again?
- The hall I lived on has its own wiki. And an IRC channel. “MIT is the closest you can get to living in the Internet,” my hallmate once told me. And here, at least on 2E in East Campus but probably most other places too, IT IS SO TRUE. Love. It. So. Much.
- MIT likes anime just as much as I do! XD In the fall, Prof. Ian Condry teaches a whole class about anime within the context of transnational media and culture (I highly recommend it to otaku and non-otaku alike!). It’s truly interesting taking on anime as a scholarly subject! Oh, and MIT’s anime club boasts one of the largest anime libraries in New England. Needless to say, this makes me really happy. ^_^
- I know red tape (bureaucracy) won’t get in my way at MIT. This school is small enough and well-staffed enough that I can usually get things done and do what I need to do. Mostly I can speak for the Financial Aid Office, but I also feel at ease when it comes to contacting staff in my department/school, at Medical, at Student Support Services, and so on. Lack of long lines and waits are good! The hardest part is waking up before 5 (you’ll see what I mean once you get to college).
I am just one happy profile out of many different ones at MIT. All I want is for no one to be reluctant about attending MIT due to personality, because sometimes you can find unexpected things here. :)