It’s August. Campus is already buzzing to life. Those friends who went off to distant lands for the summer are finally coming home, and freshmen are just starting to filter in due to FPOPs or international orientation (safe travels for the rest of you arriving over the weekend!). It’ll be a time for some new adventure before classes start. Boston is to be explored, roller coasters to be built, and all the rush food ever shall be eaten. Easy, fun, interesting. Life will be pretty good ^_^
But this MIT, where the education is likened to drinking from a firehose. As one might suspect, things won’t always be easy. Often enough, you’ll find yourself leaning on your friends. Maybe you’ll miss home, and give your parents a call. But sometimes, you’ll need more resources than those. You might need more than the incredibly awesome How to Get Around MIT guide (free for freshmen!), or the growing Admissions wiki, or a map, or the blogs [insert “You Are Here” sticker]. Maybe it’s not just a problem with your computer or your resume you want to tweak or you don’t understand what in the world we’re saying. No, maybe you’re sick! Or down! Or frustrated with classes! So where do you go?
This entry is meant to enlighten you about just a few of the abundant resources around campus – and is by no means complete. (Current students and cruft, you’re more than welcome to comment on more.)
S^3, in my mind, is the mega-resource. You can go to them for just about any significant issue – and if they can’t help you, they’ll know who can. Are you struggling in classes? Did you catch the flu and miss an exam? Did something major happen in your family that makes life hard? Are you stressed out of your mind? The deans in this office are good to touch base with, making sure you’re doing the right thing.
MIT Medical is our medical facility on campus. Maybe you need a checkup, or to get a prescription filled. Maybe you have the sniffles, or are dealing with the aforementioned flu. Maybe you need help dealing with stress. MIT Medical is a good starting spot for your medical needs while on campus.
Two different links double rainbow! Calling 100 from a campus phone, or (617) 253-1212 from a normal phone, gets you our equivalent of 911. Your call gets answered by the MIT police, who have the advantage of being more familiar with campus and less busy than whatever police force you get if you call 911. In certain medical emergencies (I hear sports injuries are the most common of these calls), you’ll also be connected to MIT’s student-run EMS (they’re fully certified EMT’s – and you can become one, too!).
I am one of these! Basically, a MedLink is a student-trained over-the-counter medical dispensary, a listening ear/shoulder to lean on, and an in-dorm resource-for-even-more-resources. All dorms (across most floors) and many FSILGs have a MedLink. You can find what medications we carry on our website, as well as many other resources if the ones listed here aren’t enough for you :)
So. Many. People.
There are a lot of people at MIT who want to help you, who are willing to help you – though usually, it’s your job to seek them out and let them know what’s up. You have professors and TA’s (teaching assistants) who can spend extra time with you on your classes, you have your department and adviser (maybe your UROP adviser, too) to go to for planning needs and career questions, you have various tutoring services all over the place (ask the department the class is in).
Moral of the story: there are so many resources around here, you’d be quite silly not to go get whatever help you need, when you need it. Even if you’re not sure it’s the right person to ask, they’ll at least help you figure out where you should actually be going. (A careful reader might’ve noticed that the above resources have a lot of overlap in purpose – find the one that works for you.)
MIT is a wonderful, exciting place – but it can get overwhelming, too. The good news is, there are plenty of people here to help ^_^