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MIT student blogger Laura N. '09

Hey VMars fans by Laura N. '09

Wallace is Course 2!

Oh my God. I was peacefully watching Veronica Mars last week, when Wallace Fennel exposited that he wants to be a mechanical engineer. And that totally made my day. Engineers rock. Of course, Wallace is failing MechE and then cheated, like an idiot! So of course he got caught, and I’m supremely disappointed in his lack of judgment. Still. Mechanical engineering! So awesome!

On that note, what does everyone think of the new season? I don’t think anything could ever possibly compete with season 1, and I’m just going to have to accept that. Still, I could use a little more snark in my life, you think?

Responses to Comments

Nur asked: Just out curiosity, how does one join RingComm?
Towards the end of your freshman year, the freshman class council will email the class, asking for people who are interested in joining RingComm. Those interested people send in applications, and the class council does some magical process to determine the members of RingComm.

Elizabeth asked: Stupid question: I hear that sometimes when you apply online, you have to keep your essays under the word limit because if you go over it’ll just stop printing at the 500th word. Will that happen to mine? If I have a really good 505-word essay should I just submit it on paper?
Avril said: elizabeth – The MIT online application does not cut you off after 500 words, or at all as far as I can tell. In your MyMIT account, if you go to Section 8 of Part Two, you can view a PDF preview of what your application will look like on paper.

Um…I have never heard of such a thing. 505 words is perfectly acceptable and will not be cut off- just check the pdf preview of the essay before submitting it to make sure everything turned out the way you expected- which you should do anyway!

Shabie asked: Well that really was a good post Laura but from what I have seen, what really matters to these people is academic record especially in the case of international students. I am also an international student from Pakistan. I know people who got into MIT as international students. They really had “not much” in my opinion as compared to the things selection committee sees but an exceptionally good record of academics. Perhaps they do consider that in a country like Pakistan there isn’t much opportunities for students to excel in different areas. Pakistan is very very different from USA. What do you think?
Faizan asked: Moreover, I have also heard that almost “ALL” of international students at MIT have earned some form of regional, national or international distinction.

Well, you’re exactly right that international admissions is super competitive, even more so than domestic admissions. And you’re also right that a large percentage of internationals have really awesome awards and accomplishments, but I certainly wouldn’t say all. Also, of course your academic record is important. No one is saying that MIT students aren’t smart, excellent students. What I’m saying is that there’s a lot more to life than getting all your homework right, and those are the things that will make the difference.

Thuita Maina asked:: I sat for SAT 1 and I messed up in one section in Critical reading – I left out one question and went ahead filling the answer of the question in the space of the question I had left and I went ahead that way. I realised the mistake last minute and I could not correct. I feel I might not score highly in critical reading as I had anticipated. Is there a way MIT admissions officers can get to know about this so that they don’t think I am an international armed with inadequate English?
Yikes! In cases like that, can’t you cancel the score? I think you should have spoken to the proctor at the time, but I guess it’s too late for that. I would definitely explain this on your application, and maybe also contact the collegeboard and see if they have any advice for you.

Rohan Malik asked: I’m Rohan Malik, a science and economics IB kid considering applying to MIT…I really love the sciences, but I’ve heard and read (on your site) stuff that suggest that MIT is sort of high on pressure…. is that true?
Like did you ever get too many physicists in your first year, or feel like everything was academically oriented…that some people were too competitive?
Because I really enjoy working with people who are a lot smarter than I am, but it may just become an overdose if that’s 80% of them proving it all day…it’d be nice if there was a mix of people, some of whom were good at the arts, or stuff that wasn’t academic…. does that happen?
Do you find the group of students friendly and supportive?
I was just wondering what you thought…

Well, first of all, MIT is hard. So is there a lot of pressure? I’d say so. If you’re worried about doing well, and stuck in the middle of a problem set late at night, you will certainly feel a lot of pressure. At the same time, there are plenty of other things to do to occupy your time. People here are good at all kinds of things- music, theatre, sports, random skills like origami. =) You really shouldn’t have a problem finding people with varied interests. Just last night I went to see The Tempest performed by MIT’s Shakespeare Ensemble, and it rocked pretty hard, in my own personal opinion.
Most importantly, people here are not competitive! I promise you I mean it, because that was one of my own biggest concerns about coming to MIT. I went to a pretty competitive high school, and it drove me insane to listen to my classmates argue with our teachers to get 2 points back on a test where they already had a 97. As the saying goes, MIT is so hard that people are too busy trying to survive to worry about impressing each other. Problem sets are usually designed to be collaborative (i.e., professors expect you to work together to do the homework, so they make it appropriately hard). Collaboration is a big theme at MIT. Of course everyone wants to do well, and no one minds beating their ex on an exam, but seriously- if you need help, you can find it. A few weeks ago, a couple of freshmen were up late at night, working on an 18.02 problem set. They asked me a simple question about Matlab, and I soon realized that they were struggling through a problem set that I remember making me utterly miserable just last semester. So I sat down with them and helped them figure it out. (It took a bit of remembering on my part.) The bottom line is, they went to bed several hours sooner than I did the night I had the same pset.

8 responses to “Hey VMars fans”

  1. Adam says:

    Thuita Maina-
    I’m pretty sure that the proctors at the SAT are allowed to leave you alone with your answer packet without the question booklet for a few minutes to correct mistakes like that. You really should have told the proctor.

    Anyway, thanks for the post. Thanks for reaffirming that MIT students are, in general, so helpful.
    And yeah, I know exactly what you mean when you say, “it drove me insane to listen to my classmates argue with our teachers to get 2 points back on a test where they already had a 97.” It’s pretty bad in my highschool as well.

  2. Adam says:

    Heh, you seem to have forgotten to close an italics tag. grin

    Just thought I’d let you know. You probably have noticed anyway, in which case please ignore this post.

  3. faye says:

    “[…] it drove me insane to listen to my classmates argue with our teachers to get 2 points back on a test where they already had a 97.”

    Me too, me too.

  4. Thuita Maina says:


    Thanks for your question to question response. It makes me like your blogs. I MUST GET INTO MIT!

    Thuita Maina

  5. R.E says:

    tell kelly she is the coolest tour guide on the planet!!

  6. Giselle says:

    :-( Ever since I started attending Book Studies on Tuesdays (religious thing…), I haven’t seen a single season 3 episode of VM.

    Buuuuut, I agree. Season one was the bestest (I claim no grammar talent), and VM should have perhaps ended there. Just like Alias should have ended after season 3, but that’s a different story.

    Wallace cheated! :0 Noez! That tidbit is, sadly, the only detail I’ve heard pertaining to this season. And that he wants to do engineering. Hoozah!

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