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MIT student blogger Ana V. '15

May we offer you a drink of water? by Ana V. '15

Because you're just so thirsty for what I have to say and all.

Go back to December 16, 2010.

It was just another Thursday night, the 350th day in the 50th week of 2011 and 282 days ago, no big deal. More importantly, it was the day on which early action decisions came out. (Only 23 hundredths of a year for the same time to come around already, yikes!)

I went to an all-girls Catholic high school in the south side of Chicago, you see, and I was still wearing my uniform–polo shirt and plaid kilt–as I danced/ran/frolicked/squawked various versions of the word “yay” around my house after I had opened the web page notifying me that I was accepted to The Institute.

I do often like to speak in analogies, and it has nothing to do with the fact that the word contains my name, I promise. There is, however, one analogy for which I cannot be completely credited. In fact, it’s a rather well-known phrase here: MIT is like drinking from a firehose. Now that I look back on it, that letter was asking me if I was thirsty. Actually, in my case it was more of a conversation, since there’s nothing odd about a mental reply to inanimate objects.

MIT: “May we offer you a drink of life’s water, a water so replenishing and different from what you’ve ever experienced, that it will become a part of you and you will be infinitely quenched and satisfied with things to do, learn, ponder about, and with which to have absolute fun? Look, we even put together this contraption to make it easier!”

Me: :DDDDDD “LIFE WATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

When I found this fire hose water fountain at the Stata Center, I just HAD to take a picture. I’ve been here for only a month, ’tis true, but I can attest to the fact that it IS like drinking from a fire hose. Perhaps to some it may seem menacing–what is life water anyway and why do I want it to such an extreme!? Does this mean that I will never be able to sleep again? Will I have time to do everything I want to? WHAT IS LIFE WATER ANYWAY? Brace yourself. A short description of my weeks here and a whole lot of pictures will probably answer your questions.

Week 1: I live in Burton Conner, and even the very first day I entered my room I felt understood and like I belonged This was namely because my door welcomed me with some pretty relatable stickers:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I got here the week of Aug 21 (a bit earlier than most people) because I did the most wonderful FPOP, the Freshman Leadership Program. This tiny description doesn’t do it any justice, but rest assured it was amazing. There was always something to do, and meeting new people as well as deep thinking about the world in general kept me hydrated. It was life-changing. Also,  Week 1 was also the week I braved a hurricane with a Target bag. Way to be an engineer, right?


Week 2ORIENTATION (a.k.a. Mad-crazy free food all around!) I’m not on a meal plan (because I like to cook), thus it was so nice not having to worry about cooking as I explored around. I did so many things, there is DEFINITELY too much to tell, but I present to you the highlights:


  • Orientation groups met, introduced, played games, etc. The groups were color-coded and had these pretty cool flags to mark their position. When I was looking for my color (blue!), I admit that I felt like I was swimming in a sea of frosh and large, colourful fish! Below is a picture of when it was all empty.

  •  Speaking of fish, we also got to go to the Boston Aquarium as part of the orientation program! It was the perfect time to use my “shark teeth” (which are really just spikes on my bottom row of teeth to keep my tongue from pushing them out) to see if fish would get scared. (They didn’t.) I always use this as a fact when I have to introduce myself with the routine name, hometown, dorm, and fun fact. I also saw an adorable shelled creature that reminded me of THIS. The last thing we did was take photo booth pictures. You might be skeptically thinking, “wow. The aquarium…sounds like fun..” It WAS. Proof:

  • Last, but not least, I was a part of City Days this year, which is basically a day in which freshmen take the time to disperse and volunteer all around the Boston area. It also provides a great way to meet fellow 2015’s! My group helped paint a fence at the Franklin Park Zoo, pictured above. If you ever visit, I hope you remember that MIT students helped paint the fence BEFORE you remember that the movie Zookeeper was filmed there, just saying. :)

Week 3: Consisted of unpacking, venturing Boston to find things I needed, meeting more people, getting ready for classes, more unpacking, discovering that one of my biology instructors also wrote the biology book we’ll be using (!!), getting more free food from various organizations in which I was interested, and getting my side of the room to look something like this:

Week 4/5: These weeks I’ve spent adjusting to MIT classes: 7.012 Intro to Biology, 8.01L Physics I, 18.01 Calculus I, 24.00 Problems of Philosophy, and 12.00 Mission (or Solving Complex Problems). I’ve also joined the MIT Wind Ensemble (MITWE) on trumpet. (More on my classes later.) Before these weeks, I had never used Google calendars in my life. Now I don’t know what I’d do without it, its color-coded glory, and it’s ability to sync with my ipod. Also, I don’t know how I had time to bake brownies, but I fit in somehow! They were oh so good.

So that’s been my very, very brief tour through my weeks thus far here as a student. I hope I didn’t drown you in too many pictures! Whether you believe me or not, I wish I could have told you more. There is ALWAYS something to do here!! (That’s why visiting is so important if you’re considering studying at MIT!) But for those of you that can’t, what do you want to know? And to everyone in general: what would you like to see next on this blog? :D

It’s true. MIT is like drinking from a fire hose, but as Brian  O. posted a while ago, you get so much more than water.

9 responses to “May we offer you a drink of water?”

  1. Chris Ong ('16)? says:

    This is amazing! No liMITs: love it. Can’t wait to be hosed wink

  2. Kirsten L. '15 says:

    I love this blog.
    Mostly because I’m totally hosed at the moment… so I relate to the feeling.
    BUT I had to be the first to comment!!
    (: Can’t wait till next weekend!

  3. Simone says:

    Anaaaaaaaaaaaaa. You’re SOOOOO friggin’ adorable. If you don’t stop being adorable, I’m going to go to Massachusetts and kidnap you!!!!!!!! And I see Einstein!! Yay! He fits so nicely there =)

    Anyhoo, looks like you’re really enjoying “The Institute.” teeheehee. At UofC, we call it “The College.” (Only smarty-pants schools have the right to do that)

    Miss ya, babe <3

  4. Estefania '15 says:

    Sorry, but all I see are plastic bag rain coats, shark teeth, brownies, tongues, and colorful schedules!!! Now that is what college is really about!

    I really do mean that. College is about enjoying the fact that so many random and diverse people are forced to coexist with each other. Yes, there is the academic aspect of college, but what really defines your college experience are the activities and people you walk into, whether it is a totally intentional or just by chance.

    And I must admit, I do feel extremely hosed!
    But I love this soaked feeling!

  5. Abraham says:

    Epic-metter goes Crazy!!

  6. Emad T. '14 says:

    Problems of Philosophy! You’re now my favorite new blogger.

    (I’m a total 24 nerd, taking 24.231 – Ethics – right now.)

  7. José ('17?) says:

    I loved this post, keep them coming.

  8. Kathy '15 says:

    yay MITWE! yay 24.00! yay Burton Conner! i can attest to the fact that your brownies were oh so good :D

  9. JC says:

    I love your posts but honestly I’m just interested in the humdrum, um, problem sets you’re doing and the lectures. Keep up the awesome energy though!