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MIT student blogger Abby H. '20

71 More Things to Do Before You Graduate by Abby H. '20

the 101 things expansion pack

In a very institvtional gesture of welcome, each incoming MIT student receives a stack of flyers and documents and charts and posters as soon as they set foot on campus. One of these papers is the famous list of “101 Things to Do Before You Graduate.”

POSTER WITH THE 101 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU GRADUATE

photo courtesy everyone’s favorite Shuli J. ’22

While these are nice or whatever, I find them to be a bit generic. Here’s what the list would look like if I wrote it.01 Disclaimer: I am fully aware that some of the ones on my list are also on the official list. The vast majority (the remaining handful courtesy of dear friend Ethan M. '20) of these came out of my brain without consulting the list, so there's bound to be overlap.


  1. Dormspam.02 Translation: to send an email to all the dorm mailing lists, often to advertise an event or club. Never forget to BCC!
  2. Paint (on) a wall.
  3. MIT Confess.
  4. Have someone organically MIT Confess about you. Just don’t write one about yourself because people will be able to tell the difference.
  5. Do a HASS03 Humanites, Arts, Social Sciences reading. It’s good for you.
  6. Take a class that doesn’t count toward any requirements.
  7. Take the minimum number of units04 meaning 36 units or ~3 classes, the minimum to maintain full-time student status and keep that financial aid coming for at least one semester. Find something fun to do with your extra time.
  8. Take a class without having the prereqs for it.
  9. Drop a class 11 weeks into the semester.
  10. Take a selfie with tourists.05 My freshman year, a Korean tourist handed me his camera, and I thought he wanted me to take a picture of him and his friend. Turns out they wanted a picture with me. It was wholesome. I would love to find that photo.
  11. Attempt a Long Distance Relationship.
  12. Break up with your partner from back home.
  13. Give someone accurate directions around campus.06 Had a lot of strangers ask me for directions last semester! Feels good to be identified not just as a child (as is typical) but as someone (maybe a child) who knows how to get places!
  14. Discover a shortcut that gets you to class 1 minute faster.07 I stand by cutting through Briggs Field.
  15. Have your picture/video taken for an official MIT media thing. Experience microfame.
  16. Regret declaring course 6. You’re not going to change it, though.
  17. Convince a freshman to declare course 6. Is it earnest advice? Who knows.
  18. Change your major.
  19. Cancel your meal plan. Come on, you can do better than spending $20 on stir-fry.
  20. Skip a career fair. Come on, you can do better than spending 6 sweaty hours handing pieces of paper to indifferent arms manufacturers and software cultists.
  21. Wake up at exactly 7:55 am to mentally and physically prepare for PE registration at 8. Or write a script08 if you do this I do not want to be your friend to register for you.
  22. Get a free air mattress. Courtesy of the many overnight programs at MIT that rely on students to host off-campus visitors.
  23. Have friends or family over to sleep on your floor. Maybe even on your free air mattress.
  24. Get too excited09 my course 2 bf says that the correct term for this is McMasterbate about something you ordered from McMaster-Carr, Adafruit, etc.
  25. Buy a physical textbook. Experience the weight of knowledge.
  26. Get frustrated at having to ascend or descend a staircase to find your preferred bathroom.
  27. Walk across Harvard Bridge in the middle of winter.
  28. Tell people you go to school “in Boston” when they ask. Maybe because you don’t want to rub it in peoples’ faces, maybe because you don’t want to explain that it is not, in fact, the “Michigan Institute of Technology.”
  29. Go to a Boston sports game. Probably the most cost prohibitive item on this list (unless you somehow score free tickets).
  30. Think about starting/Start a club. 
  31. Think about starting/Start a company.
  32. Think about starting/Start up.
  33. Think about dropping/Drop out. 
  34. Make some quick cash by participating in an experimental trial on campus. The signup sheets for these fill up alarmingly quickly.
  35. Jaywalk Mass Ave. I’m kidding; ;)don’t;) ;)break;) the ;)law.;)
  36. Fall in and out of love with wearing your Brass Rat. There is a noticeable honeymoon phase that a lot of people go through immediately after ring delivery.
  37. Rocky Horror!!!!!!
  38. Go to dim sum WITHOUT your friend who speaks Cantonese.
  39. Develop a strong preference for a local pizza chain.
  40. Set off a fire alarm. Very easy to do if you fry in butter/walk away from the stove often/are generally chaotic.
  41. Get nostalgic about the old MIT.
  42. Develop an attachment to your shitty dorm.
  43. Clash with administrators over something.
  44. Go protest something.
  45. Adjust your political ideology.
  46. Stop looking like the person in your ID photo. 
  47. Hear about a celebrity sighting on campus… hours/days later.
  48. Get inside Tim the Beaver.
  49. Make a difficult decision about which laptop sticker to sacrifice to make room for a better or newer one.
  50. Go to Central Square at night. A lot of characters out there.
  51. Get a Harvard library card.
  52. Take a professor out to dinner.10 There's a UA initiative that will pay for your dinner with a professor up to like $20, but I recently did an unofficial professor dinner that was very much a rewarding experience.
  53. Observe a professor make a really stupid spelling mistake11 I was a reluctant spelling bee kid so these hiccups really sting for me while writing on the board and realize that nobody’s perfect.
  54. Have a close encounter with vermin, be they ant, mouse, or roach.
  55. Find a good restaurant that’s open after 10 pm.
  56. Eat free-food12 a mailing list that lights up every time a pizza box is left in a conference room of questionable13 who can be sure that the vermin haven't gotten to it first quality.
  57. Make an MIT-specific meme. Bonus points for crafting it on an Athena cluster Mac using  an MIT-licensed Adobe program.
  58. Learn why LSC sucks. 
  59. Go to Revere Beach. Wonderland, baby.
  60. Claim a moira mailing list so that you can keep that sweet sweet @mit.edu domain after you graduate.
  61. Stop going to frat parties.14 I beg of you,
  62. Go to [INSERT B3rd/41W/5E/WHEREVER’S WIDELY ATTENDED ANNUAL PARTY] and see someone you really didn’t want to see there.
  63. Find yourself in a lecture hall at night.
  64. Experiment with minimalism. People here take this in all sorts of directions, from Soylent diets to mostly empty bedrooms.
  65. Have a “stud food” phase.
  66. Have a “vending machine food” phase.
  67. Hit up MIT Medical for your free annual eye exam.
  68. Get tested at MIT Medical.
  69. Roadtrip somewhere that may not be worth roadtripping to.
  70. Pick an apple.
  71. Get really sentimental about having to leave TFP.
  1. Disclaimer: I am fully aware that some of the ones on my list are also on the official list. The vast majority (the remaining handful courtesy of dear friend Ethan M. '20) of these came out of my brain without consulting the list, so there's bound to be overlap. back to text
  2. Translation: to send an email to all the dorm mailing lists, often to advertise an event or club. back to text
  3. Humanites, Arts, Social Sciences back to text
  4. meaning 36 units or ~3 classes, the minimum to maintain full-time student status and keep that financial aid coming back to text
  5. My freshman year, a Korean tourist handed me his camera, and I thought he wanted me to take a picture of him and his friend. Turns out they wanted a picture with me. It was wholesome. I would love to find that photo. back to text
  6. Had a lot of strangers ask me for directions last semester! Feels good to be identified not just as a child (as is typical) but as someone (maybe a child) who knows how to get places! back to text
  7. I stand by cutting through Briggs Field. back to text
  8. if you do this I do not want to be your friend back to text
  9. my course 2 bf says that the correct term for this is McMasterbate back to text
  10. There's a UA initiative that will pay for your dinner with a professor up to like $20, but I recently did an unofficial professor dinner that was very much a rewarding experience. back to text
  11. I was a reluctant spelling bee kid so these hiccups really sting for me back to text
  12. a mailing list that lights up every time a pizza box is left in a conference room back to text
  13. who can be sure that the vermin haven't gotten to it first back to text
  14. I beg of you, back to text