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MIT student blogger Fiona M. '20

On being at college by Fiona M. '20

MIT, specifically.

I live in Massachusetts. I am a freshman. I am in college. I go to MIT. Even though I have been repeating these phrases over and over in my head for the past 2 weeks that I have been on campus, I still can’t believe it! MIT is like this entirely new planet in which I am yet to discover.

For some background, my high school was tiny. My graduating class was only around 70 students and the entire school was in a warehouse. Like, actually, the rectangular building used to be a warehouse for some satellite service provider. Getting lost was practically impossible because there were only a couple of hallways and none of them had any forks; walking from one side of campus to the other took less than 4 minutes. MIT on the other hand, is not a rectangle (in fact it feels like the most un-rectanglulary shaped campus I have ever seen). It is also not a warehouse. There are more than 70 students. There are many hallways. (SO. MANY. HALLWAYS.) (There is even an Infinite Corridor And yes, I have gotten lost :( (it’s okay though because after getting lost I found this super cool website called Whereis.mit.edu, a handy-dandy campus map).

Honestly though, I expected to get lost at some point. Everything is so new! Psets, lectures, recitations, clubs, dorms, numbers, mailing lists (SO. MANY. MAILING LISTS.), the constant opportunity for free food (yeah, there’s even a mailing list to know where to get the free food), and of course, acting like a responsible adult… (Technically though, I’m not actually an official adult yet, so maybe I’m exempt from this?)

Ok, let’s discuss the numbers, because that relates to other things I want to talk about. What classes am I taking? 18.02, 8.01, 7.016, 6.001, and 21G.401. I just got back from a meeting in 37-212. My first class tomorrow is in 34-101. If you are like any normal person not accustomed to the numerically saturated language of MIT, you’re probably in utter confusion, something to look forward to if you decide to come here. Although I do know what my own classes translate to– Multivar Calculus, Physics: Classical Mechanics, Biology, Intro to Python, and German I, and I do know that rooms are strategically labeled in the format (room #)-(floor)(classroom #) – I’m still definitely not yet fluent in MIT.

Anyways, my schedule is pretty heavy with back to back classes, but luckily MIT time is a thing, and so everything starts 5 minutes late and ends 5 minutes early. Current concerns include: acquiring all the necessary supplies for class, the distance from Next House to the Sailing Pavilion (I should mention I’m on the varsity team wooo) and should I go all the way back home (yes, I’m calling it home) in the hour before practices?, the distance from Next House to campus and should I go all the way back home at all during the day?, will I have TIME for stuff? (a concern everyone here seems to have), and hoping that I don’t accidentally delete an important email while trying to filter out all the spam (next-clicker, I’m talking to you).

However my adjustment to this foreign planet called MIT plays out, I’m excited for what’s next. (Subtle reference to Next House best house??) :-)