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MIT student blogger Bryan O. '07

Q&A: Round One by Bryan

Q&A, Round One. Keep the questions coming!

Farai asked “I was wondering how you get by day by day with the pressures of class and work and what recreational activities does MIT offer to a freshman. I was also wondering what sporting activities are really popular at MIT.”

Hi Farai,

So to respond to your first question, I think I get day by day with the pressures of class and work by really trying to have a schedule that I stick to. I’m not one to sleep in really, so I spend some of my free time trying to get ahead in classes, etc. I try to attend office hours for classes where the problem sets are notorious for being challenging. Another big aspect of this is my support network of friends. They really contribute a lot to my sanity some days. They really help me keep everything in perspective about my work, and they’re always there to do something fun when I need a study break.

As far as recreational activities that MIT offers students, there are so many that I don’t even know where to start. One example are the intramural sports. So many students participate because the schedule is flexible and you can really participate in sports that may be brand new to you without ever having played before.

As far as the most popular sports, I personally would have to say MIT crew is pretty popular, but there are many varsity sports where the athletes probably consider their sport to be the most popular.

Tony asked “Hey, I was wondering what your stats were that allowed you into MIT. I also want to know how it felt being in the minority, being that not that many African Americans go to MIT. By the way I am African American as well. I want to know your stats becae I am not sure whether I should apply or not.”

Hey Tony,
So as far as statistics go, I’m going to refer you to the common data set which is information compiled by Institute about freshman admissions etc. Please keep in mind that MIT is a very dynamic place full of lots of diverse people, so the admissions process takes into account many factors not just your test scores alone.

As far as how comfortable I feel here, I’ll briefly answer that here, but I’ll make sure to devote a longer blog entry to this in the near future. Given my background of a very diverse family, I feel very comfortable here at MIT. I know several people from different walks of life here and different histories. I think for a lot of people there is going to be an adjustment period, but for me, I personally feel very welcome by this community.

As far as whether or not you should apply, if you think MIT is a university where you would like to study, I say “Go ahead.” I’m a fan of the philosophy that you should always try something so you don’t regret not doing it in the future.

Diana asked “Would you rather be able to stop time while you slept or never have to do laundry?”


Interesting puzzle. If I were able to stop time when I slept, would it still be dark outside still when I woke up? If so, then I think I’d rather to never have to do laundry (I currently have a stockpile of laundry cleverly hidden in my room, but I need to attend to that this weekend. I like to see sleep as a way of helping things that I’m looking forward to come faster ie going to sleep the night before my birthday so I can wake up and say, “Hooray, I’m OLD!”

So everyone, please do keep the questions coming. It’s exciting to hear the questions you have about MIT or just anything really as you can tell by the assortment of questions answered today. Just leave a comment or email me at [email protected].

Until next time, I leave you with a little puzzle.

My life begins far above the ground,
Though below the ground life I may give.
When I come down to greet the ground,
A thunderous noise I will make.
A tasty treat to many I provide,
But only if they have the tools to get me.
The macaw is one,
The agouti is another.
Without the aid of the agouti,
My circle of life may never be completed,
And the forest I am part of would lose a valued member.
So watch out below when it’s time for me to go,
Or an injury I will give you.

2 responses to “Q&A: Round One”

  1. Kateri says:

    Wow, I like the question about time stopping or not having to do laundry.

    Im not sure if this is too personal, but when you applied for colleges (yay!), where else did you apply? And why did you end up choosing MIT?

  2. Avik says:

    About the puzzle by Bryan–well I liked the first clue the best: “life begins far above the ground, Though below the ground life I may give” … it’s a fruit! But I think you told us a bit too much with the macaw and the agouti. It also seems like it’s a fruit of a very tall tree, which only the bird can reach (or the agouti which takes the senesced fruit).

    But, unfortunately, as to the final answer–which tree–I really can’t say. It’s a tropical fruit (macaw), but that’s about all I have.