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MIT student blogger Keri G. '10

Senior Survey (Says?) by Keri G. '10

(For the record, I think that being on Family Feud would be totally awesome)

A couple of days ago, Snively wrote, “I have a theory that bloggers from juniors on up tend to blog more when they need money than when they feel like they should blog.”

I completely disagree. I work desk when I need money. I blog whenever I find something interesting. As a relatively uninteresting person, this translates to me rarely blogging. Stay tuned, though, for an upcoming post about my favorite door on campus.

(No, that is not a joke. It’s an ultra-cool door.)

I’m in the middle of a tough week where I’m racing to finish up an incomplete in a class from last term by Friday’s deadline and surveying everyone and their grandmother for an experiment in 9.61. A lot of my work involves living in the New Media Center, where most of what I do is staring at a computer while it tells me how much time is left on my conversion to a movie in Final Cut Pro. (Two hours? Four? Should I just leave and get a sandwich now?) I still don’t have a job. I still don’t have an apartment. The cardboard boxes I’ve been hoarding in my room in case of housing emergency become more and more of a certainty each day.

Sometimes I want to find the living embodiment of MIT and slap it around a little bit. “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME??? WHY DIDN’T ANYBODY WARN ME?! WHY DIDN’T I LISTEN WHEN PEOPLE WARNED ME ABOUT THIS PLACE?! WAHHHHH.”

Luckily, an email from some of the deans on campus about the MIT Senior Survey gave me the chance to figure out what I really thought about MIT. At the very least, it was a 20-minute break where I got to click on a bunch of buttons. On the last page, though, there were two final questions that most of my fellow seniors seem to be asking themselves nowadays (although in language notably more informal):

Please use the space below to comment on what your school could have done to improve your undergraduate experience or what you wish you had done differently, or both.

Um. Easy.

“I wish my grades had been better. But hey, who doesn’t?”

Please use the space below to describe the most important outcomes of your time as an undergraduate. Where possible, be specific about how your college or university contributed to these accomplishments, changes or other developments.

(Hoooooo boy. Where to start?)

“When asked what I would have done differently if I could start MIT all over again, I wrote, “I wish my grades had been better. But hey, who doesn’t?” It does partially bother me that my grades have been strikingly average here. That said, early on in my undergraduate career, I realized that in order to get the most out of my education, I was going to have to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible; that meant my grades weren’t guaranteed to be stellar, but I figured it’d be worth it. Looking back, it absolutely has been.

I’ve had a show at the radio station for four years, been president of my dorm, organized one of the largest alumni reunion events on campus, learned a ton about photography (and had some of my work included in an exhibit in a Boston gallery), seen Sonic Youth and the Pixies in the same week, produced a musical, discovered my passion for teaching, and even learned a thing or two about brains, all while living and working with some of the most amazing people alive.

It’s scary seeing the last four years of my life fit in a couple of sentences. It seems like almost nothing at all, but it’s all meant so much to me. My only hope is that more people keep in mind that an MIT education is more than just the purely academic; if that’s what you believe, then you’re doing it wrong.”

Keep this in mind. This place is so much more than the classes and the grades you get in them. If you forget this, you are doing it wrong.

That’s my theory, at least.

15 responses to “Senior Survey (Says?)”

  1. Anon says:

    It feels kind of like what I think about high school now, except on a bigger and more important scale.

  2. STuang '14 says:

    Second!!

    (i feel so accomplished getting Second!!!) LOL jk..jk

  3. Kristina '13 says:

    I completely agree. Ickle prefrosh who happen to read this after me, listen!

  4. oasis '11 says:

    “I have a theory that bloggers from juniors on up tend to blog more when they need money than when they feel like they should blog.”

    False. I haven’t submitted hours since probably last September or something like that (keep on forgetting).

    Maybe I should do it now…

  5. Snad ('14?) says:

    I agree with this so intently. It displeases me about how wrong it is that most schools operate so intently on grades. It is all about what experiences and life lessons you take from MIT are. Not about getting good marks, that’s what high school was for smile

  6. Hamsika '13 says:

    I was a 9.61 human subject!

    And I like your outlook on life/MIT smile

  7. Anne says:

    C2,

    We’re not a “coop school” like Northeastern U. or Waterloo, where students go to school for six months and work for six months, or anything like that. But there are *many* internship opportunities and programs for students, starting freshman year with FASIP, and continuing with UPOP, and then continuing with department-specific internship programs. And companies are constantly interviewing and reaching out to MIT students for summer internships; small places you may have heard of like Google and Microsoft.

  8. C2 says:

    You are a funny person =] Anyways, Is there co-op in MIT? +_+

  9. Matto says:

    sigh! this gives me chills, it’s reading my mind. it’s so great that the purpose of MIT is almost as if to make you live.

  10. DevinandEric says:

    Keri!

    This is Devin and Eric! We’re bored in computer class and not working..heh. We love you.

  11. mcjasso says:

    Keri. I love you.
    That is all.
    smile

  12. “That said, early on in my undergraduate career, I realized that in order to get the most out of my education, I was going to have to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible; that meant my grades weren’t guaranteed to be stellar”

    That’s kind of disappointing. I think of all places, MIT would be the school in which this wouldn’t be a problem.

    Maybe it depends on your major/interests?

  13. Piper '12 says:

    @Anon ’14 – Personally, I think it’s a wonderful aspect to MIT that students often care more about learning and exploring rather than earning the top grade smile

  14. Anon (14?) says:

    @Piper

    I hadn’t considered that perspective.

    Is that the general culture at MIT (learning more important than grades)?

  15. Keri says:

    Anon (14?) –

    Not always, but it should be.