If you’ve never played two truths and a lie before, all you have to do is guess which of the three things I’m about to say is a lie:
1. I am Iron Man.
2. MIT Isn’t all happy days and sprinkles.
3. MIT kids are perfect.
Go ahead, take your pick and then read below for the answers.
Truth is…I am Iron Man. Well, not really. Not yet. But I could be. You could be too. Or you could be something else. It’s up to you to decide and no one can tell you otherwise. Anyways, it’s great to meet you, unknown MIT Admissions Blog reader! (Feel free to comment or shoot an email to be less unknown!). You probably have a passion for science and technology that shines in your everyday life. Or you could be passionate about the arts…or sports, or dance, or writing, or anything else. You might be having a bad day, or you could be having a great day. It could even be your birthday today, in which case HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Truth is, I have no idea who you are or what you’re like, but I’m here to welcome you and tell you who I am and what I’m like. So, welcome to MIT. Welcome to the party.
I fell out of my parents’ nest in New Jersey and flew (literally) to MIT. The plane ride was only 30 minutes, so rather than watching 1/4th of a movie, I started thinking as I looked out the airplane window down onto the earth. I thought about my parents. They’re so proud of me. First generation Latino and the first from my school to be accepted to MIT. It’s more than just motivation. It’s conviction. My mom, my dad, my three younger brothers, my grandparents, my high school teachers, my friends, and my mentors all contributed to make me who I am today. Now, I was being thrown into this boxing ring called MIT where I would pit myself against the world. Half hour passed, I got off the giant winged mechanical beast that brought me to a new world, and I rode in the backseat of a lesser sized yellow overpriced mini beast until I arrived at MIT. I checked into my room at Simmons, got my MIT ID from the Student center, and proceeded to explore this mysterious jungle known as MIT. I wish I had a fedora and a whip (props if you have them on your first day). I’m loving it! I started my FPOP (Freshman Pre-Orientation Program) the next day and over the course of a week, I worked in a group with two other amazing MIT students (including another *ahem* MIT blogger Vincent Anioke) to make a Lego robot. Behold Wall-E’s ancestor!!
After FPOP week was orientation week. After orientation week was rush week. After rush week was the first full week of classes. This week is career fair week. (Am I spelling week correctly? Week is starting to sound weird after saying week so many times.)
Truth is…being at MIT isn’t all happy days, sprinkles, and quesadillas (scratch that, there actually are a lot of quesadillas here). Unfortunately, no matter how many quesadillas MIT has to offer, things can and do go wrong. It’s a law that holds truer than the Law of Conservation of Energy. It’s called Murphy’s Law, which states that “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Luckily, there is a much lesser known law which states that “every bad thing that happens has a positive outlook, but only if you want it to”.
Example – If I have my key in my pocket and it is the first day I’m at MIT, then I lose my key and have to buy a new one.
Counter – I got a really nice lanyard from a free event that said “MIT Alumni” so now not only will I not lose my key again, but now some people mistake me for a grad student :D
Example – If we happen to be going to the beach early on a specific day, my alarm clock will decide to not work on that day and I will be left with an unused bottle of sunblock.
Counter – I saved money on sunblock and spent the afternoon at the Media Lab building connections for potential UROPs.
Example – If it’s the first day of my first year of college classes, I will get up nice and early but I will have misplaced my MIT ID and not only miss out on breakfast but be late to my first college class.
Counter – Now I know to keep my MIT ID in my wallet at all times and I leave for class at least 15 minutes before the hour (I live in Simmons, a fairly decently walk).
In short: the glass could be half empty, but you could easily just, like, pour more water in. I mean, that’s what glasses are for.
Lie is…MIT Kids are perfect. We’re not perfect. We’re not machines. We’re not Terminators or Watsons or iRobots. Believe it or not, MIT kids are human beings. Go ahead and open one up – we have the same blood and fleshy guts that you do (don’t actually do that, just take my word for it). People have faults. Noone is better then everyone else at everything. But once you’re here, it doesn’t matter how smart you are or what version of physics or math you take. All that matters is how much you want to learn and what you’re willing to do to learn. MIT has its way of making you think outside the box and pound your head with the nearest frying pan until you have a Eureka moment where life and the universe suddenly makes sense. You’ll get this a lot from doing PSets. Those moments are so unique and life-changing that I even documented how I felt during my first one:
“It is now 4am and I just finished my first PSet. Everyone in my PSet group was so happy to have finished that we were LITERALLY laughing with merry that within in a few minutes, we would be in our beds. It took 6 hours but now we have a complete conceptual understanding of circular motion, Cartesian-polar coordinate conversions, and centripetal/tangential velocity definitions and equations. We felt like we were in Newton’s head, rediscovering all the discoveries of the past. But rather than the quick jolt of pain Newton felt when an apple felt on his head (which never actually happened), our pain was in the form of a long, slow, suffering sleep deprivation with intervals of short bursts of energy when our body believed that sleep was no longer necessary for human functions.”
tl;dr We felt like this:
And there you have it. Two truths and a lie. Thanks for playing.