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MIT student blogger Keri G. '10

Two short stories by Keri G. '10

My last three weeks in a nutshell.

I’ve never thought of myself as a sorority girl.

In fact, I’ve always been the first person to make fun of them. Between the claims of sisterhood and the chanting and singing and oh god, the chanting and singing, I was convinced that joining a sorority was not the way to go. Anyway, my life was already full of far more interesting things, like watching paint dry.

Suffice it to say I was not expected to participate in sorority recruitment this year, which is precisely why I did so. Rather than continuing in the vein of bashing sororities indiscriminately, I wanted a valid basis for my sorority-bashing.

Seriously though, I was basing my opinion of sororities on everything I’d seen and heard of those in other schools. MIT sororities were apparently different. Even after a year here, I wasn’t entirely convinced of that. I needed to see this for myself.

I’m of the opinion that the way to dispel stereotypes about MIT’s sororities is not to put unsuspecting girls through Formal Recruitment. Formal Recruitment, while giving people equal time to all five of MIT’s sororities, is sensory overload at its peak. (You’d say the same thing if you saw five instances of 100 identically dressed young women in a single day.) Sure, it works for tons of people; I’m partial to the setup of frat rush, where you go where you want to go without four solid days of alphabetical order and time constraints.

I did, however, realize that MIT’s sororities are full of amazing, driven girls, and I was glad to see that sorority stereotypes were for the most part nowhere to be found. And when I received a bid from Sigma Kappa, what had begun as a joke became an extremely difficult decision. I decided not to pledge this year, choosing to wait until next September before giving a definitive answer.

So long as I never ever have to go through Formal again, that is.

So here’s an unwritten rule at MIT for you: sophomores start out taking at least 60 units.

See, freshman year just isn’t masochistic enough for us. We struggle, suffer, and complain for a full nine months, but it’s all for naught. The point of the first year at MIT is for us to get over ourselves. What’s that, you say? Someone’s doing better than I am? Toto, I don’t think we’re in high school anymore! Everything’s really hard here!

Even if we poor, beaten-down no-longer-frosh come to this revelation the way we’re supposed to, registration for sophomore fall term begins and we’re all, “Well, lookie here! No more credit limit! I MUST DO EVERYTHING!”

This is never a good idea.

Sooner or later, we’ll become aware of this. We, the overextended sophomores of MIT, will discover that the difference between four and five classes is far larger than we ever could have anticipated. We’ll drop a class or two and revert to the sane man’s 48.

I had the above epiphany after spending three hours reading my 5.07 textbook and still not coming close to understanding my problem set. I dropped the class after the first week.

Now all that’s left is for me to stop believing that my cursory knowledge of all of this term’s material will get me As in everything else.

15 responses to “Two short stories”

  1. Star says:

    Yeah, I haven’t even been accepted yet, but already I’ve looked through the courses and said “ok, so sophomore year, when there is no more credit limit, I’m going to take this, and this, and this, oh, this looks interesting, wow, that course looks cool….” 20 minutes later… “I wonder if it’s possible to take more credit hours than there are in a week?”

  2. Paul '11 says:

    …Keri as a potential sorority girl? Wonders never cease. wink

    Just kidding! Congrats on your bid Keri. I’m sure you’ll end up just fine, whether or not you choose to pledge.

  3. Hunter '11 says:

    I wanted to do rush, but I felt the beginning of this year was way too soon for me personally to join a sorority. I’m waiting until next year, though I wish rush was still in January because I would’ve done it then. Oh well.

  4. Snively says:

    You know, people really weren’t kidding when they said MIT was hard. Like, honestly, it’s hard, nobody out there should think they’re smart enough to just sit down, whip out a PSET, and then go watch tv. PSETs become 3-4 hour parties on my floor (if by party you mean hair pulling nightmares of discomfort and desperation).

    All those fun classes that seem really interesting and you really want to take? Take one. There’s a difference between fun and “OMG I’m DROWNING!!!”

    Glad to see you’re posting again Keri!

  5. Hawkins says:

    Wow, at this point I’m just hoping I can get through freshman year. lol! I’m sure after that I’ll be itching to jump into some interesting classes, but hopefully I can find a balance… Good advice, Keri!

  6. Hunter '11 says:

    MIT is hard, but it’s manageable, and if you stay on top of everything it makes all the difference in the world.

    But get used to the workload before trying to take on more =)

  7. Star says:

    Yeah, I’m sure if I ever get to MIT I’ll realize what the term firehose really means, but for now I’m getting through high-school without opening a book, so I guess it’s hard for me to imagine… I’m so impressed by all of you though.

  8. firehose! firehose! where art thou?

    Answer: Sophomore fall…


  9. Paul '11 says:

    If you can get through high school without really trying, more power to you. But you still might want to try opening the book sometime. There’s fun stuff inside. smile

  10. Isshak says:

    Same as Star, I al so impressed by all of you : so much work, so little sleep, and still manage to get good grades AND have lots of fun ! One of my friend didn’t know MIT, so when I told him I’m applying, he made some research. He told me “don’t go there! it’s a crazy school!” and I answered “that’s exactly why I want to go there”.
    Keep up the good work Keri !

  11. NABIL says:


  12. Arnold says:

    I wish to finish my study at MIT, but I dont know how to get admission.
    May you help me Keri.
    scuse me for my low english standard, because I’m from french speaking country.

  13. thank you for your stories.
    am jose from Tanzania in Africa

  14. peach says:

    glad to see you chose sanity over insanity.
    the lessons of sophomore year are only beginning.

  15. Caesarion says:

    Hey Keri… you are amazing to…probably more than the instances of girls YOU saw smile