You should come visit MIT! No, seriously, if you’re considering MIT then you should come visit. I realize that depending on where you live, a visit to MIT can be expensive and a little time consuming, but there are very few ways to actually understand what MIT is like. One of those ways is to attend MIT. Another one of those ways is to visit.
Normally visits only last for about a day so you will have to cram as much MIT into that day as possible, but that’s kind of what MIT is like, right? Cramming a ton of stuff into a really short time period?
I have two things that I want to throw at you today in this entry. The first involves some pictures I just took. I don’t have my camera with me (I know, bad blogger) but I do have this fancy webcam on my new Macbook (yes, the new Macbook) and so I just used that. I don’t know how to resize them yet (anybody got any good opensource or freeware for resizing? Other than Gimp?) so you’ll have to settle for a slightly larger picture than you may be used to. Anywho, I was wandering down the infinite corridor and my feet got tired and I wanted to sit down. There were some benches and chairs, but they didn’t look very comfortable. Lucky for me, I work for the admissions office (before you ask what I do, remember what you’re reading right now) so I know about secret (not so secret) admissions secrets. Mainly, the chairs in 10-100.
10-100 is the admissions reception center. This is where you’ll go first if you come for an overnight visit. When you walk in you’ll see something like this (minus the small boy perhaps):
You’ll say hi to the friendly receptionist and then sit down, in one of these:
These chairs, apart from the student center chairs are the most comfortable chairs ever. Your first encounter with MIT will see you resting in the lap of luxury. This is good, because as a prefrosh, the next thing you’ll do is look to your right and see Killian Court, realize that you’re sitting under the great dome, and want to have a panic attack about how awesome it is. This chair, in all of its overwhelming comfort, just may calm you enough to save your life.
Ok, thing two: When to visit MIT.
Maybe we should start with times to avoid visiting MIT.
1) Finals week, both fall and spring. 12/15-12/19 and 5/18-5/22. You should also avoid the week or two before these weeks because those are extremely busy.
2) January. January is different at MIT in that classes are optional and students don’t have to be here. If you visit in January expect to see a lot of snow, people holed up in their dorms playing video games, wrapped in blankets, and not a lot of stereotypical MIT.
3) Thursday night. TONS of PSETs are due on Friday. If you come on a Thursday expect you host to be totally hosed and be working (“tooling”) all night, leaving you to your own devices.
4) Weekends. Sure, weekends are fun, and you’ll get to explore campus and Boston etc, but you won’t get to go to classes and you won’t get to see the hustle and bustle of MIT. Weekends are a special case, you want to experience the general case.
When to come:
1) Days of the week: M,T,W,F. Students will always be busy here, but these days are probably the best to come. Note that on Friday there will more than likely be parties and not a lot of homework-doing in the evening, so you will probably get to experience the best of both worlds (classes and social life). Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays are in the middle of the week so you’re more likely to experience the drudge/grind of MIT, which really is important to see. It’s critical to understand how students react to the work and pressure and there is never more work or pressure than right in the middle of the week. Again, avoid Thursday (too much work and pressure) but the other days are pretty good.
That’s all I have for now. Please, current students, feel free to give your opinion on the best day to visit MIT. In fact, I’ve set up a doodle. Don’t worry about the numbers of the days, just look at the M-F.
Interactive blogging, I love it! Don’t forget to leave your name and class year, like “Snively ’11”
Remember, only upperclassmen should fill out the doodle. Prefrosh should just look at it. This means you 4chan!