By Karen Sittig ’12
If you were ever skeptical about MIT, read this entry.
MIT is intimidating. This was the first thing that I saw from the bus:
Yep, THE Stata Center. Designed by The Frank Gehry that I learned about in school.
Later, I met The Snively and The Ben Jones at check-in, and walking down The Infinite Corridor, I saw The Admissions Office:
My friend Feldman ’11 walked me to The East Campus, where I was staying on The 5th floor of The West parallel.
And, I was at The MIT. It was all a little much.
Fortunately, I met some other awesome prefrosh!
Becca ’12 and I at Meet the Bloggers
Tim ’12 and I stuck in a knot at icebreakers Thursday night (he’s the one in the gray sweatshirt).
The three of us banded together and decided on our goals: to have as much fun as physically possible, and to visit all of the dorms. And so, we began our journey.
My dad met me on campus on Friday afternoon, and after our financial aid appointment, I met back up with Becca and Tim and we went to Senior Haus for the bouncy ball drop.
Tim brought an umbrella, partially because we were expecting rain but mostly to protect us from the bouncy balls. We got some anyway, though!
After the bouncy ball drop, we journeyed to the Student Center to Meet the Bloggers. Snively was a hit with the prefrosh, as we expected.
For most of Friday, the students on my floor had been reminding me to meet Jack, who I assumed was one of their friends, at 10 for my campus tour. I told Becca and Tim about this, and despite our nerves, we decided to throw caution to the wind and leave to meet our mysterious tour guide. The tour was very long, and by the time Jack returned us to Baker House, our feet were all tired, but it was well worth it.
The campus tour that my dad lined up for us the following morning just couldn’t compare, although my tour guide seemed to know Jack as well. I guess he’s a rather popular guy.
My nerves were still getting the best of me, though – was MIT this fun all of the time, or was Jack just especially awesome? Did normal kids still have a good time?
Luckily, my answer came in the form of the single greatest night ever.
After Becca and another prefrosh, Megan ’12, and I had gotten our fill of exploring the dorms, we journeyed to Lobby 7 to meet up with some of the actual 5th Westers to play Capture the Flag. Becca and Megan went back to their respective dorms to sleep, but I found Tim and we picked out blue t-shirts (because blue is sneakier) and waited for the next game to start.
Never before have I had so much fun doing something that involves running. Capture the Flag was simply AWESOME. Sometime in between exploring the Infinite and owning the red team, I realized something quite shocking – very few of the doors were actually locked. This quickly dissolved into poking around campus, which yielded a few interesting staircases but not much else, and I spent most of the second game exploring. Blue team still won, probably due to our unfair advantage from being sneakier.
So. Normal kids play Capture the Flag, which is awesome, but Capture the Flag only happens at CPW. I submitted this to the 5th Westers that had gotten conned into entertaining me, and they suggested something called ‘chairing’.
Basically, chairing is when you take Athena cluster chairs down ramps. Tim and I had seen this going on earlier, so I knew that it was legit. It still sounded rather dangerous, and Tim had gone back to his hotel room to sleep before his flight, so I apprehensively agreed and we journeyed to building 66.
Nervously, I sat on my rolly Athena chair and pushed off the side, and discovered that…
Chairing is the single greatest thing EVER.
After trying out some different formations (line, triangle, circle), I posed my typical prefrosh question. “Is MIT this awesome all of the time?”
There was a pause before the response. “Well, we generally have homework. But, when we don’t, basically, yeah.”
I was hooked, and I sent in the reply form from the Athena cluster where we returned the chairs fifteen minutes later. So, that is how I became a ’12.
I’m still absolutely terrified – of the work, of leaving my family, of being so far from home – but I know that if MIT is anything like what I’ve experienced at CPW, it will be the greatest four years of my life. And, I guess if worse comes to worse, I can just take the Athena chairs down the ramp a couple times, or organize a pick-up game of Capture the Flag, or see if I can hunt Jack down to give me another tour.
So, on Sunday morning, after managing to stay up all night long, I left East Campus for Logan airport.
On the way, I passed the Dome.
I looked for Ben to say goodbye, but he wasn’t at the check-out desk.
And I realized that the hardest part about MIT just might be waiting for Orientation (well, at least until classes start). Thanks for an amazing CPW, and I’ll see you all in the fall!