my fave memories from freshman year at MIT

oh, how quickly and abruptly frosh year ended

posted 2020-07-25 00:00:00 +0000

In August 2019, I (like most other college freshmen) came onto campus not knowing what to expect. I had gotten some small bites of independent living through several summers of math camp[1], but I was mostly void of preconceived notions of MIT culture. However, when I left campus ~7 months later in March 2020 (RIP corona-times), I brought back new friendships, new experiences, and new cultural networks. Below is a list (in somewhat chronological order) of my favorite memories of those 7 months, which althogether comprise my MIT freshman experience[2]. Enjoy!

It sucks that freshman year as we knew it had to end the way it did in March, but in the 7 months I spent on campus, there was no shortage of fun and friends. Hopefully we'll be back in some way in spring 2021, but until then, I'm continuing to make unique virtual memories with my communities while distant!

[1] There's a lot of math camps in the world, but when I say "math camp" I almost always mean Honors Summer Math Camp at Texas State University. Math camp is on my list of things I want to write about, so hopefully soon I'll have a post explaining it here.
[2] Standard disclaimer: everyone's freshman year experience is different and valid! Just because I lived mine like this doesn't necessarily mean you should too. Also, if you want more ideas of MIT culture, the MIT admissions blogs were made just for that!
[3] REX is a series of events overseen by the dorms/DormCon to introduce freshmen to each of the dorms' cultures, and rush is a series of events overseen by IFC (Interfraternity Council) to introduce the 27 fraternities and recruit unaffiliated students.
[4] So does sorority recruitment, but I'm kind of glossing over it for the purposes of this blog post since recruitment is a very different type of event from rush (and I didn't really fully attend recruitment anyway).
[5] Okay, I'm pretty sure there's some kind of ban if you're affiliated (with a frat or srat), and other rush events are invite-only, but in general rush isn't restricted to just to freshmen or just guys or anything.
[6] IAP stands for Independent Activities Period, where MIT students can take less traditional classes or do externships or travel abroad or do a bunch of other fun stuff during the month of January. See here for more details. A fact about IAP relevant to this blog post is that the meal plan is opt-in during then, so many students choose not to be on the meal plan and instead cook for themselves/otherwise obtain food during that month.
[7] SAT is a popular Facebook group for discussion/memes on the Asian-Western experience. There's many articles about it on the interwebs, but here's one in particular!
[8] An Evening With Champions is a figure skating show run by Harvard students that features national and Olympic figure skaters, with proceeds going towards cancer research!