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Welcome, Class of 2001

So now you are a full fledged member of the MIT Class of 2001. Congratulations and welcome. But by now you have probably already heard that plenty of times. Over the summer, you have been gearing up for your arrival on campus. Simultaneously, countless upperclassmen have been preparing for you. Take a moment to marvel at, and savor, the heightened excitement level on campus as the arrival of the Class of 2001 comes to fruition.

It is your ambition, talents, and outstanding intellect that have landed you here, and for that you should be exceedingly proud. Beyond your raw abilities, however, you were brought here to make positive contributions to the diverse MIT community. Decisions you make over the next week will have a lasting impact on how, and where, you make your mark.

Residence and Orientation Week is one of the most hectic times at MIT. Over the next week, a plethora of living groups as well as a slew of student activities will extend you a hearty welcome - simultaneously. Your task is to sort through the jargon, the enticing offers of food and trips, the professionally published booklets, and pick out what is right for you.

When all of this happens within a week, you do not have the benefit of countless years of conventional wisdom which upperclassmen hold, or believe they hold, about R/O. You may not realize that the Institute depends on fraternities to provide a significant portion of the housing system, thereby forcing R/O to occur before the start of the semester. You may not notice that dormitories practicing anti-rush, while unappealing now, may contain some of the best living conditions on campus.

There is no way that anyone, either in these pages or in personal conversation, can alert you to all of the strengths and vices of MIT's rushing system. You are therefore left to jump in and sort it all out for yourself. You'll have to decide where to go when, how much time to spend there, and who to believe. You'll have to decide which situations you feel most comfortable in.

The skills you gain coping with the fast-paced decision making you're thrown into during R/O will serve you well throughout your MIT experience. Let's face it; this is an extremely fast-paced place. You will have more course options than you could possibly explore, more activities than you could possibly engage in, and more problem sets than you could possibly complete. Your task will continue to be to sort out the important from the menial, and allocate your time and energy accordingly.

Above all, remember to take advantage of your opportunities. After all, you are the commodity that all of these groups are bidding for during R/O. Let them butter you up, show you Boston, feed you lobsters. In the back of your mind, try to remember that a few hours of intense excitement doesn't necessarily indicate a place you can be happy living for an entire semester, let alone four years. But trust us, there will be plenty of time for reality and Ramen noodles come Registration Day.