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Welcome, Class of 2002

Congratulations and welcome to the members of the Class of 2002.

As you have been preparing this summer for your arrival at MIT, upperclassmen have been readying this week's Orientation. Take some time to appreciate and realize the great anticipation and excitement as the Class of 2002 comes together for the beginning of its time at the Institute.

Your efforts and talents have been recognized and rewarded with your admission to MIT, and you can be justifiably proud of your achievements. It is also your role, however, to make a positive contribution to the MIT community. The Institute has changed rapidly over the past year and will continue to evolve this year. With your involvement and participation, you have a unique opportunity to shape the current growth of the Institute.

Over the next week, you will be subjected to one of your most hectic experiences at MIT. Orientation Week brings a veritable hoard of living groups and student activities all competing for your time and attention. It is your decision to sort through the facades projected by various groups, the slick pamphlets and the offers of food and trips to decide what is best for you.

You do not yet have the benefit of years of wisdom held by the upperclassmen, nor do you probably fully understand the logistical importance of fraternities, sororities and independent living groups on campus. FSILGs are needed to fill a large percentage of undergraduate housing at MIT to avoid overcrowding in the dormitory system. Nor may you realize that dormitories offer some of the most attractive housing options on campus.

No one can adequately prepare and advise you for the challenges and choices that are to come. You are left to your own knowledge and wisdom. Only you can decide which activities to attend, which living groups to visit, with whom to make friendships.You must make the choices which you believe are the best for you.

The choices you make during Orientation will prepare you well for the rapid pace of life at the Institute. MIT is an incredibly fast-paced environment, and you must be able to work in such an environment in order to have a successful MIT experience. There are more course options than you have time to consider, more activities than you have time to enjoy, more work than you have time to complete. Your primary task at MIT will be to determine what things are important and what are not, and to allocate your full effort to completing what is important and learning to give less time and energy to what is not.

Most importantly, you should take advantage of the exciting opportunities in Orientation and take some time to relax. You are the focus of attention during Orientation, so enjoy the tours of Boston, the steak and lobster dinners, the excursions to the beaches and the parks. Remember that first impressions can be deceiving and an afternoon of fun at a living group does not necessarily mean you will be happy living in that particular place. And remember to have fun, because after Registration Day there will be plenty of work and pressure.