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Advice for Freshman: Have Fun

Seth Bisen-Hersh

To the Class of 2002:

Greetings! I hope that you are having an unprecedented, wonderful, and fun time as you go through your orientation. These weeks are one of the few times you'll get to just go out and meet people without worrying about classes and activities.

I'd like to encourage you to enjoy it because before you know it, you'll be a crusty old sophomore reminiscing on how great it was to be on pass/ no record.

After reading the advice column by Wesley T. Chan '00 ["How to Survive Orientation, Aug. 26], I figured it couldn't hurt to give some of my own. So I hope you find some of it useful. If not, I hope you enjoy it anyway.

First of all, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of what I want to tell the next class to do is: meet everyone. Make as many new friends and acquaintances as humanly possible. It will make for a much friendlier ambience when you walk down the Infinite Corridor. If everyone knew everyone else in the world, there would be no strangers.

During rush explore as many options as possible, examine all of the plethora of possibilities, and finally make a calm, rational decision. Tour every dormitory and independent living group if you can so that you are aware of every option. Take advantage of all the free food. One of the first things that college will teach you is free food is always good food.

Another piece of good advice is to not take anything bad that happens personally. Rush is a very hectic, jam-packed time when you decide when you want to reside for the next four years. Of course, you can always transfer after the first semester if you are not content with where you end up.

If things are getting too crazy to handle, I highly recommend going to the Elsewhere Lounge for a little break time. Personally, I spent several hours in there last year just relaxing and coloring in color books and playing with play-doh. In fact, I had so much fun (and was so relieved to get away from rush for just a little bit) that I am manning Elsewhere this year. So calm down, take a break and color in Kermit, Mickey and all your favorites.

In any case, in a few short days, rush will be over. Enjoy it. As soon as it ends, you shall be at the beginning of a long journey through life at MIT. You will get to experience a myriad of enthralling activities and adventures. Enjoy them, too.

Being on pass/no record gives you a wonderful opportunity to do as much as possible without having to worry about what grades you get. It really does not matter one bit, so those type A personalities out there should try not to stress out too much. Take this opportunity to join as many clubs as possible and try to make MIT the most fun and exciting place it can possibly be.

Run for class officer, join the paper or yearbook and do a sport or show or acapella group. Or do all of them because you're only on pass/no record once. Don't waste it. Go out and party every night. Have fun and enjoy being in Boston and away from home.

Another helpful aspect of MIT life is the fact that the way the housing system is set up, you will get to live with upperclassmen near by. Take advantage of this situation. Most of us are friendly and very willing to answer any questions you may have about classes, laundry, Boston or even just life itself.

Upperclassmen are generally good for embarrassing stories about others living in the hall, decoding the secret MIT room number code, lending text books to you, lending bibles out, and even tutoring - because we'd rather do your work, than actually try to attempt our own. Take advantage of the fact that we have been through what you're about to go through, and don't hesitate to ask for advice.

So if you haven't figured it out by now, my biggest advice to all of you energetic freshmen (and non-energetic ones, too) is to go out and have the best of time that you possibly can. You only get one year to use the excuse, "I'm just a freshman," so enjoy it.