A year ago I too was a high school senior with a decision to make — what college should I attend? Since you are reading this article, you can probably guess that I chose MIT. A year later, I can say that I am very glad that I did. Since arriving here, I have only discovered more reasons why it is, to use a popular high-school-senior term, “awesome.” So this article, which had to be cut down from my original 127 reasons, outlines the top 10 reasons why you — yes, you — should come to MIT in the fall.
1. It’s MIT.
This is true by the reflexive property. A=A. (MIT is MIT for any confused parents reading). Seriously though, when you enter the highly competitive job market in a highly uncertain economy, an MIT diploma is going to be an advantage for you. MIT is a world-renowned institute of higher learning that is known for its rigorous curriculum, excellent research, and outstanding faculty. When you’re hunting for a job, any employer that sees that MIT diploma is going to be impressed before you even open your mouth. So make sure you don’t screw it up when you do open your mouth.
2. The faculty.
How would you like to learn biology from one of the men who sequenced the human genome? Did you know that 73 Nobel Laureates and 33 National Medal of Science recipients are currently or have been previously affiliated with MIT, or that the Institute currently employs and 21 MacArthur Fellows? Neither did I, until I looked on Wikipedia. At MIT, you are learning from the people who are on the cutting edge of science, engineering, and countless other fields. You don’t just get an education, you’re drinking from a fire hose.
3. Research opportunities.
At MIT, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in an UROP, or the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. At other schools, it is very common for professors to only take grad students to help them with their research. But at MIT, you can work side-by-side with some of the most brilliant minds anywhere on cutting-edge research as a freshman. And it’s not hard; 85% of students graduate with a UROP under their belt. An added bonus: you can get paid to do this. You can get paid to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Now that’s a good deal.
4. The students.
I’m going to be honest, this is reason #1, but I’m too lazy to fix it, so it can chill at 4. This list isn’t in order anyways. Living here among other the MIT undergrads is an amazing experience in and of itself. For what is probably the first time in your life, everyone around you is either as smart as or smarter than you are. It is truly remarkable. Besides the fact that at long last, people find math jokes funny, you’ll be enriched by the variety of experiences that everyone has to offer. I found out two weeks ago that a friend living a floor above me is a National Spelling Bee champion and also won Teen Jeopardy. Many of you are known as “the smart kid” in your high school. At MIT, that changes in a good way. Because being smart is one trait everyone has in common, people will get to know you for your other traits and those things that make you unique and awesome.
For those of you who have not heard of a hack (the end goal of hacking), a hack is MIT lingo for a prank. MIT has a long tradition of excellent hacks that go far beyond what other schools could hope to achieve; the most famous of these is the police car on the great dome above Building 10.
6. Feeling like a complete nerd when talking about your classes.
At MIT, no one takes physics or differential equations. They take 8.01 and 18.03. And you have 8.01 in Building 26. How about majors? You’ll soon find that the majors MIT offers are simply numbers 1 through 24. I, for example, am Course 18. And for lunch, you order a 7.09 with a side of 2.00. Okay, so I made up that last part. But the rest is true and one of the little things about MIT that makes it the school that you’re going to attend.
MIT is right across the river from one of the coolest cities in the world. On days when you don’t have a lot of work, it’s “wicked” easy to stroll over the Harvard Bridge or hop on the T and take advantage of a huge variety of places to eat and get entertained. And it’s got Fenway Park, which is the home of the Red Sox. You know, the greatest team in baseball?
8. You can get a pirate’s license.
This one isn’t made up. All MIT students are required to take four PE classes, and if you take Sailing, Archery, Fencing, and Pistol, you become an official Pirate. You know, like with an eye patch and all that. In reality, you might just get a t-shirt, but at what other school can you become an officially (by officially I mean unofficially) recognized Pirate?
9. It’s not Harvard.
Trust me, this is a big plus. As one professor put it when discussing grades, BMIT= AHarvard. Take that to mean whatever you’d like.
10. You won’t regret it.
Okay, so this isn’t really a reason, but it is a promise. An offer of admission is an offer to come and have some of the best years of your life. Don’t turn it down.