Prerequisite: I know its hard to stereotype for a school so diverse and big but I’ve found that every college has a certain ubiquitous "feel" which is cohesive with some personalities but not with others. I therefore don’t want the standard "anybody will find a place to fit in" because there is a big difference between feeling comfortable within a small clique and being at home throughout the entire college.
Now to the point:
Who I am:
-I’m a pretty outgoing and like to socialize.
-I have partied a lot in High School and I like it but it’s not what I’m ultimately looking for out of the social scene in college. (Just so there’s no confusion… I still want to party, its just not a major part of what I want to be doing)
-The thing I really enjoy most is hanging out with small groups of interesting kids and talking about interesting things. I’m obviously really interested in science and technology but I also like to talk about other things like politics, international affairs, and philosophy. Does the average MIT student share an intellectual interest in things outside of math and science? (Sorry if that came off as pretentious)
-I like quirky kids… I’m not necessarily talking about nerdy kids, but rather artsy, musical, and generally alternative ones I have assumed that MIT has less of these types, is this correct?
I like tennis and would play on the MIT team if I came (I’ve talked to the coach)
I like to cook
I really enjoy programming video games
To give you a better idea of who I am, I am also very interested in Brown and Wesleyan, because I feel that both of their student bodies are in tuned with my personality, but am hesitant to apply to them because they are not as strong in my areas of interest
So I’d love to hear what MIT students would have to say on whether or not I’d fit in.
(Is there a particular frat/social house that would appeal to someone like me?)
I like quirky kids… I’m not necessarily talking about nerdy kids, but rather artsy, musical, and generally alternative ones I have assumed that MIT has less of these types, is this correct?
There are lots of musicians at MIT, and you'll also find students who are into the arts. My daughter is an artist, -- she left behind a half dozen murals on the walls of her dorm when she graduated from MIT.
You are the best judge of whether or not MIT's a good fit for you. Try to visit the school, if you can. If you apply and are admitted, try to go to Campus Preview Week. Then you'll know.
50% of MIT students are in a fraternity or sorority, so there's that.
There are a whole spectrum of people here, from people who party every week to people who has never been to a party. But one thing that's common about everyone is that when it's time to get out the books and study, we do it. So if you don't want to struggle through psets and pull a bunch of late-nighters, then MIT might not be a good fit for you.
We were talking with our daughter the other day about the fact that this is her last semester doing physics p-sets in graduate school at Harvard. Her dad said something like, "After all those years of p-sets at MIT and now Harvard, you must be grateful to be at the end. Do you have nightmares about p-sets?" There was a sort of stunned silence on the other end, and she said, "I love p-sets. I can't imagine having nightmares about p-sets, but for your information, I still have nightmares about AP English."
Thanks for the feedback!
@CalAlum- I've visited several times and talked to a few friends there. I was very surprised and a little disappointed by how fraty it was. (My friends are all lacrosse players so this may have effected my impression)
-I'm trying to decide whether or not I should apply early decision somewhere else so I might not have the luxury of attending Campus Preview Week.
Let me reframe my question in a more succinct manner:
How does the feel at MIT compare to schools like Wesleyan/Brown? Is there a large Bohemian/Intelectual crowd at MIT?
@iceui2 I don't think it's 50% of the student body in frats/sororities. I think it's like 50% of guys and a significantly smaller amount of girls for a total close to 1/3rd than 1/2 of the student body. It's still a lot but not quite that much.
I'm under the impression that living groups here are so diverse you can find pretty much anything you want. I got a pretty alternative vibe from East Campus/Senior House/Bexley in particular. At those dorms you could also cook for yourself instead of being on a meal plan. Every year each dorm produces an i3 video that gives a sense of the dorm's culture. They are often really entertaining too. I'm not sure how MIT compares to Brown but I imagine people at MIT are a lot more technically oriented.
I would say that MIT definitely has the bohemian/intellectual subculture, but it is a subculture. Nothing that you are asking about is missing or insubstantial at MIT. That being said, the "feel" of a campus is a very personal thing. I went to MIT, one of my closest friends from secondary school went to Harvard. I spent a fair amount of time, particularly my freshman year, on the Harvard campus visiting her, and she spent a similar amount of time at MIT visiting me. One day I turned to her and said "Harvard has always struck me as being vaguely...I dunno... pretentious... in a way that is not completely comfortable for me." And she looked at me relieved and said "Oh I am SOOO glad you said that, because I have always felt exactly the same way about MIT."
Can you find what you are looking for on the MIT campus? Absolutely you can. Bohemian cultures exist in a variety of places around MIT (including in a small chunk of the fraternity, sorority and independent living group system). You can find people just like you to live with. Will the MIT campus feel like home? Nobody else can answer that for you. The student blogs on the website are probably the best window into MIT life without visiting.
^Just try to dodge the sprinklers the first week. They don't like new people.
Honestly, I'm not sure there is a college that has a high number of "bohemian intellectuals".
There are definitely quirky people at MIT (East Campus particularly), and there are intellectuals of course too. I don't know about the cross-section of those two qualities with people interested in humanities-type subjects (though there are people interested in humanities--I was one of them.)
Ivy leagues have a lot of people that have broad interests, but their political interests seem to be more about advocating a cause than philosophical debating.
hey i saw that u would play for MITs tennis team. just wondering, what are ur local, national, tennisrecruiting ranks? tournaments played, high school stuff, tennis background, etc? i was also recruited a couple years back to play