Any Guides or Blog Posts for Incoming Freshmen at MIT

Hello, this is my first post on the site!
I am a first-generation college student that got accepted into MIT EA for the class of 2025; but as the months move closer and closer to move-in day, I can’t help to feel that it is such a huge transition, no one in my family has really been to college, much less give advice on what that’s like, especially at such a prestigious school.

it would be absurd to ask for all the tips here on this post, so I was wondering What are the best blogs, youtube videos, or websites that give honest advice, tips, and insight on what life is truly like at MIT?

(i know the official MIT student blog exists but it seems too university-protective, and there are way too many to filter through)

Thank you for all replies, and best wishes

I would say that there are no " best" places to get tips about the MIT experience. Each person’s experience will be different. It will depend on what living group you are in; what friends you make; what activities you participate in.

You are better going in with an open mind make your own choices.

Usually I can find quite a few resources like:

  1. MITAdmissions.org

  2. The old HowtoGAMIT (How To Get Around MIT): http://web.mit.edu/htgamit/www/

  3. Youtube videos
    examples:
    CP* 2020 | Welcome to the Class of 2024 | MIT International Student Association - YouTube
    Welcome MIT Class of 2024 - YouTube
    Dear Class of 2025 -- Advice from an MIT/Stanford Student - YouTube

  4. Facebook private group for the Class of 2025: https://www.facebook.com/groups/181005040346712

Other stuff you may find helpful:

  1. Courseroad – for planning classes, major, looking at hours per week, prereqs, ratings, etc.

I believe this integrates to the Course Evaluations (when you get a MIT Account/Kereberos, you’ll be able to see the comments). When I was a student, we regularly reviewed the Course Evaluation Guide (a student organization, and the function has been taken over by MIT) and we’d see what was most helpful, most useful, etc. for handling various classes.

  1. Various stuff offered by Student Life:
    https://studentlife.mit.edu/housing/undergraduate-housing/residence-halls
    Undergraduate Residence Halls | The Guide to Residences

  2. “stay friendly to everyone” even upperclassmen.

You know why we highly value collaboration? One of the reasons is that you’ll need your entire community to excel and to thrive at MIT. You can ask upperclassmen for advice, bounce ideas, help on psets, collaborate on extracurriculars and projects, …

  1. “Be ambitious but don’t be too ambitious, prioritize sleep too”
    There are freshman credit limits for a reason. (My wife went to a school where there’s minimums … the average MIT student was an overachiever/superachiever type that thinks 70+ MIT units would be fun plus adding a bunch of extracurriculars / easy and sleep is overrated.)

Freshman year is transitional, and it will get harder.

Sleep is important for many reasons (reset, neurochemistry, mental health, memory/memorizaiton, etc.)

  1. “Find positive ways to deal with stress”

And this will be different for each person. Good ways:
Exercise, Sports
Sleep / rest
Relaxation
Recreation
Meditation / prayer / etc.
Having fun time with your friends

  1. “You have lots of resources”

Upperclassmen
Graduate Residence Tutors
Housemasters
Departmental tutors
Professors
Graduate student tutors and recitation instructors
Your peers
Your friends
Various offices like Office of Minority Education and the International Students Offices may have appropriate resources
Mind Hand Heart
S3 (Student Support Services)
MIT Alumni
Libraries
Local area libraries (might not be applicable under COVID)

For instance, my freshman seminar, I needed a paper from the Department of Transportation and it turns out that was a couple blocks from my dorm (the Volpe Center is at 55 Broadway, Cambridge, MA).