Student Perspectives: MIT with Andrea

Are you interested in learning about American's top colleges from the perspective of current college students? We'll be visiting our LogicPrep alum, who are now current college students to get the inside scoop about what makes these universities great and what's completely different than expected. Follow along to learn more!

Jesse and Murilo recently visited LP alum, Andrea, whom you might remember from the LogicPrep Scholarship Program. Andrea is originally from Peru and moved to the US when she was only seven years old, speaking no English. Andrea is one of the most hardworking students we've had walk through the LP doors, and now she's loving being a student at one of the best schools in the world: MIT. 

What's the best part of being a student at MIT?

Andrea: We're all willing to help each other because we all know how stressful it is. There's just a sense of community. It's very rare that I ever finish homework by myself. I'll start doing it by myself, but I always end up collaborating with other students, and we teach each other. There's simply no way to get through MIT without working with others. 

How was the transition to college life?

Andrea: Harder than expected. I've been home sick a little bit, but I think once you find friends it's much better. I've found a great group of people in my dorm and it makes it so much more fun. I still get home sick, but not so much as I was when I first came to school because I've found my home and sense of community in my floor and dorm.

What 5 words would you use to describe MIT?

Andrea: If I had to describe MIT in 5 words, they would be: NERDY, MANAGEABLE, FUN, COMPETITIVE, & EXCITING. Sometimes I feel like I'm on a roller coaster.

Tell us about your current living situation:

Andrea: I live in a quad, so there are four people in my room. We had bunkbeds, but we took them apart. My roommates and I kind of do our own thing, but we're friendly, and we all get along and help each other out. 

What is your favorite class?

Andrea: Multivariable calculus. I really like my professor and feels like he engages the students into his lectures very well. 

Tell us about this MIT swim test:

Andrea: You have to swim 100 meters in order to graduate. You can do it at any point during your time at MIT, but it must be completed by graduation day. The reason for this is that if you were to fall into the Charles River, you'd need to be able to swim back. So the test used to be the length of the Charles, but someone negotiated that if you were to fall into the Charles, you'd never have to swim the entire length, so now students only have to swim half of the length. There's a rumor that on graduation day, there are Seniors that have to walk with wet hair because they just took their test. I already passed it, but if you can't swim, you can take a swim class in gym to fulfill the requirement.

What's the biggest surprise in coming to MIT?

Andrea: The people. I thought everyone would be really stuck up and snobby, but they're really not. Everyone has their own nerdy side to them, which isn't really surprising, and I love it. For example, I have a friend who's programming lights to put in his room that will move according to music. He's definitely not obligated to do this, but he just wants to. Also, we recently watched "500 Days of Summer" in our lounge, and then we all sat around for at least an hour discussing the movie in depth once it was over-- the character interactions, why people acts certain ways, etc. It was a little nerdy, but I liked it.

What's your take on the international perspective?

Andrea: I have a roommate from Mexico and there are a lot of international students on my floor. MIT really doesn't discriminate in anyway, and they're really more concerned about the student than where they came from. 

Compared to high school, what are some of the main differences?

Andrea: My high school was much smaller (250 in my grade), and I knew each person in my grade. Here, it would be hard to know everyone. I like that it's larger here, and that I don't know everybody. I miss the relationship I had with my teachers back home. Here, I'm in a large lecture room and don't really know my teachers. The TA's help, but I mostly just work with other students. 

What will you do with your summer in between semesters?

Andrea: MIT has a program during freshman second semester that helps students get summer internships. I plan on applying for the program so that I can intern. If I don't get into that, I am thinking of possibly studying abroad in France. And if neither of those options work out, I will likely stay here and do research.
 

Check out more student perspectives here.