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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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An application to MITQuite BrightPhysics
An application to MIT should /gush/ with your enthusiasm for what you love. One of my friends got in with an essay on her sock collection. If the admissions officer is grinning while reading yours, you're doing it right.
1st Year Male -- Class 2015
Education Quality: A+, Campus Aesthetics: B+
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MIT provides amazing opportunities if you're the typePhysics
MIT provides amazing opportunities if you're the type to take advantage of them. First semester can be tough, as many brilliant students have to learn how to study for the first time once they're in a class of nearly all brilliant students and a professor who expects that. It's definitely not meant for everybody, but for the highly intelligent and hard working, it can't be beat.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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Dude, MIT Rocks.Super BrilliantComputer Science
Dude, MIT Rocks.
Ok, now that I have that out of the way, and anyone who judges reviews by the first line has stopped reading: MIT is actually pretty good. The coursework is difficult, true, and it can feel like you're drowning, but overall the experience can actually be pretty positive.

First, you have to make sure that you have good friends; a good support group. It may seem like you won't have time at MIT for friends and fun, but it's critical that you don't just lock yourself away and expect to succeed in isolation. That's a surefire way to go crazy. Trust me - I did. I had to drop out (medical leave of absence). However, unlike (at least) one of the previous posters, the deans were very helpful and supportive of me getting back in, once I got therapy and help and showed I had a support network and proper plans in place. They want you to succeed (they want every student to succeed), but not at the cost of your health. [Sidebar: Whether that comes from truly caring about students or a fear of lawsuits, I could not say.]

I got back in after taking 2 years off, finished off my degree, and learned a lot from the experience. If you take things to excess, whether studying or partying, you'll regret it.

If you survive MIT, anything the "real world" throws at you will be a piece of cake.
On an unrelated note to all of this, I found that, like anywhere, most of the professors were helpful, but some decidedly sucked. Most of the TA's had open door policies, but some were jealous a-holes and would mark bright students down (easy to get around if you just acted fumbling around them as asked for help) for minor errors. Most of the students are very friendly and feel just as unsure as you (or anyone), but some are arrogant snobs who need their kneecaps kicked in.

There's not going to be a one-size-fits-all experience, but as long as you find people with similar interests, you work diligently, but not all-consumingly (not a word, I know) at your studies, and you ensure that above all, you take care of yourself, going to MIT will be one of the best experiences of your life.

And the fact that it's right next to Boston doesn't hurt either.

5th Year Male -- Class 2006
Scholastic Success: A+, Faculty Accessibility: F
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