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My experience at MIT was kind of like being stuck in the middle of the ocean with waves bobbing you up and down and pushing you around, but not being able to find a foothold to take a deep, refreshing breath. Its extremely stressful. Almost like you're constantly on the verge of exploding. You'll work as hard as you can but it still won't be enough. It got to the point where my brain sort of stopped working. I couldn't think straight if I tried. I ended up falling into severe depression, the most horrible experience of my life. No doubt exacerbated by the expectations I had of myself at MIT. I took a medical leave which I wouldn't advise anyone to do. Once you're out they act like you are a leper. As if you aren't the same person who they accepted out of high school. As if you aren't more prepared for the environment since you've been in it. That is very frustrating. Don't expect to come back from a medical leave even if you do what is expected of you.I suppose the issue is that all the pressure is self-inflicted. You don't know how good or bad anyone else is doing and nobody is checking in on you. A lot of people drink way too much, but that is really the only way to cope with the immense amount of stress. Expect to not be able to do the things you enjoy while there.When everyone around you is struggling, there isn't anyone to go to for help. And that makes it more difficult. It is a very lonely and disenchanting experience.