Friday, June 29, 2012

Marisol Clemens - MIT

This past year at MIT has been challenging in more ways than just academically. Being so far from home I have had to deal with family separation as well as all the typical transitions to college life. However, all of it has been worth is because of the amazing experiences I have had here and the wonderful community I have found on the MIT campus. The summer before my freshman year at MIT began I attended a program by the name of Interphase. It is a seven week program that is run out of the MIT Office of Minority Education. During those seven weeks the OME spent a considerable amount of resources preparing myself and 67 other students for the rigors of MIT. I had the opportunity to live on campus, learn my way around and meet MIT faculty and staff before the academic year even started. The experience was invaluable. In fact, I enjoyed my experience so much that I am back this summer working as a Humanities TA for the very same program. I felt so prepared by this program and had so much fun, meeting my closest friends in the process, that I found a way to come back and give the same leg up to this year's incoming freshmen. Looking back on the year, I would not have been nearly as successful had it not been for this program. When I entered the academic year there were many large transitions to be made. It was a huge change going from being the top of the class to being at the same intellectual level as all of the students in my classes. I took pretty much exclusively hard science classes and learned so much from the extremely high caliber professors. I was lucky enough to take 7.013 (everything here at MIT corresponds to a number or an acronym) Introduction to Biology from Tyler Jacks who is on the forefront of all current cancer research. I spent this whole past year gobbling up as much knowledge as I could. I learned so much about what sorts of study habits work and where the tactics I used in high school won't cut it on a college campus. I also learned a lot about myself and how independent I am. I absolutely love living in Boston. Although it is very different than California I have found my place here. Over the year I joined a Sorority that has become my family on campus and played club soccer with girls who inspired me to work harder then I ever have. College is a place to try new things and figure out which of your old activities mean enough to you for you to continue them in college. Looking to my sophomore year I have a job lined up in the admissions department. I never got a chance to really be exposed to MIT before I got in. Here on campus I am going to be working as a Minority Admissions Intern and my responsibility will be giving virtual tours to students who do not have the resources to make a trip to Boston. I am really excited to start inspiring others to find their place here at MIT. This past year has been more then I could have ever anticipated. It flew by with so many wonderful memories. That's not to say that it wasn't challenging. MIT has been my biggest accomplishment and my biggest challenge. I am so happy to be here and I wouldn't trade it for anything. If anyone has any questions about campus or what it takes to get into MIT please let me know. I would love to interact with other potential students. Good luck with beginning your own college experience, Marisol Clemens