Your first year at MIT will change how you see the world
DON'T STRESS ABOUT GRADES
Fun fact: your first semester at MIT has no grades. Crazy, right? Instead of grades, you take classes on a pass/no record basis: if you pass the class you get a “pass” on your transcript; and if you don’t, there is no record that you took it. The second semester works in a similar way, except you earn letter grades instead of “passing,” but if you do not pass, the class does not show up on your transcript. This is meant to not only give you time to adjust to college-level courses and not stress about it, but also explore MIT and Boston/Cambridge as a whole, so take advantage of it!
LEARN IN A CLOSE-KNIT COMMUNITY
Coming to MIT can feel like going from a small pond to a vast ocean when it comes to classes, social life, and navigating a new city. But fear not! If it seems like an overwhelming transition, joining a first-year learning community (FLC) may be the perfect solution. FLCs are smaller academic groups where students focus on their subjects through a particular lens, like sustainability or humanities. There are three different FLCs to choose from: Terrascope, Experimental Study Group (ESG), and Concourse. Each one makes the college transition a little bit easier by giving you a supportive community of peers to study with, socialize with, and complain about psets with from day one.
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KICK OFF COLLEGE WITH AN ADVENTURE
Your MIT journey starts way before your first day of class. Obviously we have an orientation for first-year students; but what if we told you there were more than 25 PRE-Orientation Programs (FPOPs) that give you an awesome opportunity to leave your comfort zone and start making friends who will last you your four years at MIT and beyond. There’s probably an FPOP for whatever you are interested in—from being the first in your family to go to college or building an underwater vehicle, to hiking in Colorado or producing a full-fledged short film—and they’re the perfect start to MIT. Applications go up in the spring and are due in mid-June.
AN ENTIRE TEAM OF AMAZING FOLKS JUST WAITING TO HELP
MIT has an entire department dedicated just to helping first-year students inside and outside the classroom. The Office of the First Year is full of information that will cover you from orientation all the way through the year as you navigate new classes and requirements. There are advising and tutoring programs, study tips, and information on how to tackle your GIRs. The OFY is also home to the First Generation Program, which provides a community and support to all MIT students who are the first in their family to go to college.