First Year Experience News - 2015

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  • Navigating MIT for the first time can feel like entering a new galaxy; you don’t know what challenges will present themselves. This year’s Freshman Orientation program used a “Guardians of the Galaxy” theme to welcome 1,107 first year students to MIT and show them that by working together as a team, they can truly succeed here.

    2015 Freshman OrientationLeading up to orientation, 585 eager first year students arrived early on campus to participate in one of the 26 Freshman Pre-Orientation Programs (FPOPS). Students were able to explore programs in 22 academic disciplines as well as leadership, the arts, service initiatives, and the outdoors. This year, three new programs were launched: Discover Chemistry, Discover Chemical Engineering, and Discover Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

    With 87 enthusiastic Orientation leaders guiding the way, the week started on Sunday, August 30, with some fun and games. Produced by Orientation Coordinator Jack Gordon ’18, the kickoff event featured video clips of MIT students facing and overcoming challenges in both this galaxy and the Marvel world, such as navigating a pset and defending against the evil villain. The event also brought together first-year students and Orientation leaders in a number of games on stage, including an epic final dance-off...

  • 2015 MIT Transfer Student OrientationMIT’s transfer students form a special and unique community on campus. This year’s cohort is comprised of 19 talented students ranging from local colleges and universities to others from across the world, including Bunker Hill Community College, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, University of Rochester, Cornell University and Peking University.

    Although the Institute initially classifies all transfers as sophomores who have declared a major, they now have the exciting opportunity to participate in all the activities and events offered to the freshmen class during Orientation. This is the third year that transfer students have been fully integrated into Orientation. Previously, they participated in a two-day program for transfer students only.

    Jordan MaloneEven though these students have already experienced freshman orientation at another university, MIT’s Orientation can feel like the first time. Transfer students have already reported benefiting from events like the Academic Expo, Activities Midway, and Core Blitz. They have enjoyed engaging with the MIT community at Residence Exploration Opportunities (REX) and social activities, such as exploring Boston and attending cookouts. Some have begun seeking a UROP and are engaging with faculty, staff, and other students.

    Among the transfer students this year is Jordan Malone, who became a two-time Olympic medalist in the sport of short track speed skating. He had engineering dreams before he had Olympic ones. Even as a 5-year-old, avid Lego-builder, Malone says he was “sold” on becoming an engineer and would eventually aspire to attend MIT...

  • For the fourth year in a row, one of the main events during MIT Class of 2019 Orientation featured current students sharing their own personal challenges at MIT, and the lessons they have learned. The panel, called “By Students, For Students,” was introduced by Chancellor Barnhart, who also described her new initiative, MindHandHeart. Both the panel and the Chancellor’s initiative seek to encourage students to ask for help when they need it, in order to build a healthier and stronger community.

  • The 85 students who will serve as Orientation Leaders this summer have been selected and have already started working to welcome the MIT Class of 2019. Many of the Orientation Leaders volunteered at Campus Preview Weekend, helping pre-frosh with luggage check-in, serving as hosts, and assisting with small group icebreakers at the student welcome event.