Balancing Academics and Fun: My Journey at MIT

Written by: Julia Fernandez del Valle

            Being a student at MIT does not come without its challenges. Between the courses, assignments, team meetings, and other responsibilities, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Thankfully, the university counts with many events that help make one’s journey at MIT a great experience by balancing out the academic with the social.

            During the Spring semester, MIT hosted a wide variety of events; whatever your interests are, you can find an event for it. From pet therapy to talks about technological advances, from musical interpretations to presentations on leadership, there is a vast list of events to cater to anyone’s needs. To me, these activities added to my experience at MIT by exposing me to new environments and allowing me to connect with the MIT community. As a mom, the family-oriented events were invaluable, as I was able to meet other parents while providing entertainment for my son. I also had the satisfaction to create lasting memories with friends outside of the class environment.

The SCM program is also quite strong at creating opportunities for its graduate students to bond and have fun. As a blended student, my in-person journey started in January. IAP, i.e. the winter semester, is packed with networking events which allow you to get to know your classmates quickly and in a entertaining way. Then, throughout the semester, there are more opportunities to build and strengthen relationships. For the study trek, our class had the awesome chance of traveling to San Francisco and Panama City. We visited various well-known companies, attended networking events with MIT alumni, celebrated birthdays, and discovered what the nightlife had to offer.

The fun does not stop at the staff-lead events. As one of the Event Leads for the blended class, my teammates and I organized parties to celebrate various cultures represented in our group. Each month, we had at least one event for the blended group, one for the residentials, and one for the entire SCM 2023 class. We had a great time discovering the Brazilian cuisine, learning we had rockstars among ourselves during karaoke, and throwing paint at each other for Holi. No matter the day, there was always an activity to do with friends!

Discovering San Francisco during Study Trek
Celebrating Carnaval with our Brazilian friends
Pet therapy day with SCM friends
Sing off at Karaoke Night

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