So around 3000 miles ago, life was good. Now, 3000 miles and 6 weeks later, life is even more awesome. I'm William, a first year from sunny San Diego, California and I cannot begin to explain how awesome Olin is (even though the west coast is still the best coast).
Well, actually, I can begin to explain, but I don't think I could ever hope to finish. (read: prepare for the cliche but oh so true statements) The moment I stepped onto campus, it already felt like everyone here was a part of my family: it's only been 6 weeks, but it feels like I've known people here for years. I can just walk into the dining hall and sit down at any table and have a conversation with whoever is sitting there (this includes professors!) and I can send out an email about a pickup game of Ultimate and people will show up ready to play.
The other day I was walking out of class and I told Mark Somerville, who has written several books and has a PhD from MIT, "Bye Mark, have a great weekend!" It felt so weird, but it also felt so great, and it gives you a good idea about how the student-faculty dynamic works here. Most faculty at Olin prefer to be called by their first name and are not just our professors, but also our colleagues, mentors, and friends. Just this past weekend, I went out with my faculty advisor (Jessica Townsend) and our group of advising students to Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park, and had a great time jumping around and playing trampoline dodgeball.
Other than being friends with all the faculty and staff, we all are nuts about group work. Before I came to Olin, I was accustomed to just locking myself in my room and studying until the job was done. Now, it's harder for me to do work alone in my room because, well, you need help from others and you want to also help others. Just this past week, I was sitting in a lounge late at night (or early morning depending on how you look at it) and working on a lab for Introduction to Sensors, Instrumentation, and Measurement (Olin's version of an Intro to Circuits class) and whenever I needed help, there always seemed to be a person awake and willing to help me. Our labs for ISIM (our awesome acronym for that class) are due the day we have the lab section for that class, and the next day, I spent a good deal of time running around helping people who had the same lab due the next day. The tips and tricks I learned the previous day helped several people complete their lab at not-post-midnight, and it made me feel great.