Campus Life community immunity

The Course 3 fam

With suffering, there is bonding (not the chemistry type)

Course 3 (Materials Science & Engineering) is known as the “happy major” on campus. At the same time, Course 3 is also known to have one of the most notorious sophomore years. Our sophomores disappear, with us spending late nights in the lounge working on lab notebooks, trying to get Mathematica code to work, and huddling together at front desk to discuss design reviews.

But, with suffering, there is bonding (not the chemistry type). Even though I’ve mentally blocked out most of my sophomore year and I’m entering a field where my materials science knowledge is pretty much irrelevant, choosing Course 3 has easily been one of the best decisions I’ve made at MIT because of the community I found.

I would walk into H entry after MITSO rehearsal to a group of sleep-deprived friends with boba and Café 472 scattered on the floor among 3.012 psets. In the lounge, we stayed up much too late pasting graphs into our notebooks the day before they were due and trying to understand why our data didn’t make sense. After our final 3.014 presentations, a group of us wore Santa hats and sang a Course 3 carol to our professors and lab instructors. We coordinated what we would wear for our team presentations, either to imitate our professors, match our PowerPoint themes, or play off some bad puns. There were parties at frats (not to be confused with frat parties). There were picnics on the Esplanade in the summer. I traveled to Mumbai with two Course 3 friends and almost didn’t make it back. I was a DMSE FPOP Counselor and a 3.091 TA.

And suddenly, it was the spring semester of my senior year, and insanity ensued. But amongst the frantic emails, packing, last-minute get-togethers, and pure panic, the Course 3 seniors gathered for a final celebration held by our department. I cried three times that week, twice for Course 3. The first was when Jeff Grossman made his speech about how we would stay together, even if we were physically apart, and that Course 3 was a community for life. The second was when Shaymus, our lab instructor, gave me life advice for probably the last time. Of course, there were also many pictures, conversations with professors, and DMSE swag.

I’m thankful for all the amazing people I’ve met, the friendships I’ve made, and the memories I’ll get to keep. I can’t believe how much everyone has grown in two years, and yet some things never change. Even though we won’t see each other in person for a while, I’m sure people will have run-ins at conferences or grad schools, or we’ll have some sort of reunion at some point in the future. Until then… #course3bestcourse.