Welcome, or welcome back! This is always an energizing time of the academic year: new graduates and undergraduates joining the MIT family, returning students reconnecting with friends, faculty members hearing about their advisees’ great summer projects, classes gearing up, athletic teams blending new members with veterans, groups planning the year’s projects.
It’s also an exciting time. The many activities make it feel like the campus is returning to life, with possibilities for new beginnings and reengagement. If you are new to our community, you have probably noticed the incredible array of activities for you: within living groups, in the arts or athletics, through a research group, as part of one of the hundreds of student-organized clubs. Like the proverbial “kid in the candy store”, it may seem like all your wishes have come true, but it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the opportunity to sample so many choices while balancing your academic and research responsibilities.
Whether you are a new freshman, an incoming graduate student, or just returning after a few months away, I encourage you to use September for setting priorities. What are three key things that you want to accomplish this term? How will you attack them? How will you measure progress? By articulating a set of goals, you help maintain focus and reduce the distraction of too many other challenges.
As Chancellor, I am responsible for “all things students.” This leaves me with a very long list of issues to address! But although I am still refining my agenda for the coming year, and while new issues will arise, here are three topics on which I hope to make progress.
I hope your list of key goals is equally as challenging and exciting.
The MIT student life and learning digest presents topics and useful Institute resources with strong student interest. Students receive it monthly throughout the academic year.