Welcome to Tech

Photo by Grace Stephens

Congratulations on being accepted into the Georgia Institute of Technology. And on surviving high school. Go ahead, take a minute to absorb how good it feels. Now the purpose of this article is to greet you to Tech and I’m not going to lie – I struggled on how to do that. It is incredibly easy to devolve into cliché and kitsch when writing about a rather large life transition. I kept thinking about what, as a freshman, I would want to know from a senior. This led to bland and ultimately meaningless phrases like “take a break from studying to enjoy college life” or “try to discover who you are as a person” or “don’t use the third vending machine in the CULC since it’s really a time machine.” Instead, I’m going to share a few of my Tech experiences.

During my freshman FASET, I was being overwhelmed by the army of booths along Skiles when I was accosted by a recreational GT rugby group looking for new members. One of them was called “photon” because he was small and fast.

My first semester I had a Calculus II class with one of the professors known as the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”. By December, I was used to making grades that would have shocked me to death in high school. A curve in the class let me finish with a B. It was miraculous. I think I heard a choir singing when I saw my final grade.

I get the most compliments about my attire on the days I wear my shirt with a Squirtle on it.

When I get drunk, legally, with my best friend, we end up having philosophical discussions about the works of Shakespeare I’m told nobody else in the room understands. I still don’t know if it’s because they were busy talking about System Dynamics or because my friend and I were unintelligible to all but ourselves.

Once I walked around campus for exercise and counted at least five different languages spoken by passing students.
“I get the most compliments about my attire on the days I wear my shirt with a Squirtle on it.”

The first article I wrote for the Technique was a review of Dragon*Con.

There are classes where you make video games, study science fiction, learn how to build bridges and figure out how rockets work. Literally, there are rocket scientists walking around Tech. One of them was my PL.

Sweeping statements are best avoided, but I’m going to guess about your college experience. You will make new friends and go on crazy adventures with them. You will fall in love. I’m sorry if your heart gets broken. You may get drunk at parties. Sometimes this will be amazing. Other times you will do something you regret. You will pull an all-nighter for a test. Then cry when you get it back. Depending on how much time was spent on Reddit during that all-nighter, these will be tears of joy or sadness. You will make mistakes. Hopefully beautiful ones. No matter how much you love the show, you will get sick of hearing about Doctor Who. You will think someone sitting next to you is speaking a foreign language, then realize it’s Quantum Physics. You will look back and wonder how you ever sat for seven straight hours in high school every day. You will look forward and wonder what the hell comes next.

Welcome to the next stage of your life. Welcome to Tech.