An MIT Alumni Association Publication

The MIT Alumni Association asked some of its alumni to finish the phrase “You know you went to MIT if . . . ,” and their unique-to-MIT responses show that the Institute is a place unlike any other.

The responses, recorded at on-campus events during Tech Reunions weekend, include Institute-only acronyms like IAP, LSC, and IHTFP, and a well-known metaphor about the rigors of an MIT education.

“You know you went to MIT,” says Saf Yeboah-Amankwah ’93, MEng ’94, “if you know what drinking out of a firehose feels like.”

Many responses also mirrored the Institute’s mission to address great challenges facing society. “You know you went to MIT,” says Ashwini Gokhale ’13, “if you've met super passionate people who want to change the world.”

Learn more about MIT’s alumni population and find out just how many people make up the most talented network in the world.


Brandon Rigney

Tue, 01/29/2019 8:21pm

When a stranger says to you, "I see you are wearing a Brass Rat...."

Frank Jelenko

Tue, 01/29/2019 8:28pm

The phrases used for You know you went to MIT if........ are not unique to MIT.

To say "if you've met super passionate people who want to change the world" would be true at many, many colleges, universities. I also find that statement to be way too politically correct; maybe trite.

I would find more interesting if you reported things like 'what a Smoot is' or something good, bad or annoying about a lecture room for one of the Institute requirements. Maybe something about Kendall square that's related to MIT, the Common, the Charles, Something that is actually unique about MIT.

Asjad Iqbal

Wed, 01/30/2019 12:05am

At MIT the faculty and staff treat you with respect. They don't care about the color of your skin or the part of the planet you might have originated in or your ethnic group. People were pretty free to practice their faith. As far as the administration was concerned there was a long held policy of non-discrimination against sexual minorities. Unfortunately the students in ROTC were for a long time discriminated against by the US government and military. These students would live in perpetual fear.

Matthew Thompson

Wed, 01/30/2019 10:39am can't help but utter a visceral "Ungghhh..." every time you hear the word "firehose" used in a conversation.

Thanks for not disappointing, Saf and editors.

Richard Swenson

Wed, 01/30/2019 7:12pm

you can actually proubly proclaim that you jus managed yo pass a course taught by Noam Chomsky.

William Miller

Mon, 02/04/2019 12:00pm

You know you went to MIT when you realize that, at gatherings throughout your entire life, you are usually the one that has to explain how things work.

Howard Boles

Tue, 02/19/2019 4:47pm

...during one semester you took two courses with the same title - "Structural Analysis" - and one was a Civil Engineering course and the other was a Music course.

William Flarsheim

Sun, 02/24/2019 12:03am

... three of your undergraduate professors are later awarded Nobel Prizes, and they were all good teachers too. (Thank you Profs. Kendall, Friedman, and Solow)

Next Up