Graduating MIT student reflects on his journey

Graduating from MIT this month is Christopher Wang who is about to complete his major in Course 6-3 (Computer Science and Engineering). Throughout his time at MIT, he has developed a passion for theater, honing his skills in playwriting, acting, directing, and lighting design through various student groups. Interestingly, his journey to MIT almost didn’t happen, sparked by a casual conversation with his brother.

Q: Share a life-changing conversation you’ve had.

A: Wang began his undergraduate studies at Washington University in St. Louis as a biology major aiming for a career in medicine. It wasn’t until his fifth semester, when he switched to computer science, that his brother casually suggested applying to MIT for a transfer. Wang followed through, partially to satisfy his brother’s suggestion, and to his surprise, got accepted. The decision was initially met with uncertainty, as he had settled into a routine at WashU, but the reassurance from one of his professors compelled him to seize the opportunity.

Reflecting on the alternate path not taken, Wang acknowledges the fortuitous turn of events that led him to MIT. He considers himself fortunate to have encountered the insightful and forward-thinking individuals who have enriched his life at the Institute.

Q: Which spot on MIT’s campus do you prefer for studying and why?

A: Wang finds solace in the sixth-floor lounge of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning building, appreciating its cozy ambiance and serene views of Mass Ave. The intimate setting, often sparsely populated, serves as an ideal space for collaborative problem-solving and group project work. Access to this haven is reserved for Course 11 majors, minors, or concentrators, a restriction that Wang circumvents with the assistance of accommodating friends.

For a change of scenery, Wang frequents the third-floor atrium in Building 46 within the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences building. This communal space offers encounters with peers and the occasional provision of pastries, fostering a conducive setting for focused study sessions amid the tranquil evenings.

Q: What’s your go-to food choice on or near the campus?

A: Embracing a health-conscious approach, Wang sings praises for Life Alive with its array of nutritious salads, grain bowls, and wraps. His personal favorites include the teriyaki shiitake wrap and the greens, egg, and cheese breakfast wrap. When indulging his sweet tooth, he turns to Toscanini’s for a delectable B3 (brown sugar, brown butter, and brownies) ice cream treat.

Q: Share an interest or hobby you’ve adopted at MIT.

A: Theater has emerged as a newfound passion for Wang since his arrival at MIT. Despite lacking prior theatrical experience, Wang has immersed himself in the vibrant theater community on campus. Engaging with groups like Next Act and Life On Stage Theater, he has explored diverse roles from playwriting and acting to lighting design and musical direction. Completing an HASS concentration in Theater Arts, Wang extols the welcoming and nurturing environment of MIT’s theater scene, encouraging others to partake in the enriching experience.

Outside of campus, Wang’s enthusiasm for theater extends to attending productions in the Boston area and occasionally venturing to New York City for select shows. Among his standout favorites are “Beetlejuice” and “Come From Away” in the musical category, and “Wolf Play,” “Manahatta,” and “Prayer for the French Republic” in the realm of plays.

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