I look back and I cannot help but think about how much I learned while living at tep. Yes, I learned to cook and to handle money and to fix things; but, at least for me, that isn’t what was important. There were the times when trying to relate to 30 people felt overwhelming and pointless; and there were the times the house was there for me when I really needed it to be.
I learned how to trust a compatriate only because he knew what you were going through. I learned how somebody you don’t like can save you. I learned how an awkward ‘I don’t know what to say’ or a fumbled hug can make all the differance in the world. I learned how to talk to people about things that I really thought I couldn’t. I learned that trying to reach out or trying to listen, even if you fail, can honestly help. I learned that I can help those around me whom I love when they need it. I learned that love isn’t a sexual thing.
MIT is a difficult place, and the value of having people around you who know what you are going through is immense. I am a better person for having gone through tep, and I notice the same differences in trust and confidence every day across my colleagues who joined fraternities and those who didn’t.
— Nicholas “Qwidgibo” Hanssens ‘01