Taking the T

Hi OLINsider! My name is Mads. I am a first year at Olin and therefore a member of the class of 2022. I am from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and I have two younger sisters, a mom, a dad, and two cats back home. I brought my rabbit, Patches, with me to Olin because she is an Emotional Support Animal. I have no idea what I want to major in, but since arriving here about a month ago I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to within the realm of engineering. I’ve made so many friends and I feel really comfortable here, which rarely happens so quickly when you’re a visible minority like me. I think Olin just has that effect on people.

Something that helped me choose Olin for my higher education was its proximity to Boston. Needham is a nice place to be because I feel like I’m in a college town most of the time, but when I want to be in a major city (which is occasionally) it’s only a train ride away! Tonight, I have a gender dysphoria support group meeting, so I’m going to take the T-Boston’s subway system-into Cambridge.

Part of first year orientation was a trip into Boston, so that we would all know how to take the T! In the process, all of my class got a free CharlieCard - an RFID card that you use to get into the subway stations and can be reloaded and reused. We held on to our CharlieCards because a new one costs money, and it’s the best way to pay for T rides.

While I love Olin’s campus, it helps me to conceptualize all of Boston as an extension of my campus. With the ease of getting there, why shouldn’t I? It’s full of resources and general fun stuff to do! In fact, I’ve gone into Boston four times in the past five weeks. Olinsider readers, please trust me when I say I am not the most adventurous person by a long shot… but I still found the time and effort to go into a big city near me!

It’s affordable, even for college students! A one way ride into Boston costs $2.25, so to go in and come back is $4.50. I didn’t even have a ride to Eliot (the closest T stop) until last night, when I asked a friend if she was free to give me a ride. Other common ways of getting into Eliot are to send out a message to the “help-me” email list at Olin to find a ride with another Oliner, or to get an Uber/Lyft.

If you’re worried that you’ll feel trapped in Needham, I want you to be aware that it’s easy to get out to a T stop and into Boston.

Posted in: Mads '22, Class of 2022