Avery Nguyen ’22

Double Major: Literature (21L) & Chemical Engineering (10-ENG)

What was your favorite book, film, or thesis, paper title, etc. from out of Literature? Though not directly from 21L.449, I read The Overstory afterwards and as a “continued reading” for the course and found it incredibly compelling, especially with such a tender treatment of science, humanity, and nature. Directly from syllabi, I think I’m perpetually enchanted by Bleak House.

What advice would you give a future Literature Major? What did you wish you knew before your journey? I think it’s important to know what (or how) you love and why — even if not a particular object, knowing what kinds of explorations give you strength and momentum will allow you to sustain yourself during your time. But also, somewhat counterintuitively, I think it’s important to allow yourself to grow and change, and to honor your interests as they are and as they evolve. Or, in simpler terms, I think it would have been good if someone told me it was okay for me to change my mind, often and across great distances.

What’s your favorite animal? Why and how does it relate to literature or your work? My favorite animal is the merlin! My name is a bit of a pun on “aviaries,” and I’m very fond of birds. The obvious connection is mythical, but I think there’s something very lovely also about an animal with such an intimate relation with human practices of falconry and cooperation.

Avery was also our Peter S. Donaldson Award, Class of 2022 Winner!
View Avery’s Profile: SHASS Meet The MIT Bilinguals: Salute to Seniors | Class of 2022