I was talking to this Cornell alum on a plane a few weeks ago on the way back to Chicago. We were talking about our respective schools and I thought one of her comments was really interesting. She was saying that at Cornell things were really competitive and people wanted to show each other how smart they were and would brag about how fast they would finish psets. But her perception of MIT (which I think is dead on) is that people brag not about how smart they are, but by how much they have been working (e.g. I stayed up until 4am working on this pset!).
It's an interesting comparison and looking back is one thing I really loved about MIT. It is this environment that really cherishes hard work no matter how "smart" someone might be or how fast they can catch onto something. People take up enough to fill all of their time and more and love to keep themselves really busy.
And busy is good.