Dec 17, 2009
Posted in: Freshman Applicants
This week has been a battle for all of us – I just finished my Multivariable final this morning; let us waddle in the Aftermath for a little bit…
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re still lingering around the blogs, looking for answers – why you were rejected, deferred, or accepted, how you should proceed college admissions from here on, what other applicants are feeling right now.
Last year this season, I pried every source on the Internet related to a particular college decision as results were released. This is understandable behavior. The past few months of your life were probably focused on getting into college, and much of your life may have been drilled in working hard for “the one you want”. So whether you didn’t expect to get in and got in or had all the passion in the world for MIT and were rejected/deferred, you will be thinking about yesterday’s decision for a while. No need to downplay that.
Well let’s talk about it.
One of the biggest perks about getting accepted early is also getting on the “2nd-Semester Senior” (SSS) wave early. My friends and I started longing for the “chill and settled” state-of-mind SSSs had since say, sophomore year. Before early-admissions results came out, I remember thinking “Omg. If I get in next week, I’ll be easy livin' for the rest of the school year. Sweeeeet!” Wishful thinking, it was.
Upon rejection, besides the realization that I have 0 chance to go to my early school, I was also stressed and depressed about having to keep focus and send out quite a few more applications; indeed, the rest of December and into January was very, very tough.
But in retrospect, I would say the sweat, doubt, and frustration was worth every bit. The process of completing more applications that asked a greater variety of questions forced me to think about what I liked to do, what I don’t, what my passions are, and which schools are right – or wrong. The early setback is really an extra impetus to push a little further in finding your next home. Just don’t be intimidated by the to-do list.
With that said, I did not apply Early Action to MIT, because frankly I was not interested initially. I didn’t want to dedicate so much time to math and science and I heard Cambridge had no trees. But after rejection from my early school, rethinking about what I want to pursue, I brought MIT into the picture. And since getting here, despite being bogged down by the academic intensity, I see more and more reasons why I like this place.
Some might feel that an icy-cold rejection or a vapid deferral offers no reward for many years of hard work. But from an artist’s point of view, I had always believed that if you could paint something brilliant, even if someone stole and burned the canvas, the work could be reproduced; because you hold the techniques and vision. Your existing skills, goals, and potential are things not even MIT can take away from you. The end of high school is only the beginning – and can’t be all summed up in rewards just yet. Work and motivation don't end with high school graduation; silly, but I once believed this.
Some others might very simply feel they deserve the spot just as much as the accepted student did. But the fact of the matter is, the process of choosing 1600 from tens of thousands of highly and often uniquely talented applicants is an absurd and nearly impossible task in itself. But that’s why we apply to multiple schools, and if you’ve been doing your job, you should end up happy at the one that reciprocates your love – whichever school that may be, MIT or not.
If you were denied - It’s true, by the very definition of the word, you failed to get in MIT – but you can never believe in that you’re a failure. We can all fail at things, but failing doesn’t define us. In fact, I’m pretty sure this is one of the principles MIT drills in its students – the capacity to fail and get back up ready to attack something else. In all honesty, I think the ability to keep going after all your mind’s/heart's/soul’s desires amidst an often unfair and irrational world is all too important. Don’t be heartbroken for too long – it’s time to reflect, reevaluate, and perhaps redefine what you want. The next month will be critical, but it should be upbeat and productive; another two months later should bring not necessarily “fruits of labor”, but more so a direction to lead the next couple steps in your life.
If you were accepted – Congratulations & Welcome, sincerely. You now have a great opportunity at hand. If you’re indeed wondering how you got in, there’s definitely a reason. And if you decide to come here, you can go to the Office and ask to see notes in your file…Time to do some thinking! Or not. :P
If you were deferred – it might all seem like a clueless limbo right now, but it’s actually a two-front war. Same deal: reflect, reevaluate, redefine – go after it.
’10 college admissions is far from over.