MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Jess K. '10

Oct 8, 2007

Blogging Scholarship

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Recently Evan's mother, who is, for the record, so cool, sent the bloggers an email about a $10,000 scholarship for any bloggers who attend college. I happen to fit both of those descriptions, so I (who happened to be in New York with high school friends for the weekend; more on this later) scrambled to borrow a laptop and sent in an application. And - I'm a finalist.

A lot of the time I'm not very serious - but I'm serious when I say blogging has become one of the most important parts of my life at MIT. I became a blogger before I was even a student here, just before orientation - but it's not because I've been doing it for so long, it's the response from you guys. Getting your comments and immediate feedback about my writing is an incredible thing.

So I'm asking for just a little more response from you - I need your help voting. If you've enjoyed anything I've written thus far, or just like clicking on things, please vote for me:

If you'd like to post the link yourself on your blog, or just spread it around to help me out, it's

And if you're curious about my application essay, that's fair game too:

Applying to college is a terrifying process. The applications are all filled with the same vague questions, such as, "where do you see yourself in ten years?" ("I'm supposed to know at 18?"), or "describe a hardship," ("this.") In essence, you’re asked to squeeze your entire identity into a couple sheets of paper and turn it over to the judgment of complete strangers. And MIT's "nerd school" reputation, while appealing for those of us with flash drives sewn into our pants, doesn't make the process any less intimidating either.

To me, blogging is bridging this overwhelming chasm; blogging is dissolving the sterotype like a polar protic solute in dimethyl sulfoxide. Blogging is interrogating multiple professors in the humanities and psychology departments so I'll know how to fully answer an applicant's questions, or being painfully honest about the terror of flying to college for the first time. Blogging is being careful not to reveal how little I've slept this week so my mom won’t yell about my poor time management, and why is it that she finds out more about my life from the internet than from actual phone calls?

I try to return what the admissions blogs gave me as a high school senior, when I followed them voraciously. Admissions-related questions remain the focus of my entries, but I also write about what I do besides problem sets - the CPR class I helped organize, hugging Judah Friedlander at Harvard, sleeping outside in Killian Court with my shoes off - because my primary goal is to convey that students at MIT are real people. I put myself out there not as a name, not as just an MIT student, but an identity squeezed into a few HTML pages. I try to give high school students the courage to do the same.

Your support means the world to me. Thanks for reading!

Comments (Closed after 30 days to reduce spam)

Just voted for you smile But couldn't you, in true MIT style, just write a script to vote for you millions of times wink Just saying...

And on a more serious note, GOOD LUCK!

Posted by: Star on October 8, 2007

I <3 clicking things, almost as much I as <3 JKim! Woot!

Best of luck!

Posted by: Krypton on October 8, 2007

just voted for you. GOOD LUCK, JKIM!!

Posted by: your fans on October 8, 2007

good luck! i still read this all the time, because 1) it's funny 2) i'm a stalker.

Posted by: Jon Wu on October 8, 2007

Of coure we're voting for you ! (done!). Another "college type" question : what would you do if you had 10,000 dollars ?

Posted by: Isshak on October 8, 2007

Just voted for you -- hope you make it!!

Posted by: Travis on October 8, 2007

hahaha jess you have flash drives in your pants?!

Posted by: gillian on October 8, 2007

Congrats, I voted for you.

I can't help but brag on this one though - that site is using the Democracy polling plugin for Wordpress that I developed. They've got it misconfigured though, it doesn't show any of the styles or do any of the Ajax. I'll go and tell 'em how to fix it smile

Posted by: Andrew Sutherland on October 8, 2007

You definitely got my vote.

And Andrew, I took a look at some of your work- very cool. (And I swear I'm not a creeper. I'm just an obsessive link-clicker.)

Posted by: Shannon on October 8, 2007



Posted by: DavidChen on October 8, 2007

Same with me (obsessive link-clicker), and Andrew, your work does look pretty neat. It might even force me to review SAT vocab smile

Posted by: Star on October 8, 2007

Hi, even though i'm all the way from South Africa,I find your blogging experiences to be very insightul and they offer great perspective about MIT. Good luck and I hope u win.

Posted by: Siyabulela on October 8, 2007

I just voted...Can I vote again...I tried but I don't think so...Hope u win!!

Ankit Chandra
Gaborone, Botswana

Posted by: Ankit Chandra on October 8, 2007

One vote for you, comming up smile

Posted by: Vytautas on October 8, 2007

Your essay is awesome!
I wish you the best! =)

Posted by: Edgar on October 8, 2007

Just voted for you.
You need to write to the Tech for more votes. Just think about $$$10,000!!! (and maybe bragging rights on your resume?)

P.S. we need to better the Grant Brisbee (with 415 votes for now).

Posted by: A parent on October 8, 2007

You're awesome! smile)

Posted by: Oasis on October 8, 2007

I've just voted for you. Good luck! =)

Posted by: PS on October 8, 2007

Just voted for you! Best wishes for the scholarship!

Posted by: Mark Stothers on October 8, 2007

The blogs were what attracted me to MIT in the first place, and yours has been so helpful. I'm applying early action now, and going through the archives, reading what you wrote has given me the courage you referred to in your essay. So in other words, I clicked the little vote button, and I wish you the best of luck! =)

Posted by: Raina on October 8, 2007

My whole family has voted for you! GO JESS!

Posted by: Melis on October 8, 2007

Voted =)

Posted by: Hunter '11 on October 8, 2007

Congratulations Kim!

Posted by: Christina on October 8, 2007

You got my vote smile Congrats! I love your blogging!

Posted by: Ginger on October 8, 2007

Though I am new around your blog, I believe that this is the most DOWN-TO-EARTH blog I have ever seen! This blog has proven to me that MIT students are actual people and not academic cyborgs that are just born perfect. Thanks Kim for all that you have done, even though I haven't read through all your entries yet. wink

Posted by: Gino J. on October 8, 2007

Oh, and yes, I voted for ya'. :D

Posted by: Gino J. on October 8, 2007

Congratulations JKim, just voted. Glad to see that you were in the lead when I voted. Good luck.

Posted by: De Petagma Saru on October 8, 2007

I voted! I would put a link on my blog, but everyone who reads my blog already reads your blog, except my family, and I already sent them each an e-mail. =) Good luck, you're in the lead!

Posted by: Hawkins on October 8, 2007

I voted. And you've bettered that Grant Brisbee. Yay for excessive blog reading. They really do help though.

Posted by: Becca on October 8, 2007

I've been following the poll results, on and off, since I cast my vote this morning. I'm happy to see that Jess has jumped from near the end of the pack, to the top two, and now to undisputed number one.

This is the power of MIT. raspberry

Posted by: Paul '11 on October 8, 2007

I think an IP address may vote just once.

Good luck Jess!

Posted by: A parent on October 8, 2007

Your blog has been my favorite since the beginning of my obcession with the MIT admissions blogs. I really hope you win the scholarship!

Posted by: Emily L. on October 8, 2007

@A parent: yup, it's configured to only take one vote per IP. It's a trade-off; it prevents massive vote fraud (preventing someone from creating a script to hit the ballot box with thousands of vote requests) but it also gives huge corporate intranets just one vote for the whole organization. For something like this, it's very worth it...It's crazy to have something my little project be a deciding factor in a $10k contest!

BTW, I got in contact with them and they've fixed the poll's display...making it all the better to see Jess kick butt! Keep on!

Posted by: Andrew Sutherland on October 8, 2007

Just voted for you! Good luck smile

Posted by: Doris on October 8, 2007

To the girl with two first names,

jess i love your writing. It's a real cool blend of dry humor, interesting, real-life drama, and illuminating perspective. Your writing is an invitation into your world as an MIT student, and also, as a real person, and the different realities that attend each(not that the two worlds are bifurcated there defnitely iintegrated).
i appreciate your realness, it's gritty, don't lose the savage. grin peace You know you've got my vote! lol

Posted by: silverSurfer on October 8, 2007

oh man, DMSO metaphor. This is the second-best MITblog entry ever. The best is still the one where Mitra's camera broke, so she drew a picture of her hairstyle in paint; but this comes close.

Posted by: Sam on October 8, 2007

Almost a thousand votes... [3 more to go]
You're winning.

Posted by: Sceth on October 8, 2007

Isshak - other than pay for my college education? Contribute to One Laptop Per Child, or get someone to maybe clean my dorm room occasionally.

Gillian - YES.

Posted by: Jess on October 9, 2007

Everybody else - you guys are RAD. Thanks so much for your support!

Posted by: Jess on October 9, 2007

oh ma gawd you can use this monies to go to belle and sebastian university!

Posted by: nishant on October 9, 2007

I totally spammed your link over three IRC servers and got them to vote for you.

Posted by: Hank R. on October 9, 2007

Jess, you trounced the competition. That's a crazy-delicious number of votes you got there. Congrats! wink

Posted by: Kevin on October 9, 2007

Andrew Sutherland,
You sure know what you're talking about. I asked my colleague to cast a vote at work but he was not allowed to. So it means one vote per family (per cable modem or whatever modem), per corporation, and per school? This is much more limiting than one vote/IP address. Well, it also mean I can't ask friends at work to vote there.

Posted by: A parent on October 9, 2007

Congrats, you're currently first on the list, so you're the winner for now =) I really hope you win, cuz i think you deserve it judging from the blog you posted.

Posted by: Claudia on October 9, 2007

Hey guys- still need your help voting. Tell your friends and family to click the link smile Thanks!

Posted by: Jess on October 9, 2007

Just voted. If you're a fan of JKim, what are you still waiting for? Please cast your vote now, absolutely important,else JKim will stop wearing her pants which makes the best blueberry waffles of our lives. Did I say 'our' or 'your'?

Good luck Kim.

Posted by: Omorx on October 9, 2007

Just to clarify- my pants are definitely staying on.

Posted by: Jess on October 9, 2007

A parent - it only means one vote per IP address. But often, a whole corporate network will have just one (or a few) IP addresses that face the outside world. Their routers give them individual IP addresses on their subnet, but those addresses don't show up when they access the general internet. I hope that makes sense...

So asking your friends at work to vote might work, and it might not. It all depends on configuration.

Posted by: Andrew Sutherland on October 9, 2007

Are you kidding me ??? Are you stalking me or something ? Negroponte is my hero !!! I am definitely going to get you plenty of votes !!! (wow, now that I know that, I am loving your blog even more ^^)0

Posted by: Isshak on October 9, 2007

Jess, I just posted a response on Ms. Butts site referenced above. I mean what I said. I voted for you yesterday. My hats off to you for even taking the time out to apply for the scholarship.

Posted by: a mom on October 9, 2007

Jess...way to go. Girl, u got my vote! Good Luck!! :D

Posted by: E Newts on October 10, 2007

I voted for you. (This blog is hilarious.)

Posted by: Kevin Chiu on October 10, 2007

Just voted for you. I love reading your blog. I hope you will win! =)

Posted by: hungyee on October 10, 2007

just voted for you.
i am, too. love reading your blog
Best of Luck

Posted by: anon on October 10, 2007

Kevin, I really hope you're not serious. If you are kidding: we apparently have very different senses of humor. If you are serious: I hope you decided not to vote for Jess because you felt someone else's blog had more merit - not because someone wrote a satire ridiculing Jess.
Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't "I hope you come in a strong second" equivalent to "I hope you lose"? I'm not sure if that was meant to be backhanded insult, but it kind of sounds that way.
Either way, Jess, I hope you come in a strong first. And Kevin, if I misinterpreted what you meant by your post, I apologize in advance.

Posted by: Angela on October 10, 2007

hey jessica. i've voted for you, and the best to you!
i am a former Reischauer Scholars Program student too smile
keep up the good work!

Posted by: lisa on October 10, 2007

hey jess. i've voted for you!
i am a former Reischauer Scholars Program student too smile
keep up the good work!

Posted by: lisa on October 10, 2007

to some people-

quit posting nasty comments in the other girl's blog. you can support jess kim right here. it reflects really poorly on MIT (and the readership-- you) to be harassing the competition. That's not to say that you should say mean things here. But better here than there, for sure.

Posted by: lulu on October 10, 2007

Hello all-
The re-post by Brownlee was not meant to be hurtful, and seemed (to me) so over-the-top that no one could possibly think it was anything other than a big joke. Thats what I assumed, anyway. However, it seems that quite a few people have taken actual offense to my reposting it. It wasn't my intention to sincerely malign anyone. But also, I think that the kerfuffle has resulted in anger and that is not what this competition, college, or blogging is about. So, I'm happy to take down the repost from my blog if Jess wishes me to. I do want this contest to be about the blogs, rather than conflict. I do wish Jess the best of luck.

Posted by: Shelley on October 10, 2007

my brother and i have just voted for you =)

Posted by: Monica on October 10, 2007

I've removed the comment from "witch." C'mon people, this is an MIT admissions blog - not a place for that sort of thing. Keep it civil or you're going to get Jess in trouble, which isn't fair to her at all.


Posted by: Ben on October 11, 2007

I voted for you ...good luck.
Fran (Sarah's aunt)

Posted by: Fran on October 11, 2007

Kevin, I really hope you're not serious. If you are kidding: we apparently have very different senses of humor.

Angela and Jess. I apologize if my comment came off as rude. That was not my intent. I do have valid reasons to vote for another of the finalists. Jess I hope you do well. Forgive me, if I want my pick to do just a little better. That is not intended as a slam on you, just a vote of support for my pick. Like Shelley, I want this contest to be about the blogs, rather than conflict. Good luck and may the best blog win.

Posted by: Kevin on October 11, 2007

Wow, I just voted for you again (from home, already voted from work) and that Kimberley Klein person has somehow pulled ahead by quite a bit. Better step it up! Everyone, if you have a computer in more than one location, vote again! =)

Posted by: Hawkins on October 13, 2007

voted for you! good luck!

Posted by: 0 on October 27, 2007

Comments have been closed.