Dec 21, 2011
Posted in: Freshman Applicants
Six and a half hours ago, this was me:
Why? Because I, like Elizabeth, am officially done with finals!!! I left campus about 2 hours ago, and am currently at Logan Airport, wishing my flight weren't delayed. The airport is packed, and I've already spotted several MIT hoodies and sweatpants. So many students are headed home :)
I've decided to use this extra bit of free time to write an entry I wanted to write/post this past Monday regarding admissions decisions.
Two years ago, I wrote an entry called 'To the Deferred' - and I want to now add to the words expressed in that entry.
First: to those of you who got in - congratulations, and welcome to MIT! I hope to see you on campus during CPW.
To those of you who didn't get in: I have a story for you! And hopefully, it'll make you feel a bit better.
This past semester, I worked very, very hard - not only on schoolwork, but on scholarship applications as well. There was one application in particular that I poured my heart into - I wrote nine versions of that application, asked for several others' opinions on my essays, and revised, revised, revised.
In order to compete for scholarships, you often have to interview at your school and compete for one of your school's nominations spots. I spent a week preparing for my MIT interview, using study breaks during finals studying to drill interview questions with friends. In the end, I didn't get a nomination spot - and for about ten minutes, I sort of just stared at the wall and let tears fall.
Rejection hurts - there's no doubt about it. But it hurts less if you take a second to think about the big picture - which is where my friends came in.
Here are some excerpts from my conversations with friends (copied/pasted from gchats/emails that were pretty much all taking place at the same time, lol):
Me: "idk i'm trying to be positive and i more or less am but a small bit of me is very very sad right now and i'm trying to make that little hamsika feel better :P"
Yun '12: "I bet that tiny hamsika is the one that's extremely goal-driven too because i have a tiny-yun like that but sometimes i need to remind her that failing just made me get up again and go and tackle the next big bad thing and i think tiny hamsika will keep on feeling sad for a while, but eventually she'll become happy and join big happy hamsika"
Me: "i really wanted to make everyone proud! :("
Anjali '12: "Winning a scholarship doesnt mean anything - it's about what you do and why you do it. It really is"
Me: "i'm losing some faith in myselff"
Caroline '10: "really though, scholarships are awesome - but they're not the only measure and it certainly doesn't validate or invalidate your work"
and lastly, these two -
Ambar '12: "Do not think about this too much - I've learned to think of these application processes as a way for me to simply learn more about myself and get better at writing essays and then each one of these will never disappoint no matter how far you go."
Vidya '12: "you are such a super awesome bamtastic person kiwi - like forrealz"
("kiwi" is a nickname - just fyi, haha)
The same sentiments apply to you all + admissions decisions!
All of you, whether you got in or didn't get in - should be proud of the fact that you applied to MIT, one of the most selective schools in the world. In filling out the application, you explored your interests, your goals, and your strengths - you took time to share those characteristics with the entire admissions committee. And no matter where you end up, you will do well, as long as you put your mind to it. ♥
As Anjali '12 told me, winning/not winning or getting in/not getting in doesn't change what you've accomplished so far in your life. If everything you did was done for the sole reason of getting into MIT, then you're doing it wrong - do what you love, what you care about. And if you do that, I think these acceptances/rejections will hurt a little less.
I bounced back within a day after I received news about the scholarship - and I'm happy :) I have fabulous friends, and I'm proud of what I've done so far in life. In just a few minutes, I have to board my flight - but I hope this entry is helpful/comforting to you all.
Best wishes - and happy holidays!
p.s. It might be a while before I get to blog again; I'm not completely sure I'll have Internet in India...catch you guys in 2012 for sure!