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A FAPulous Start by Anastassia B. '16

On how I’ve spent 0.0016% of my life at MIT so far.

Hello! What’s up Homo sapiens sapiens?

To everyone I’ve met this past week- I think you’re incredible human beings. To everyone reading this online- I think you’re just awesome in general. To those few in the overlapping section- we should be best friends.  :)

As of now, my existence can be broken up into two sizeable chunks: the first 6,681 days, and the past 6. In the first portion, I spent some time creating my personal algorithm for getting into MIT. Hopefully these general guidelines can help you with the specifics when you discover your own.

1. Think about what YOU really want.

I went to an art and design high school initially on my Algebra 2 teacher’s recommendation. It was simply a better school than the one near my home. In the two years I was there, I dedicated copious amounts of time to my drawing/sculpting/architecture classes and felt myself distancing from the sciences, but expanding in my range of thought. Eventually I made the decision to focus on academics because I knew my ultimate goal was still to contribute to humanity’s progress. I sometimes vividly imagined scenes from when I would live the MIT experience and wrote those three letters absentmindedly in all my doodles. After the constant visualization and fanatical interest, I slowly became certain of my path and purpose.

2. Apply early.

There are only benefits to this! Either you get the decision sooner, or you get extended time to supply additional information. In the 2 months you have before this deadline, I encourage you to spend a lot of introspective time. This doesn’t mean to be alone, drafting and writing and rewriting and polishing your essays. This means to spend a lot of time thinking about why you do the things you do and how you’ve developed yourself in your mental, emotional, physical, social spheres. This means to understand yourself, your beliefs, and your values. Plus, early acceptance can sometimes be the difference between spending winter break completing the 14 college applications you haven’t started and spending wholesome holiday time with your family. Not like this is from experience or anything…

3. Show your colors in the interview.

Sometimes I do silly things. Sometimes they become self-fulfilling prophesies or even deciding factors. I convinced myself that 11:11pm on 11/11/11 was the most universally auspicious time for me to contact my interviewer requesting face time. I told myself that the interviewer would understand when I cracked jokes to loosen his serious countenance because I was being honest to my true character. So I did both, and didn’t censor my other quirks, and now… I’m here.

4. Develop post-acceptance obsessive disorder.

So this step may not be for everyone, but it definitely caused this post to exist in the blogosphere today. Being at MIT meant that I would be within close proximity to the bloggers, who I previously classified as “intangible celebrities.” I began combing through all information sources about the Institvte and my fellow ‘16ers. I began to develop relationships with them. I even began developing the relationship of my relationships with them. Once, MIT sent me a Valentine’s Day card. I sent one back. The bloggers responded appropriately (oh the wonderful flood of emails!). As did I. Communication is key!

As you can tell, this isn’t a single-step submission. But it also isn’t an obstacle to get over to a destination- it’s a living process that I hope you enjoy. And speaking of (the creative) process, for the past 6 days I have been….
…. FAPping!

Which, of course, refers to the Freshman Arts Program, one of the many pre-orientation programs you can choose as a prefrosh to get to campus early for activities, but the only one with a reaction-inducing acronym.

It was the only experience I’ve had where 40 students and counselors went from being strangers to being a family comfortable with spontaneous hugging in only six days. Of course, all the surprise bonding activities warmed us up. Who couldn’t help but enjoy the mathematical square dancing we performed the very first day? Or being able to choose what to do across all the artistic disciplines (visual arts, creative writing, music, photography, theater, and dance)?

Honestly, this photo can explain FAP more than any description:

I don’t want to give away the schedule, because the counselors will hunt me down all of the activites were FAPnomenal. Just take what you will from this FAPtastic (okay, I’ll stop with that) photograph:

Oy! It’s exactly time for me to go have some wild fun at Orientation week!
Tl;dr → Just be yourself and