For the past six months, I have been truly privileged to share my MIT experiences with all of you through the admissions blogs. Whether I talked about my classes, my dorm, my fraternity, the hacks, the research opportunities, or something completely random, I was always writing with you – the prospective members of MIT’s Class of 2012 – foremost in my mind. I hope I was able to help you get to know MIT a little better than you may have without the bloggers, because I certainly feel as though I got to know you. I wasn’t expecting that to happen…but through your comments, your emails, and even your random Facebook pokes, I genuinely became attached to you guys; and I think it’s safe to say the other bloggers feel the same way.
When Saturday finally rolled around, we were all right there with you guys – mentally and emotionally, if not physically. I remember exactly how it felt to prepare myself to click that one final button, the last barrier between me and knowing whether or not I might be going to MIT. Until that moment, I never knew I could feel so much hope, apprehension, and expectation all at the same time.
Last weekend, as I waited to find out whether or not certain friends of mine – from across the nation and the globe – had been admitted, I felt that exact same apprehension all over again. When one of those friends was accepted, her joy was my joy; when others of them weren’t, their sorrow was mine, too. And for the past few days, I’ve been wondering about what I would blog about today, asking myself what I would have wanted to hear last year.
I’m not sure there is a single “right” answer to that question. I wish I could meet every one of you who couldn’t be admitted in person and tell you, really, this is not the end of the world. I wish I could tell you all that you are all fantastic, driven people who have the potential to do amazing things with your lives. I wish I could tell you that one of the most important things in life is to be at peace with where you are and what you have, rather than keep thinking about what could have been.
I wish I could tell you that MIT is not the only place where you can live your dreams. Because when that letter says, “Please understand that this is in no way a judgment of you as a student or as a person,” everyone at MIT Admissions really does mean that. It’s just like how MIT intentionally uses the phrase “not admitted” rather than rejected. It’s not that you weren’t qualified for MIT, or that your myriad achievements in high school weren’t “good enough,” or that you won’t go on to do something completely revolutionary five, ten, fifty years down the road. If Matt and Ben could, I know they would admit every single one of you.
I don’t know if this will be comforting to any of you right now. But if you get nothing else out of the blogs, I hope you realize that admissions is more than just a job for everyone here at MIT. When we say we wish we could have offered you admission…we mean it.
To all of you waiting to hear back from other universities – best of luck. Sometimes, your dreams are closer to becoming reality than you might think. Just maybe not in the way you expected.