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MIT student blogger Jenny X. '13

Aftermath by Jenny X. '13


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.

38 responses to “Aftermath”

  1. confused says:

    Aah, what do I want?

    Of course, it is a little early for me to be stressing about that before I know where else I get in. And since I remain undecided, the next month will be hell for me anyways.

    Great post.

  2. deferred says:

    Thanks for the post smile

  3. Hamsika '13 says:

    Wait, we can ask to see notes in our file? Really????

    Awesome post, btw, Jenny smile I hope you have a great winter break!!

  4. Belle says:

    Love this Jenny, and yes, will continue to fight this two-front war! smile

  5. Hamsika '13 says:

    I’ll go if you go smile

  6. Val'14? says:

    Thanks Jenny. =)
    Nicely put and comforting!(I’m deferred, too.)

  7. deferred 2 says:

    Thanks for the comforting words. Just out of curiosity, which college did you apply early to?

  8. deferred 3 says:

    This was uplifting and infused the optimism into me that I needed. Thanks!!

  9. tree says:

    Thanks for the post, being the fickle one I am, I had already gotten over the deferral; but these blogs are good writing and easy reads added together= good for passing this winter break in comfort.

    Just a ponder, your voice in writing is kind of special(a little bit caring, a little bit realistic, and a right amount of confidence). That’s a good and naturally persuasive voice.
    Of course I am not even close to a pro in writing or the judging of it, but your voice is, seriously, almost the complete opposite of Yan’s.

  10. tree says:

    oh, this is the first time I read your blog; so, that’s why I am so suprised by the different voice.

  11. Kes says:

    omg I can’t believe there are already ’14s

  12. Jenny'13 says:

    @confused – what i meant was rather the process of thinking about what you want helping you make some final refinements on the list of schools you apply to and adding new insights into your current applications and such….but yeah we all acknowledge that being ‘undecided’ is perfectly okay; whee, lots of hell but lots of soul-searching too!

    @ hamsika- yeah…i know of people who went and asked for it; i’m not bold enough to…yet;;

    @deferred 2 – to avoid naming names; that other really good school in New Haven, CT raspberry; I was going for strong architecture programs. I didn’t notice MIT’s until I got over the fact that there are crazy math/science GIRs here.

    @tree – haha……..yeah….my senior year English teacher described my voice as “half-mischievous”; i don’t know, something like that?

    @ kes- don’t you feel like an oldie.

    @all- smile

  13. '13 says:

    Is it possible to ask for records if you were accepted at MIT a previous year but you ended up not going? Just wondering..

  14. Anonymous says:

    “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.” I like this a lot–very inspirational & beautifully written!

  15. Yun '12 says:

    spoken like a true MIT student wink

    And I believe you can ask to see your files but admission committee notes have been removed, i may be wrong though

  16. Oce says:

    Jenny you write very well and intuitively.

    I thought the allusion to “the very good school in New Haven, CT” is very funny…I think we all have a clear idea of which one, you are talking about.

    Anyway, this is the best piece of general advice I have seen given to college applicants. Other advice always sound insincere and cheesy, like forced and irritating, sweet nonsense meant to “build one up”, but yours is so interestingly and genuinely given.

    You’re AMAZING. Best in your Multivariable Calc final!

  17. VAL '14 says:

    Nice post!

    I really kinda want to see my file now… another perk of matriculation! smile

  18. 1. YAYYY!
    2. I like this post.
    3. I am actually running out of texts after telling people I did not get into my early school (lol, we’re twins), but I’ll send you spam next time.

  19. Oasis '11 says:

    Yeah, I was under the impression that you can only see *part* of your file?

    Man, if so, I’m so going to go see it raspberry

    Congrats on being finished! smile

    (yay, my captcha says Charles 7.5, which is probably the temperature in the Charles River…HAHA)

  20. Mehmet '14? says:

    “’10 college admissions is far from over. ” That reflects exactly what I’ve been thinking. Thanks for the motivation!

    And back to completing applications now :D

  21. peiyun says:

    “We can all fail at things, but failing doesn’t define us.”

    Thanks so much for that — it helped with something totally out of the picture.

    Great post!


  22. pamela says:


    Thanks for this entry smile Very inspired!

    I feel that I can connect with you somehow.. I applied early to another school, and was also rejected. (I think I’ve managed to recover from the sadness quite quickly; I’m quite optimistic, haha.)

    Plus, I totally understand what you meant by “… 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.”

    Another plus, I am interested in Course 4 too! :D

    Last little not-to-do-with-your-entry question: did you submit a portfolio?

    ps. Again, this piece of writing is very inspired and really lifted up my mood smile Thanks, Jenny!

  23. Ian Riley says:

    I just wanted to thank you for this. The last three lines were really, really motivating to me. Motivating enough that the article is now posted on my wall so that it’s one of the first things I see in the morning.

  24. surabhi says:

    inspiring writing

  25. Anon says:

    umm… to be honest, i don’t know why MIT admitted me. of course, im really happy but now im starting to think that MIT might have made a mistake. if that’s the case, i am not a good fit to MIT and should apply to other schools in regular… do you think i can ask my regional admissions officer why they admitted me? do you think he/she will respond…?

  26. Anon says:

    …if i ask him/her through e-mail?

  27. Jenny'13 says:

    @’13, Yun, Oasis – yeah…so apparently the reading file part is kind of hazy; will have to confirm that. But I don’t think it hurts to go ask; although if you’re already matriculated somewhere else… it’ll be weird. raspberry

    @ Anon – now that you’re admitted, the power is sort of …in your hands. If MIT admitted you, just know that they think you have something unique to contribute and can handle the workload. If you have any doubts, do more research and apply to more schools if you feel like it. I mean, you can email and they will probably reply, but now the question is whether -you- think you fit in.

    //Thanks guys.

  28. nautna '14 says:

    Thanks so much Jenny.
    This is, in truth, inspiring. Although I was accepted, I still gained great perspective from this post.
    In fact, I enjoyed this so much, I plan on sending it to a friend who wasn’t admitted somewhere else, and will be applying to MIT regular.
    Again, thanks, and hope you did amazingly on your exams!

  29. Suman says:

    Hey Jenny!
    Can I ask you a question, i was just wondering, which school denied your early app? Just curious
    ps- You are very different from the others a good way ofcourse! Cheers-

  30. Jenny '13 says:

    @nautna/surabhi/ian/peiyun/mehmet – Glad this helped smile

    @ Pamela – wooo Course 4. Yes, I did send a portfolio. I didn’t have any pieces related to architecture – in case you were wondering. I guess it’s good to have breadth and some ability to explain what your works mean…And also, I thought MIT was pretty cool for making “hard copies” the preferred method for the supplement, rather than CD or slides. Anyways, have fun with that! raspberry

    @ Alec…Yeah…the complete truth of that statement is being debated, but word on my street is ‘yes’.

    @N.Arce – …they -are- for people who are actually struggling with the GIR’s.

    @ Suman – I answered that question ^ up there; anyways; the good uni in New Haven.

  31. Fred says:

    Jenny—you have written a terrific & inspiring post. As a parent of an applicant striving for these competitive schools, (Yale, MIT etc.) I especially appreciate the wisdom behind these thoughts. The decisions made by an admissions committee which is inundated with thousands of applications cannot be used to define ones status as a student—so much lies to chance in situations like these. Best of luck!!!

  32. Alec '13 says:

    Oh wow we can ask for our notes on file? Amazing…

  33. NathanArce says:

    C’mon, you know finals aren’t actually a big deal for first-semester freshmen ^_^”

  34. Batty says:

    Jenny, thanks for such an inspirational post! Cant wait to hear from MIT!

    “We can all fail at things, but failing doesn’t define us” – thats just epic!

  35. Alex says:

    Thanks, Jenny. I will apply Regular Action, but I am sure I will be reading this post again in a few months, when I get the decision…
    Great post! smile

  36. MIT '14 :D says:

    For some of us: now we are in!

    First question though: how do we get a MIT blog? Yes, I know it won’t be necessary until ‘next’ fall, but I just wanna know now! Thanks =D

  37. Jenny'13 says:

    @ MIT ’14 :D – congrats!! if by MIT blog you mean this type of blog, there’s a process for it…hmm, you gotta wait to find out! If by MIT blog you mean your site/blog you can build on the MIT domain – you can figure that out when you get your Kerberos ( info and such…which..will also be a while. So just sit tight and revel in speculation. raspberry