I’m a little exhausted from answering questions right now, so this is going to be brief — the new freshmen remind me of bouncy balls and are all excited and happy to be at MIT… and they are full of questions, so I’ve been sapped of most of my question-answering energy… that or I’m just getting lazy and set in my ways in my old age.
Last night Adam and I went over to East Campus for a rush party (and because Random always makes liquid nitrogen ice cream — yum!). While there, we witnessed some pretty sweet spaghetti wrestling… what, you don’t know what I mean? Picture mud wrestling… except with spaghetti. And the winner getting doused in olive oil and parmesean cheese.
On the way home, Adam and I got into a discussion about the kind of person who’s happy at MIT. It’s difficult, of course, to generalize about a school of 4000 people, but I am convinced that spaghetti wrestling has something to do with it — if you are hugely entertained by the idea (or the sight!) of people wrestling in cooked spaghetti, you belong here.
I’m somewhat annoyed with myself, though, because I’m not really getting to the heart of the issue. Spaghetti wrestling can’t be the only thing all 4000 of us have in common. I just don’t know what the most parsimonious common denominator is yet.
So, just to assuage my curiousity, what is it about MIT that draws you personally? I’m looking for a large sample size, so don’t be a lurker — tell me why you want to throw yourself into this madhouse of spaghetti pugilance.
I’m only answering one question today.
1. Vanessa asked, “Do you have any suggestions as to the application process? How was it when you applied? How is the housing, classes, finances, and acceptance rate?”
Darn it, that’s at least three questions. Oh well. My most basic suggestions about applications are the following: Have an interview (if you can) — the admit rate for students who have an interview or have an interview waived is higher than for students who choose not to interview. Also, get started on applications early. Everybody always puts off applications, and then they end up rushing and not doing the best job they could. Start your essays now — write them, put them in a drawer for a few days, come back, revise, and repeat the whole process until you’re happy with them. Give them to a friend or a teacher to edit. Those essays are the best way you have to turn yourself into a human being for the admissions officers — and from what I hear, they like human beings. Can’t blame them.
I have this idea in my head that it must have been easier to get into MIT when I was applying, but since it was only three years ago, I’m not sure that’s actually true. I was pretty much the anti-model applicant (my story is here, if you haven’t read it in its sorry entirety) so, um, do as I say and not as I do.
If you don’t mind, I think I’ll answer that last question later — I’m at lab, and my cells need some new media — but I will get to it.
(And a postscript to Nehalita — I hear you on the forcible DOFMH. We had really bad ice storms in Ohio when I was home for Christmas, so my family ended up spending about 2 days with no heat, water, electricity… INTERNET… it was awful. And we almost didn’t have electricity for Christmas! My sympathies to you.)