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MIT student blogger Jess K. '10

Blogging Scholarship by Jess K. '10

I'm a finalist for a blogging scholarship - now I need your help voting.

Recently Evan‘s mother, who is, for the record, so cool, sent the bloggers an email about a $10,000 scholarship for any bloggers who attend college. I happen to fit both of those descriptions, so I (who happened to be in New York with high school friends for the weekend; more on this later) scrambled to borrow a laptop and sent in an application. And – I’m a finalist.

A lot of the time I’m not very serious – but I’m serious when I say blogging has become one of the most important parts of my life at MIT. I became a blogger before I was even a student here, just before orientation – but it’s not because I’ve been doing it for so long, it’s the response from you guys. Getting your comments and immediate feedback about my writing is an incredible thing.

So I’m asking for just a little more response from you – I need your help voting. If you’ve enjoyed anything I’ve written thus far, or just like clicking on things, please vote for me:

If you’d like to post the link yourself on your blog, or just spread it around to help me out, it’s

And if you’re curious about my application essay, that’s fair game too:

Applying to college is a terrifying process. The applications are all filled with the same vague questions, such as, “where do you see yourself in ten years?” (“I’m supposed to know at 18?”), or “describe a hardship,” (“this.”) In essence, you’re asked to squeeze your entire identity into a couple sheets of paper and turn it over to the judgment of complete strangers. And MIT’s “nerd school” reputation, while appealing for those of us with flash drives sewn into our pants, doesn’t make the process any less intimidating either.

To me, blogging is bridging this overwhelming chasm; blogging is dissolving the sterotype like a polar protic solute in dimethyl sulfoxide. Blogging is interrogating multiple professors in the humanities and psychology departments so I’ll know how to fully answer an applicant’s questions, or being painfully honest about the terror of flying to college for the first time. Blogging is being careful not to reveal how little I’ve slept this week so my mom won’t yell about my poor time management, and why is it that she finds out more about my life from the internet than from actual phone calls?

I try to return what the admissions blogs gave me as a high school senior, when I followed them voraciously. Admissions-related questions remain the focus of my entries, but I also write about what I do besides problem sets – the CPR class I helped organize, hugging Judah Friedlander at Harvard, sleeping outside in Killian Court with my shoes off – because my primary goal is to convey that students at MIT are real people. I put myself out there not as a name, not as just an MIT student, but an identity squeezed into a few HTML pages. I try to give high school students the courage to do the same.

Your support means the world to me. Thanks for reading!

65 responses to “Blogging Scholarship”

  1. Star says:

    Just voted for you smile But couldn’t you, in true MIT style, just write a script to vote for you millions of times wink Just saying…

    And on a more serious note, GOOD LUCK!

  2. Krypton says:

    I <3 clicking things, almost as much I as <3 JKim! Woot!

    Best of luck!

  3. your fans says:

    just voted for you. GOOD LUCK, JKIM!!

  4. Jon Wu says:

    good luck! i still read this all the time, because 1) it’s funny 2) i’m a stalker.

  5. Isshak says:

    Of coure we’re voting for you ! (done!). Another “college type” question : what would you do if you had 10,000 dollars ?

  6. Travis says:

    Just voted for you — hope you make it!!

  7. gillian says:

    hahaha jess you have flash drives in your pants?!

  8. Congrats, I voted for you.

    I can’t help but brag on this one though – that site is using the Democracy polling plugin for WordPress that I developed. They’ve got it misconfigured though, it doesn’t show any of the styles or do any of the Ajax. I’ll go and tell ’em how to fix it smile

  9. Shannon says:

    You definitely got my vote.

    And Andrew, I took a look at some of your work- very cool. (And I swear I’m not a creeper. I’m just an obsessive link-clicker.)

  10. DavidChen says:



  11. Star says:

    Same with me (obsessive link-clicker), and Andrew, your work does look pretty neat. It might even force me to review SAT vocab smile

  12. Siyabulela says:

    Hi, even though i’m all the way from South Africa,I find your blogging experiences to be very insightul and they offer great perspective about MIT. Good luck and I hope u win.

  13. I just voted…Can I vote again…I tried but I don’t think so…Hope u win!!

    Ankit Chandra
    Gaborone, Botswana

  14. Vytautas says:

    One vote for you, comming up smile

  15. Edgar says:

    Your essay is awesome!
    I wish you the best! =)

  16. A parent says:

    Just voted for you.
    You need to write to the Tech for more votes. Just think about $$$10,000!!! (and maybe bragging rights on your resume?)

    P.S. we need to better the Grant Brisbee (with 415 votes for now).

  17. Oasis says:

    You’re awesome! smile)

  18. PS says:

    I’ve just voted for you. Good luck! =)

  19. Just voted for you! Best wishes for the scholarship!

  20. Raina says:

    The blogs were what attracted me to MIT in the first place, and yours has been so helpful. I’m applying early action now, and going through the archives, reading what you wrote has given me the courage you referred to in your essay. So in other words, I clicked the little vote button, and I wish you the best of luck! =)

  21. Melis says:

    My whole family has voted for you! GO JESS!

  22. Christina says:

    Congratulations Kim!

  23. Ginger says:

    You got my vote smile Congrats! I love your blogging!

  24. Gino J. says:

    Though I am new around your blog, I believe that this is the most DOWN-TO-EARTH blog I have ever seen! This blog has proven to me that MIT students are actual people and not academic cyborgs that are just born perfect. Thanks Kim for all that you have done, even though I haven’t read through all your entries yet. wink

  25. Gino J. says:

    Oh, and yes, I voted for ya’. :D

  26. Congratulations JKim, just voted. Glad to see that you were in the lead when I voted. Good luck.

  27. Paul '11 says:

    I’ve been following the poll results, on and off, since I cast my vote this morning. I’m happy to see that Jess has jumped from near the end of the pack, to the top two, and now to undisputed number one.

    This is the power of MIT. raspberry

  28. A parent says:

    I think an IP address may vote just once.

    Good luck Jess!

  29. Emily L. says:

    Your blog has been my favorite since the beginning of my obcession with the MIT admissions blogs. I really hope you win the scholarship!

  30. @A parent: yup, it’s configured to only take one vote per IP. It’s a trade-off; it prevents massive vote fraud (preventing someone from creating a script to hit the ballot box with thousands of vote requests) but it also gives huge corporate intranets just one vote for the whole organization. For something like this, it’s very worth it…It’s crazy to have something my little project be a deciding factor in a $10k contest!

    BTW, I got in contact with them and they’ve fixed the poll’s display…making it all the better to see Jess kick butt! Keep on!

  31. Kevin says:

    Jess, you trounced the competition. That’s a crazy-delicious number of votes you got there. Congrats! wink

  32. Doris says:

    Just voted for you! Good luck smile

  33. A parent says:

    Andrew Sutherland,
    You sure know what you’re talking about. I asked my colleague to cast a vote at work but he was not allowed to. So it means one vote per family (per cable modem or whatever modem), per corporation, and per school? This is much more limiting than one vote/IP address. Well, it also mean I can’t ask friends at work to vote there.

  34. Claudia says:

    Congrats, you’re currently first on the list, so you’re the winner for now =) I really hope you win, cuz i think you deserve it judging from the blog you posted.

  35. silverSurfer says:

    To the girl with two first names,

    jess i love your writing. It’s a real cool blend of dry humor, interesting, real-life drama, and illuminating perspective. Your writing is an invitation into your world as an MIT student, and also, as a real person, and the different realities that attend each(not that the two worlds are bifurcated there defnitely iintegrated).
    i appreciate your realness, it’s gritty, don’t lose the savage. grin peace You know you’ve got my vote! lol

  36. Sam says:

    oh man, DMSO metaphor. This is the second-best MITblog entry ever. The best is still the one where Mitra’s camera broke, so she drew a picture of her hairstyle in paint; but this comes close.

  37. Sceth says:

    Almost a thousand votes… [3 more to go]
    You’re winning.

  38. Jess says:

    Hey guys- still need your help voting. Tell your friends and family to click the link smile Thanks!

  39. Jess says:

    Isshak – other than pay for my college education? Contribute to One Laptop Per Child, or get someone to maybe clean my dorm room occasionally.

    Gillian – YES.

  40. Jess says:

    Everybody else – you guys are RAD. Thanks so much for your support!

  41. nishant says:

    oh ma gawd you can use this monies to go to belle and sebastian university!

  42. Omorx says:

    Just voted. If you’re a fan of JKim, what are you still waiting for? Please cast your vote now, absolutely important,else JKim will stop wearing her pants which makes the best blueberry waffles of our lives. Did I say ‘our’ or ‘your’?

    Good luck Kim.

  43. Jess says:

    Just to clarify- my pants are definitely staying on.

  44. Hank R. says:

    I totally spammed your link over three IRC servers and got them to vote for you.

  45. A parent – it only means one vote per IP address. But often, a whole corporate network will have just one (or a few) IP addresses that face the outside world. Their routers give them individual IP addresses on their subnet, but those addresses don’t show up when they access the general internet. I hope that makes sense…

    So asking your friends at work to vote might work, and it might not. It all depends on configuration.

  46. Isshak says:

    Are you kidding me ??? Are you stalking me or something ? Negroponte is my hero !!! I am definitely going to get you plenty of votes !!! (wow, now that I know that, I am loving your blog even more ^^)0

  47. Hawkins says:

    I voted! I would put a link on my blog, but everyone who reads my blog already reads your blog, except my family, and I already sent them each an e-mail. =) Good luck, you’re in the lead!

  48. Becca says:

    I voted. And you’ve bettered that Grant Brisbee. Yay for excessive blog reading. They really do help though.

  49. a mom says:

    Jess, I just posted a response on Ms. Butts site referenced above. I mean what I said. I voted for you yesterday. My hats off to you for even taking the time out to apply for the scholarship.

  50. E Newts says:

    Jess…way to go. Girl, u got my vote! Good Luck!! :D

  51. Kevin Chiu says:

    I voted for you. (This blog is hilarious.)

  52. Angela says:

    Kevin, I really hope you’re not serious. If you are kidding: we apparently have very different senses of humor. If you are serious: I hope you decided not to vote for Jess because you felt someone else’s blog had more merit – not because someone wrote a satire ridiculing Jess.
    Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t “I hope you come in a strong second” equivalent to “I hope you lose”? I’m not sure if that was meant to be backhanded insult, but it kind of sounds that way.
    Either way, Jess, I hope you come in a strong first. And Kevin, if I misinterpreted what you meant by your post, I apologize in advance.

  53. lisa says:

    hey jessica. i’ve voted for you, and the best to you!
    i am a former Reischauer Scholars Program student too smile
    keep up the good work!

  54. lisa says:

    hey jess. i’ve voted for you!
    i am a former Reischauer Scholars Program student too smile
    keep up the good work!

  55. hungyee says:

    Just voted for you. I love reading your blog. I hope you will win! =)

  56. lulu says:

    to some people-

    quit posting nasty comments in the other girl’s blog. you can support jess kim right here. it reflects really poorly on MIT (and the readership– you) to be harassing the competition. That’s not to say that you should say mean things here. But better here than there, for sure.

  57. anon says:

    just voted for you.
    i am, too. love reading your blog
    Best of Luck

  58. Shelley says:

    Hello all-
    The re-post by Brownlee was not meant to be hurtful, and seemed (to me) so over-the-top that no one could possibly think it was anything other than a big joke. Thats what I assumed, anyway. However, it seems that quite a few people have taken actual offense to my reposting it. It wasn’t my intention to sincerely malign anyone. But also, I think that the kerfuffle has resulted in anger and that is not what this competition, college, or blogging is about. So, I’m happy to take down the repost from my blog if Jess wishes me to. I do want this contest to be about the blogs, rather than conflict. I do wish Jess the best of luck.

  59. Fran says:

    I voted for you …good luck.
    Fran (Sarah’s aunt)

  60. Ben says:

    I’ve removed the comment from “witch.” C’mon people, this is an MIT admissions blog – not a place for that sort of thing. Keep it civil or you’re going to get Jess in trouble, which isn’t fair to her at all.


  61. Kevin says:

    Kevin, I really hope you’re not serious. If you are kidding: we apparently have very different senses of humor.

    Angela and Jess. I apologize if my comment came off as rude. That was not my intent. I do have valid reasons to vote for another of the finalists. Jess I hope you do well. Forgive me, if I want my pick to do just a little better. That is not intended as a slam on you, just a vote of support for my pick. Like Shelley, I want this contest to be about the blogs, rather than conflict. Good luck and may the best blog win.

  62. Monica says:

    my brother and i have just voted for you =)

  63. Hawkins says:

    Wow, I just voted for you again (from home, already voted from work) and that Kimberley Klein person has somehow pulled ahead by quite a bit. Better step it up! Everyone, if you have a computer in more than one location, vote again! =)

  64. Anonymous says:

    voted for you! good luck!