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MIT student blogger Hamsika C. '13

Disappointment by Hamsika C. '13

I know how it feels...

Six and a half hours ago, this was me:

Why? Because I, like Elizabeth, am officially done with finals!!! I left campus about 2 hours ago, and am currently at Logan Airport, wishing my flight weren’t delayed. The airport is packed, and I’ve already spotted several MIT hoodies and sweatpants. So many students are headed home :)

I’ve decided to use this extra bit of free time to write an entry I wanted to write/post this past Monday regarding admissions decisions.

Two years ago, I wrote an entry called ‘To the Deferred’ – and I want to now add to the words expressed in that entry.

First: to those of you who got in – congratulations, and welcome to MIT! I hope to see you on campus during CPW.

To those of you who didn’t get in: I have a story for you! And hopefully, it’ll make you feel a bit better.

This past semester, I worked very, very hard – not only on schoolwork, but on scholarship applications as well. There was one application in particular that I poured my heart into – I wrote nine versions of that application, asked for several others’ opinions on my essays, and revised, revised, revised.

In order to compete for scholarships, you often have to interview at your school and compete for one of your school’s nominations spots. I spent a week preparing for my MIT interview, using study breaks during finals studying to drill interview questions with friends. In the end, I didn’t get a nomination spot – and for about ten minutes, I sort of just stared at the wall and let tears fall.

Rejection hurts – there’s no doubt about it. But it hurts less if you take a second to think about the big picture – which is where my friends came in.

Here are some excerpts from my conversations with friends (copied/pasted from gchats/emails that were pretty much all taking place at the same time, lol):

Me: “idk i’m trying to be positive and i more or less am but a small bit of me is very very sad right now and i’m trying to make that little hamsika feel better :P”

Yun ’12: “I bet that tiny hamsika is the one that’s extremely goal-driven too because i have a tiny-yun like that but sometimes i need to remind her that failing just made me get up again and go and tackle the next big bad thing and i think tiny hamsika will keep on feeling sad for a while, but eventually she’ll become happy and join big happy hamsika”


Me: “i really wanted to make everyone proud! :(”

Anjali ’12: “Winning a scholarship doesnt mean anything – it’s about what you do and why you do it. It really is”


Me: “i’m losing some faith in myselff”

Caroline ’10: “really though, scholarships are awesome – but they’re not the only measure and it certainly doesn’t validate or invalidate your work”


and lastly, these two –

Ambar ’12: “Do not think about this too much – I’ve learned to think of these application processes as a way for me to simply learn more about myself and get better at writing essays and then each one of these will never disappoint no matter how far you go.”


Vidya ’12: “you are such a super awesome bamtastic person kiwi – like forrealz”

(“kiwi” is a nickname – just fyi, haha)


The same sentiments apply to you all + admissions decisions!

All of you, whether you got in or didn’t get in – should be proud of the fact that you applied to MIT, one of the most selective schools in the world. In filling out the application, you explored your interests, your goals, and your strengths – you took time to share those characteristics with the entire admissions committee. And no matter where you end up, you will do well, as long as you put your mind to it. ♥

As Anjali ’12 told me, winning/not winning or getting in/not getting in doesn’t change what you’ve accomplished so far in your life. If everything you did was done for the sole reason of getting into MIT, then you’re doing it wrong – do what you love, what you care about. And if you do that, I think these acceptances/rejections will hurt a little less.

I bounced back within a day after I received news about the scholarship – and I’m happy :) I have fabulous friends, and I’m proud of what I’ve done so far in life. In just a few minutes, I have to board my flight – but I hope this entry is helpful/comforting to you all.

Best wishes – and happy holidays!

~ Hamsika

p.s. It might be a while before I get to blog again; I’m not completely sure I’ll have Internet in India…catch you guys in 2012 for sure!

19 responses to “Disappointment”

  1. Yousuf Baqir says:

    MIT is a dreaaaaaam…. but now i know that its not the end of the world if i dont get in smile thanks a lot for the post smile

  2. Raddina Siregar says:

    Great post. It’s motivating. Well I’m gonna apply to MIT next year, can I ask you a question? Do International applicants need a counselor to connect to the university? Thank youuu smile

  3. Pete says:

    When I got deferred, I felt terrible the rest of the day. I couldn’t help but think that this only means more work, more anticipation, and more waiting. Thankfully the next day was much better.

    I realized that if you’re leaping as high as someplace like MIT, expect to fall just as far. Failing is a given anywhere, regardless of who you are/what you’re doing — but the failure becomes more epic the harder you try. What really counts is getting back up to give it your all again and again.

    I think that the more we fail and get back up, we naturally focus more on our efforts/work/art/whatever, and we focus less on the extrinsic motivation (getting into a certain college, winning a scholarship, etc). Truly caring about your work is much more important than assigning a superficial measure of success to your passions.

  4. J. Fredricks says:

    Thank you so much for this uplifting post. It truly did make me realize that I have come so far and accomplished a lot. Even if I don’t get accepted to MIT (though I still hope I do!), I will know in my heart that I did everything I could and had one doing it. Thank you bunches. smile

  5. Gelare says:

    I have applied for RA. Accordingly I have no idea about admission member’s decision. Still, I do believe that I learned a lot during the admission process and I owe MIT for that!
    MIT, even if you reject me, I’ll be back as a transfer student. reject me again and I’ll be back for Master. Reject me one more time and I’ll apply for PhD.
    I know the application process may cause stress, rejecting would be painful, still I do believe that it worth.

  6. Chris Ong says:

    I’m still waiting for RA at MIT, which is forever my top choice smile But being deferred from another school, this certainly helps tons. There are no words to express how much I love MIT. Thank you thank you for these blog posts! Can’t wait for pi day–taking on that 3.7% international accept rate! Whether or not I get in, the MIT application was the most challenging, most fun and most insightful I’ve done. MIT forever!

  7. Deeni '13 says:

    I like kiwi. Kiwi makes me happy. Also, rejection hurts, but sometimes you need to be pushed out of some places so that you are pushed into a place where you are meant to be. Yes, I believe in meant to be.

  8. dissapointed says:

    well atleast u still got in to MIT still doesnt make me feel good :,(

  9. Christi says:

    I know the feeling with scholarships…exact same thing has happened to me!

    Still waiting on my decision from MIT– I was going to apply EA, but ended up being one of the 289 that had to withdraw and reapply for RA. :( But at least there’s still hope!

    And whether or not I go to MIT, I’ll accomplish the work I want to do and make my dreams… scholarships or debt regardless!

  10. jcy036 says:

    I don’t believe in meant to be…but I believe I can live with no regrets. =]

  11. Hafiz Ain says:

    Great post =).

  12. Anjali says:

    love you kiwi!! everything in here is true! keep on going! when you wrote “do what you love, what you care about,” it made me think of a quote that my dad always tells me: “Do what you love, and you’ll love what you do!” smile

  13. Dheeraj , ind. says:

    इंडिया में internet ….बस पूछना मत .

  14. vibhu says:

    can u help me
    and give some tips for MIT.

  15. Deb says:

    Nice post. I’m gonna apply for transfer admission for winter session 2012. Presently i’m in aerospace engineering, and I’m only interested in aerospace engineering. Hope I get to aerospace engineering at MIT. I will appreciate your suggestions?

  16. vibhu says:

    which board is suggested to get in MIT.
    Eg:-IB,AP,CBSE,ICSE etc
    is it ness to give TOEFL.

  17. Jayashree says:

    That was nice Hamsika! smile I’m from India and I’ve wanted to get into MIT ever since I got heard about it!

    But I don’t think I can take any AP exams (although I’m studying AP level Maths and Science).. Will that be a disadvantage?

    Its wonderful to know MIT from your perspective smile

    PS: I’m sure you can get on the Net from India, unless you’re in a remote jungle.. smile

  18. Sneha Shankar says:

    Hey i’m an applying from India, so can let me a few tips for graudate program??? are also an international applicant???
    thank u

  19. Brendan Fallon says:

    Hi. My name is Brendan, and when I was three, I walked around saying “I’m a genius.” When I was seven, I said I wanted to go to MIT. Now, at thirteen, highschool is next year and yet I still want to go to MIT. Now, I know my decisions in High School affect weather or not I will get into MIT, and I was curious as what to do. I’ve been on this admissions blog site many times before, and from what I’ve read, there is NO sure-fire way of getting into MIT, just all-in-all be a well rounded student. I am asking you, what would give me a decent chance of being accepted, after applying. Also, I’ve read that most current MIT students apply 4-5 times during their High School years, and how do you do that?? Would you apply all four years of high school?? Or what?? Any information will be much appreciated.
    Thanks, Brendan