So the title is pretty obvious, I’m modeling this entry after Sam’s.
Back in the Fall of 2002, I set out on a journey that is still ongoing. I started applying to college. I went into the whole process knowing that I wanted to go to college, and I had a few ideas of where I wanted to apply and that was it. And so, what did I do, I procrastinated.
Because of state laws. Back in TX, if you were in the top 10 percent of your class, you were guaranteed admission to a state school, so I figured, since most of my friends were going there, I might as well too.
After about a month, those thoughts changed. It wasn’t until late in my fall semester that I actually started asking for recommendation letters of my teachers and started writing my application essays. One can say it wasn’t the best idea, but it’s what I did.
I decided to apply to about 8 schools ranging in geographic location, areas of expertise, and just overall “it factor.” MIT was one of the schools I applied to because it was “that school.” To me at that point, it was like this castle in the sky. I didn’t really know what kind of people other than “smart people” went there. I’d never met anyone from MIT until my MIT interview. Still, I applied. On December 30th, I went to the airport post office late at night with my mom, handed the envelopes to the post office worker, and went home to the rest of my life.
Now I didn’t know about the Pi-Day mailing date tradition or anything of the sort, but I did know that sometime in the spring, I’d get a yes or a no. There were a few times when I freaked out about my college applications and thought to myself that I wasn’t going to get in anywhere especially since I made the decision not to apply to any state schools.
So back in March 2003 when the blogs didn’t exist and all I could track was whether my application materials had been received, I kept enjoying my senior year dressing up like Quailman with my underwear outside of my shorts and trying desperately to find a date to prom.
Then one day, technology stepped in, in a big way. So my mom and I have a pretty cool relationship where sometimes we can argue and it’s okay. So one day, I’m sitting at home and the phone rings. I look at the caller ID and see it’s from an out of state area code starting with 617.
My mom says to me, “Aren’t you going to answer it? That looks like a Boston area code.”
Me: “Mom, that’s not a Boston area code.”
(Phone continues to ring)
Mom: “Are you going to answer it?”
Me: “It’s probably (other school) trying to get me to go there. I didn’t get into MIT.”
(Phone is no longer ringing)
Mom: “Why do you have to be so hard-headed?”
Me: “I’m going to my room.”
(Unbeknownst to Bryan, Mom calls number back).
(Mom knocks on Bryan’s door.)
Me: “Who is it?”
(Cue screaming yelling and running down the street in my pajamas)
Clearly, I was excited about all of this; I’d gotten into MIT, “that place.” What I ask myself now is, would I have not done the same for getting into any of those schools? I think I would have. It’s college for goodness sake. All those dioramas and vinegar/baking soda volcanos had to be good for something. The years that I’d worked hard to get into college had paid off. I never really worked through high school with the intention of going to a specific school. That wasn’t me. I just worked hard and expected destiny to lead me where it may.
So what does this mean to you, you might ask?
So as Matt said, today, at 2:52 pm, the mailman came to collect those big envelopes you’ll be waiting at your mailbox for. Many of you will receive those letters, and some of you will not. One piece of advice I have for you all is, the mail will come. Waiting at the mailbox is not going to make it come faster, so just keep on enjoying yourselves. Go to a movie, go bowling, do something. The mail will be there when you get home.
I was very excited to get into MIT, and every day, I’m still amazed by the fact that I’m here, and I’m thankful that I’m still here. I’m also glad just to know I’m in college getting an education, so just keep that in mind too. I know this a lot to think about, and this will be an emotional weekend for us all, but just remember to have some fun. (Have some fun for me since I’ll be studying all weekend).
For those of you who did not get in, it’s not the end of the world, I promise you. I have friends who didn’t get into MIT, and they’re enjoying their college experience where they are as well.
For those of you who did get in, congratulations, but the work isn’t done yet. You should try to come to Campus Preview Weekend, and get a taste of what may lie ahead of you for the next four years. Talk to as many people as you can. Get lost on the campus and try to find your way around. Have fun. See MIT.
And for anyone who doesn’t fit into those categories, Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Feel free to email me at [email protected] or leave a comment, and I’ll get back to you.