Skip to content ↓
MIT student blogger Paul B. '11

Happy Valentine’s Day from MIT by Paul B. '11

Because theobromine is delicious.

In case you haven’t realized it yet, I’m going to let you guys all in on a secret: MIT Admissions loves you.

No, really. I know the L-word gets thrown around a lot these days, which I think is sort of sad, since in the long run that only degrades the full impact and true value of what used to be (and in some ways, still is) a very powerful word. But I see the entire admissions process, all the way from finalizing decisions to these very blogs, as – quite simply – a labor of love. Everyone in the Admissions Office, from all the admissions officers to the financial aid wizards to the educational counselors to even Stu himself, could have chosen a different career path – but they didn’t. Instead, they dedicate the full measure of their time, passion, and energies to admitting the best students they can, to making CPW such an amazing experience, to dreaming up MyMIT and the blogs, and to everything else that goes on behind the scenes.

I don’t know about you…but at least to me, that says a lot.

To switch gears slightly, I applied to MIT in the regular action cycle – so unfortunately, I missed out on some of the cool traditions that the Admissions Department has cooked up for its Early Action admits. If I had known about The Tube beforehand, maybe I would have applied to MIT early, but c’est la vie – it all worked out in the end. And as an added benefit, now I get to experience these same traditions from the other side, as a blogger!

In addition to The Tubes, MIT also sends the Early Action admits a couple other fun treats between December and May, when the big mailing to all matriculated students goes out (including such goodies as how to get your MIT email address and lots of information about MIT’s eleven dorms). One of these treats is a snowflake-shaped holiday card, with a message about how MIT students are all unique, just like snowflakes. (It’s not only cute, it’s true!)

The other gift, arriving in mailboxes across the nation just in time for everyone to celebrate today’s excuse for the industry to make lots of money selling chocolate, roses, and other gifts –

*cough* Did I just say that? Sorry, must have slipped out. I’m not that much of a cynic in real life, promise…

Anyway. The other gift, as you can probably guess by now, was a Valentine’s Day card, signed by all the bloggers and complete with both a molecular diagram of chocolate and one of the most hilarious love poems ever written. Corny? Maybe. Ridiculous? Slightly. 100% MIT? Definitely.

After spending about two hours signing cards, I resolved to blog about this unique aspect of the MIT admissions process, since I think MIT would send Valentine’s Day cards to all its admitted students, if they only knew who they were yet. (On that note, if you’re an RA applicant and stressing out about college – don’t panic. I know nothing I can say will alleviate what you’re feeling now, but you’ve finished your applications, and the worst is over. Don’t think so much about waiting…go out enjoy the last, and hopefully best, semester of your high school career!) Although I could have just taken a photograph of the card myself, I realized that would probably be pretty boring. After all, you see my face at the top of every entry (although that photo isn’t very accurate anymore, since my hair is now much longer). I thought to myself, why not take this opportunity introduce you to a few new faces?

So I asked the good folks in the MIT Class of 2012 Facebook group to send in pictures of themselves posing with their cards. Voila!

First up we have Allison ’12 from Massachusetts, who opted to include all the snow New England’s been getting lately in her photo:

As an aside, we actually studied the chocolate molecule (technically theobromine) in my organic chemistry class the other day, which made me chuckle.

Next is Kelly ’12 from Virginia, going for the double whammy by showcasing both cards. The astute observer will be quick to notice the MIT shirt she’s wearing – nice choice, Kelly!

Samantha ’12 somehow hit the jackpot and ended up receiving two cards in the mail! In her own words, “I think you guys sent me two Valentine’s Day cards by accident, but I’d like to think it was on purpose. :) So in case anyone was wondering where an extra card went, it’s right here with me in Maryland.”

Sam would give Ben a big V-Day hug right now, if she could. Maybe during CPW…

Shannon ’12 of Michigan went for the classic card and Tube pose.

A girl, a Tube, and chocolate. Sounds like Shamarah ’12.

Michelle ’12 loves MIT almost as much as she loves chocolate. Notice the MIT 2008 poster in the background!

Nothing will stand between Donald ’12 and his chocolate.

Silly Donald, that’s not real theobromine! ;)

It’s raining men! Kevin ’12 is proud to be an Engineer.

Finally, here’s a glamor shot of Andrew ’12, Phil ’12, Jeff ’12, and Emily ’12 standing atop their 50-foot boat in the Z-Center pool. ;)

And there you have it, yet another heartfelt expression of love and affection from all the awesome folks in MIT Admissions. Now staring at those theobromine molecules is making me hungry for some chocolate…

61 responses to “Happy Valentine’s Day from MIT”

  1. deusse says:

    Woow!! MIT Admissions, you are so AWESOME!!
    Yeah, the waitlisted also deserve plenty of love too, lol (I am not waitlisted, yet)
    Happy Valentines Day!!

  2. '12-er says:

    I loved my cards… Thank you!

  3. milena '11 says:

    Clearly, getting in EA rocks. I remember when I got that card… *sigh* I thought it was the coolest thing ever, mainly because I am so into chemistry and (at the time) could identify what the molecule was and all. Not anymore though.

    On a sidenote, I feel old with all these prefrosh here! Like I know they’ve been around for a while, but just seeing their faces now makes it all so real! Yay prefrosh!

  4. Shannon '12 says:

    Hey, Tong!

    And yeah, the card made my day. Basically, I [r=1-cos(t/2) when t is between pi and -pi] MIT. Nice to know the feeling is mutual.

    My brothers’ reactions regarding the card (verbatim): “Shannon, that’s really nerdy. It’s basically like, ‘Hi, we’re really smart, and you’re not. Except, you must be. Because we admitted you.'”

    Thank you, family. Way to think that one through.

  5. Libin Daniel says:

    Happy Valentine’s day.
    MIT really keeps up the spirit.
    A special greeting for all the admission office members. You make us special! Thank You buddies.

  6. Masud says:

    Yeah, Happy Singles Awareness Day ( so ironic that that becomes Happy SAD in acronym form…) I can’t wait for RD! Does anyone know the exact date? Yes the questioning as to when the Decisions date is for Reg Apps has had its inception on the MIT blogging world here! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA…ok, someone*hint* ate too much chocolate…theobromine and sucrose inebriate once again…

  7. ZF says:

    I am in [Lutetium Vanadium] with MIT.

    (Look at a periodic table!)

    P.S. Please let me [Iodine Nitrogen]!

  8. JV says:

    Thanks for the cards everyone!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is there a reason why they are all girls?
    I should get 2 of my guy friends to sent in some pictures of posing with their cards.

  10. Paul says:

    @ Anonymous: I was wondering if anyone else would notice that. They’re all girls because, quite simply, all the photos I received were from girls. If you have guy friends willing to send in photos, they’d be more than welcome!

  11. *whispers*
    Your break tag’s missing a <…

    …unless that’s actually part of the poem. I wouldn’t put it past you guys.

  12. Tanmay says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day, world -(MIT)!

    And again in my usual way of greeting,

    A (very)^(tan π/2) Happy Valentine’s Day, MIT!


  13. Steph says:

    I love that V-Day card. I think I might have to “borrow” the idea…

  14. Viva says:

    MIT, will you be my valentine?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    How many colors suffice to color a map on the surface of a torus?
    The answer, as genus approaches infinity, is how much I love you.

    (Say it fast.)

  16. Anonymous says:

    Happy Molarity/Density Day ( <3|3 m/v )! On a completely unrelated note, if my school has just sent my Mid-Year Grade Report on Monday/Tuesday, will it arrive in time to be considered? I know they’re pretty good about this, but with decisions coming in about a month, I would assume selection will be starting any day now if not already. Thanks for any help!

  17. Shruthi says:

    Thats awesome smile I loved the poem.. :D Happy Valentines Day!!!!!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    √-1 1-cosΘ e/c^2 √-1 pv/nr

  19. hopeful '12 says:

    smile MIT smile MIT <3

  20. Razib Ahmed says:

    I have hardly any idea about life in MIT. I just read in the novel Prizes that there is hardly any time for love in MIT. Is it true?
    I know that you do not have any time for reading a short story but I am sure you will like the short story if you just follow the link of my signature.

  21. Anonymous says:


  22. Alli says:

    Heyy thats me!!

    Last week someone wrote on the chalkboard in my calculus class “(square root -1) <3 you” It was so cute!! haha

  23. Anonymous says:

    I have a suggestion: I’ve heard that for students who are wait-listed, the wait can be anxious and sometimes frustrating. So MIT should show its love for them first since admitted students already feel loved because they’re admitted!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Just to clarify, I’m not waitlisted. I study at another University.

    And of course, (Happy Valentines Day)^(1/0) to everybody!!

  24. Tong says:

    Thanks for the cards, MIT Admission!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Anybody noticed the financial aid tracker on their MY MIT page suddenly has popped up? I was deferred EA, and I’m kinda wondering what this development means…

  26. Paul says:

    Anonymous #1 (Mid-Year Grades) – You’re a little late, but you should be fine, especially since no RA decisions have been finalized yet. If the admissions committee really needs to see your mid-year grades to make their final decision, they will certainly reconsider your application once those mid-year grades come in. No worries!

    Anonymous #2 – Oh, I meant to mention that. The financial aid tracker on MyMIT should be working for all applicants now. Many thanks to Donald ’12 for alerting me to this.

    Matt – Not sure what tag you’re referring to, everything looks okay to me, but thanks for keeping an eye out!

    Razib – Many of the bloggers and a lot of my friends have significant others (I was sort of thinking there might be more posts on that, considering it’s Valentine’s Day :D), but rest assured that many MIT students find time for love here. Like Mollie, who conveniently enough just commented on this very entry. raspberry

  27. @Tanmay, @Preeti; U guys 4m India???Am 4m Kolkata,India n hv applied 2 RDs 2. Did u hv ur interviews wid ur ECs?? If yes, how did those go?

    And Happy (belated) V-Day Guys!!!

    ‘LOVE’ n ‘MIT’ make da wurl go around!!!

  28. Tim says:

    Perhaps there’s still hope?

  29. Hey Paul, international applicants are not eligible 2 apply 4 ED. So, y dont u guys use cum up wid a typical MIT idea to show ur love 4 us cuz v hv no chances to get those “Theoritical Theobromine” cards anyways. And trust me der are loads of Cute international lady “Marie Curie”s applying to MIT out der who wud luv to hv a V-Day card signed by u!!!

    (Btw, AFA I m concerned just lemme hv an acceptance letter on da decision day, n u dont need to take the trouble of mailing me anythin’ else. Rather I wud treat everyone in da admissions committee wid some practical Theobromines with added Sucrose!!! C I m so not demandin, unlike everyone else!!lol!!!) wink

  30. Shannon '12 says:

    @Oasis/Chris- Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m ducktape. :p The virtual world now has proof that I am, in fact, a real person.

    @Mollie- I would probably print something like that off and tape it to my wall. That sounds fantasticly nerdy.

  31. Kevin says:

    Yay! I recognize a few of those MIT EA’s. heh.

    I got your Valentine’s day card. I find it really amazing that all you guys take the time to send all of us cool stuff. Especially the admissions officers, who I imagine should probably reading regular applications.

    Regardless, it’s much appreciated. Thanks again!

  32. Chris B. '12 says:

    ZOMG! It’s Sham!! I’m so going to tease her for this. I love this post and i was going to send in a photo, but my week has been insane. Oh well, que sera sera, there will be other times.

  33. Paul says:

    Preeti – As a regular applicant myself, I’d definitely say yes. Sort of like Cupid says, getting an acceptance letter was good enough for me. ^_^

  34. soaham says:

    quite so… an acceptance letter is all i ask for… Gimme that, and I’m willing to send velentine’s day cards to the admission committee every day of the year… Accompanied by chocolates if you please…

  35. soaham says:

    me from india too… yes, i’ve had my interview and it went fine, though short (the actual, face to face , part lasted about 10 minutes..)

  36. Tanmay says:

    Cupid, I am from India (Dehradun) too. I am still guessing should I have traveled 180 miles to get an interview done… (it was waived) and since Dec 15 I have been swinging in an SHM over it. You all are a bit lucky to be in the metros!

  37. Tanmay says:


    I guess it could be March 15 or 22, 2008 AD. You know, it’s ‘mid-late March’ and it’s Saturday.

    And…these obviously are not official.

  38. Jalpan Dave says:

    Paul, since IAP just got over, or is going to get over (sorry, but I really don’t know), is there a chance that in your next blog, you share with us some of the things you did during IAP and possibly what lessons you learned? It is my humble opinion that IAP is such a thing that every student will have dozens of unique things to share and I for one am really interested in reading yours.

    Thanks a ton!!!

  39. Paul says:

    Hey Jalpan,

    I did quite a lot during IAP, but my main priority was doing research for my UROP. I also was initiated as a brother of my fraternity, surprised Ben on his birthday, called a bunch of EA admits for the telethon, and participated in the Mystery Hunt.

    There’s quite a lot in the entries I’ve linked to – my apologies if you’ve already read them! I’ll definitely try and talk about some lessons I’ve learned in a future post. I’ll also be talking more about research, and probably posting a bunch of photos, sometime down the road. In the meantime, Evan just posted a great entry on his IAP experience, so definitely check that out as well.

  40. Jalpan Dave says:

    Ahhh! Most entries are before February so I couldn’t possibly have read them as I was on vacation!!! That’s probably why I feel as though I’m in the “dark.”

    I’ll go read em’ now!!

  41. @Soham
    I’m sure dose 10 mins was enuf to impress da EC…. My interview was long…lasted for almost 3 EC was awesum though a very tuf nut to crack…hes got a reputation of sorts 4 dat..initially was nervous…but it went OK…never know till da decision cums (Fingers Xed):-S


    I wont say I was ‘lucky’ to have an interview. Trust me on dis. Man!! I was shivering and shakin out der..I was a nervous wreck..

  42. anonymous says:

    if i didn’t get a card, does that mean MIT doesn’t love me?

  43. Jarey says:

    Haha, I love MIT; and thank you Paul and the other admissions officers. Nerdy cards make me feel special.

  44. Andrew '12 says:

    Okay, Paul. I hope you’re still accepting pictures, because you’ll LOVE the one that I’m brewing up. :D

  45. Paul says:

    Anon – I didn’t get a card (I applied RA) and I still felt that MIT loved me. wink CPW in particular confirmed that sentiment. Trust me, you’ll see. smile

    Andrew – Yup, I’m still accepting pictures. Send ’em my way as soon as you can!

  46. Rachel '12 says:

    I loved the card smile

  47. Oasis says:

    Aha! Now the true identity of Ducktape is revealed! =p

  48. hey i am a regular decision international applicant.Do you have that much of love for us too????????????

  49. Mollie says:

    Just to let you know that the dorkiness doesn’t end post-MIT, I sent my lab a valentine today.

    I imaged an E10.5 coronal section of a mouse forebrain with an Alexa 546 fluorescent secondary antibody — the forebrain at E10.5 looks exactly like a heart, and my secondary antibody fluoresces red.

    Okay, I thought it was funny.

  50. anon says:

    you are a rockstar

  51. Collin says:

    Wow, thats so cool of yall to give EA applicants that!

    I still say: “Tubes for the deferred!!!!”

    Keep up the awemazing work guys.

  52. Marie says:

    aww, i like know all of these people from the MIT12 chat! smile

  53. Libin Daniel says:

    Just want to be in MIT next year at this time as a freshman sitting in his purple colored room amidst all the paper airplanes, a balsa wood monoplane structure and a lot and lot of books, posters and a MacBook Pro…sniff…sniff..hope it’s a dream that really comes true.
    I promise I will keep my room clean unlike my room now :(

  54. Hawkins says:

    hahahaha, I love the 50-ft boat reference! That was such a fun discussion. It’s nice to see some faces from my class! Can’t wait to meet you guys! =)

    On a less joyful note, my financial aid tracker still doesn’t work on MIT, and neither do I have access to the guestbook. Why did I have to defer? =(

  55. David says:

    I just realized that the cards were signed by the bloggers a few minutes ago :X

  56. Masud says:

    @ Tanmay and anyone else who have had their interviews waived

    I had my interview waived as well and it was waived for quite a number of people who went/are going to MIT from my country (T&T), so I don’t think that our not having an interview would affect us in any significant way whatsoever…just saying…in case you were worried…

  57. Julian says:

    Hi Paul!

    Mahalos for the Valentine’s Day card! Although i did not have a valentine, (unless you count the robot i’ve been building for FIRST as my valentine,)i’ve been getting excited about CPW and visiting the east coast for the first time. thanks again for your encouragement and words of wisdom!


  58. Twilight Bob says:

    Wait, Valentine’s day was on Thursday? Oh crap! I forget to get…a girlfriend!

  59. V says:

    yay for not swimming to pass the swim test ;D

  60. PREETI says:

    hey cupid,and all the indian guys and gals out there.

    I’m from ranchi, u ppl might never have heard of the place but its popular these days,m.s dhoni,ring a bell,
    my interview was too good,continued for an hour or so.My interviewer was quite satisfied and wanted me to persue education from USA,no matter if i didnt make it to mit.anyways u ppl can tell me about ur preparation and how hopeful r u??????