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MIT student blogger Rachel D. '16

I Was Deferred by Rachel D. '16

And it was not the end of the world

Flash back to four years ago from this upcoming March 14th. I’m sitting on a train that took me from Washington D.C. where I had just met the president of the United States and pulled an all nighter chilling with my new best friends and a bunch of current and future nobel laureates. I get home exhausted, and I suddenly remember that the time was 6:24pm. I sluggishly made my way upstairs to my PC and log on to my computer, opening up the MyMIT page that I hadn’t visited in a few months. I read the page once. I read it again. I changed my Facebook status. I told my mom I got into MIT. She said congratulations. I went to bed.

It took a few days/weeks to settle in. I got some congratulations at school – my best friend told me that some kids were betting on how long I would last at MIT. Gosh kids can be mean. Unfriended them on facebook, got a cat, hakuna matata.

And I got into MIT, but not everyone got into MIT, which is sad because there are a lot of really cool people who apply to MIT, and I know how it feels to be sort of “rejected,” because even though I wasn’t rejected the first time I applied, I was deferred, and it kind of felt like being rejected at times. But I also felt immense joy. It was a strange feeling.

I don’t remember the date, but I do remember that feeling and I think it was December 17th because it was my mom’s birthday and that’s her birthday. I expected full on rejection – I really did not think that I was a good enough candidate for MIT – my SAT scores didn’t match up to MIT standards, my grades were not the best, I had not done well in science competitions (yet), and I really did not have much self-confidence in my ability to get into such a well-known and prestigious school. My eyes were set on a good, local university that would not cost very much and would serve me well. But I was not rejected from MIT. I was deferred. And gosh darn it I was happy.

I screamed from the balcony to my mom downstairs – “I got deferred from MIT!!!!” and my mom replied “Yay!! What does that mean?” because it’s an odd term and people don’t know what it means. But it means you’re considered equally with the rest of the applicant pool, this time considering your mid year report. And gosh darn it I was going to make that a damn good mid year report.

So I got a couple of jobs, entered every science competition I could, and I worked my ass off (at the cost of sleep – not recommended). Calculus was difficult (and still is difficult), but I did it. And I called every school I applied to when I did well in science competitions to tell them that I was doing well in science competitions. MIT was the only school that let me speak to an actual admissions counselor in person. It made me love MIT even more. But I think you should listen to Lydia’s advice, like Petey mentioned in his last post – “I actually do agree that the best thing you can do is to focus on things that are not MIT (or other college) admissions…If I could do things over, I wouldn’t think about MIT at all in the months between getting deferred and March.”

At that science competition in March in Washington D.C., I told the press that I wanted to go to MIT. And I really really really wanted to go to MIT. The love for that place I call home was growing stronger and stronger as March 14th neared, and as the science competition results came in I battled each day with the fact that I might actually get in, but that I wasn’t good enough, but that I might actually get in, but that it was really difficult. The odds were not in my favor.

But I got in. And I was shocked, and again, it didn’t actually hit me until Campus Preview Weekend, when I was physically on MIT’s campus and we were introduced as prefrosh and I made some awesome friends and accepted my spot in the class during the weekend. It was so much fun.

But not everyone who is deferred gets offered a spot in the class, and it’s unfortunate because you’re all really awesome. You made it to stage 2, and that is so freaking awesome. Be proud of yourself for that, no matter what the outcome is.

You might be upset, but it isn’t the end of the world. Even if you don’t get into MIT, there is some place out there just for you where you will strive and thrive and be the best version of you that you can be. And if that place isn’t the place for you, move. Transferring is always an option. There are always options.

That’s it. That’s my deferral post, that I’ve personally deferred for three years. I’m sitting at home in the same room I found out that I was deferred in and the same room that I found out I was accepted to MIT in. It’s an odd feeling. This is home, and my other home is a couple hundred miles north of here, just across the river from the great city of Boston.