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MIT student blogger Snively '11

My MIT Story by Snively '11

How I came to be at MIT

I’ve lived my entire life in Salem, Oregon. I like Oregon, it’s clean, green, has mountains and an ocean, open spaces, and people who obey traffic laws.

My grandma lives in Vancouver, Washington, about an hour drive from my house.

In fifth grade my parents and I were driving to my grandma’s house when my parents asked a completely unreasonable question for a ten year old.

“Michael, where do you want to go to college?”

Say wha–!?

“Um,” I replied, “Well, I don’t know anything about college.”
“Alright, what do you like to do in school?”
“I like math. . .”
“MIT is a great school for math, one of the best.”
“Ok, I’ll go there.”

Little did they know that by mentioning MIT to me at that early age they had not only given me the MIT bug but had also resigned themselves to more debt than is probably healthy (financial aid statements came out a while ago and I’m happy to say that our award from last year (which was marginal at best) has now been cut in half). Oh those little things we say that we wish we could take back . . .

But seriously, it’s a good thing my parents brought it up, because the name “MIT” just sat in the back of my head for the next 4 years, slowly growing into more than just a name. 8th grade came, went, and then it was time for high school. As much as middle school seems important while you’re there, I’m pretty sure that you could get D’s in most of your classes and it wouldn’t affect your life at all. But, high school, now we’re talking big time. High school was that place where the real learning happened, where the decisions you made determined your life, and where school shootings happened. Honestly, I was a bit concerned about school shootings, you never really hear about middle school incidents but high school was riddled with deaths and ******* crazy gunmen (there’s a great swear word hidden behind all of those asterisks, it really makes the sentence, but since these are clean blogs you’ll have to come up with your own).

By freshman year I actually knew I wanted to go to MIT, it wasn’t just a name anymore. How did I know? A lot of reading and a lot of internet. I read the MIT website, I read the Newsweek college guide books, and I read all sorts of websites that had neat tech stuff in them, many of which had articles all about stuff developed at MIT. I kept hearing little things about MIT that made me realize it was where I belonged. The one thing that sealed the deal is actually kind of funny and I don’t think it was intended to have this much of an impact on anybody’s decision. I was reading the admissions site years ago and was checking out the enrollment numbers. They looked something like this:

Undergraduates: ~~~
Freshmen: ~~~
Sophomores: ~~~
Juniors: ~~~
Seniors: ~~~
Graduates: ~~~
Faculty: ~~~
Student to faculty ratio: ~~:~

That’s when I got to the end.

Undergraduates: ~~~
Freshmen: ~~~
Sophomores: ~~~
Juniors: ~~~
Seniors: ~~~
Graduates: ~~~
Faculty: ~~~
Student to faculty ratio: ~~:~
Blackbirds in Killian Court: 2

HAHAHAHAHA!!! Ok, MIT has a sense of humor, no doubt in my mind, I’m going there.

Since it was freshman year and I knew where I wanted to go to college I was able to pick my high school course load so that it catered to what MIT wanted. MIT asks for a lot in terms of high school classes and if you aren’t careful it’s possible to go all through high school and not take one or two of the requirements. Luckily this wasn’t an issue I ran in to.

I went to my first MIT info session my junior year and reaffirmed that I needed to be at MIT. Matt McGann was the host of the info session and he had someone from Random Hall along with him. We drilled both of them with questions but there was one answer to one question that I remember more than anything else. After discovering that Random hall had all of their washing machines and dryers networked so residents could check their status from their rooms, the speaker explained why.

“We realized that we could walk all the way down to do laundry without knowing, but what a waste of time if they’re all full! I’d much rather buy another road in Settlers than walk all the way downstairs and not be able to do laundry.”

Nobody in the room laughed. Not one. I couldn’t believe it because I was sitting there about to die. I didn’t know that anybody else in the entire world even knew what Settlers was, and here was some student from MIT talking about it as if it were a normal, everyday occurrence.

Fast forward to spring break of my junior year. This is when I made my first visit to MIT. I didn’t do an overnight and I didn’t actually meet any students because campus is deserted for spring break, but I still had a fantastic time. I wandered the halls, explored the Barker engineering library, found Stata, went to the MIT Museum, and had my picture taken in Killian Court.

In July the application came out. I downloaded part one of the application about 5 minutes after it hit the internet. Four hours later I submitted it and had officially begun my application to MIT. The rest of my application didn’t get turned in until October 25th. I spent months working over essays, listing activities, getting teacher recommendations, and when I was finally done I clicked submit. Right after I clicked submit is when I realized that one of the very first sentences of my main essay was a sentence fragment. Wonderful. Well, at least it shows that I’m human . . .

From November 1st until December 9th it was a waiting game. Contrary to popular opinion, I was not a blog stalker at this point. I read a couple of the posts and had left one or two comments, but I wasn’t nearly as prolific as I soon came to be. Why? I was paranoid. Although they aren’t allowed to let it influence them, I knew that admissions read the comments and I just wouldn’t let some random comment affect my chances. I still believe that, subconsciously, admissions decisions are affected by blog comments but I’ll leave whether you accept that or not up to you. Official policy is that they do not matter.

When December 8th came I knew it was going to be like Christmas Eve. It’d be impossible to sleep and I’d be a mess the next morning. My solution to this was to invite a friend over and play Wii (it had just come out about 15 days prior) all night and try to completely beat Excite Truck. Distraction is one of the most useful methods of eliminating anticipation anxiety. Come 8:30 AM the next morning I started to get nervous. I’d been told that decisions come out 15 minutes prior to the official release time (9 AM) so I hopped online and started refreshing the website. Nothing yet.

I’d accepted deferral at this point. That was really the only safe thing to do. *Refresh* You can never assume admission to MIT, but I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be flat out denied. *Refresh* There’s a warning on the decisions website that basically says there are no intermediate screens and that if you click the button there’s no turning back, you’ll know your decision. *Refresh* 8:45 AM, nothing. Then I looked at what I was refreshing. Gah! I was just refreshing the “Not yet!” screen, I wasn’t resending anything! I went back to the main screen and then clicked the decision button again. A new screen popped up this time. This was it! I was about to find out where I stood with MIT.

“Dear Michael, It’s our pleasure to offer you acceptance blah blah blah blah mush” is what I read. Seriously, the sentence actually started to deteriorate as I read it, to the point where I was yelling before having actually finished it. “I got in! I got in!” My mom came running from the bedroom screaming and gave me a big hug and almost started crying. My friend just kind of stood there with Excite Truck on pause, not quite knowing what to do. I showed my mom the computer screen and I don’t think she made it past the first line either.

My dad, who’s a fire fighter, pulled into the driveway as all this was happening since he’d just gotten relieved from work. My mom and I went into the laundry room to catch him as he came in from the garage. He opened the door and came in.

“Guess what!”
“Guess where I’m going.”

He just gives me this look, you could see each of those three letters hit him like a wave and then sink in. After about three seconds of just staring he just continued to look at me.

“You’re kidding.”
“Nope! I just checked, I got in!”
“Really? You’re not kidding?”

He gave me a huge bear hug and then he almost started crying. He left for a little bit and it wasn’t until later that I found out that he’d gone and thrown up. It’s amazing, the physical effects that result from waiting for something like this to happen, and then to have the best possible outcome occur. We spent the next hour calling every single person we knew and sending a billion e-mails. I didn’t actually end up reading the entire letter for about 2 hours. My mom went into town (I live out of town) and took my MIT shirt with her. While she was gone I texted my friend from my same high school and asked if she’d been accepted. She had! Two people from a random public high school of no special importance had both been accepted to MIT! My mind boggled. My mom came back from shopping with dark red and silver balloons, congratulations banners, and my t-shirt with “Accepted” printed on the back. Then she decided to go shopping again, but she made me come and wear my shirt so she could show me off to everybody. That was kinda weird, just lettin’ you know mom, but I went along with it and we went grocery shopping.

That night was the city Christmas parade and my marching band was marching in it. I had told my section the day before that I was either going to be completely miserable and not let them get away with anything or I was going to be in the best mood ever and they’d get away with murder. When I walked into the band room that night it was pretty obvious that my section had already heard the news because they had made a tunnel at the door and applauded and cheered for me when I came through. True to my word, I let them do pretty much whatever they wanted that night.

On Monday I had school. I got to school early just like every morning, prepared to just hang out in the commons and chat with friends before class. Sometimes I’d help people with pre-calc but most of the time I’d know how to do it just as well as they did: not at all. As I sat there, before hardly anybody else had arrived, our vice principal came running towards the table where I sat.

“Is it true!? Is it true!?”

I remember thinking that I’d probably just earned an in school suspension. I mean, I hadn’t told her about MIT, and normally the vice principal screaming at you and running towards you is a bad thing. I just gaped at her.

“Is what true?” I managed.
“Did you and Michelle both get into MIT!?”

[My Mind] Good God woman, how did you find out? What, do you stalk my blog? Did you steal my password and check as well? WTF!?
[My Mouth] Yeah! We’re both really excited!

“Oh that’s so wonderful! I’m so happy for you!” She trotted off happily, leaving me there, still thinking about how she figured it out.

That week at school was MIT week. People brought cupcakes for us, made us cards, and congratulated us all the time. I also made it my personal mission to make sure everybody on the planet earth knew I had gotten in. No, don’t give me that humility crap, you get into MIT and try to keep it a secret. I was excited! For that week and the week after I was probably unbearable but everybody was nice about it and put up with me.

The rest of senior year was impossible. Knowing that you’ll be attending your dream school makes the subtleties of high school non-existent.

“I could study for my calculus test. . . or I could read through my housing stuff again!”
“I could pay attention in class. . . or I could make MIT graphics on my calculator!”
“I could write this essay. . . or I could watch the I3 video AGAIN!”

Graduation from high school was one of the best times of my life. Nobody I knew cried. This wasn’t because we hated high school, it was because we chose to celebrate a job well done! My friends and I camped out in front of the football field all night so that we could get good seats for commencement (first come first serve seating, an excuse to camp out), smuggled beach balls in, I gave a speech, we partied at the grad night party, and just hung out and played video games for a long time. No tears, no regrets, no hugs, just a great time. All of us knew, we had beaten high school (handily), would be heading on to our respective universities, and didn’t want to look back at graduation as something sad or emotional. We wanted it to be a party, the last party we’d get to have together before we went our separate ways and got ready to take on the college life. Junior year through Senior year was agonizingly slow but finished in spectacular fashion, catapulting me towards MIT. That, is my MIT story.

Personal blog entries from when I was accepted:
The moment
The letter
The Tube

Video Journal of morning leading up to graduation:

My graduation speech:

77 responses to “My MIT Story”

  1. Enas'12 says:

    Snively: I LOVED the graduation day video lol. As for the speech; magnificent!!! Truly!!! Well done smile

  2. Sam'12 says:

    Great post- not just because of the inspiring content but also because of the good memories it brings along. Didn’t read past the first line either; you really can’t blame me, can u?. And your speech……….wow.

  3. Efolse '11 says:

    “As much as middle school seems important while you’re there, I’m pretty sure that you could get D’s in most of your classes and it wouldn’t affect your life at all.”

    Well, it’ll affect your life, but not your college admission decision! I got a D and too many Cs to count (granted, 3 is too many to count for me, if I even got that many) in middle school! *flashes peace sign*

    Hell, I even got a D in high school, though admittedly, a) it was a quarter grade, b) there were extenuating circumstances, and c) the B average was all the showed up on the transcript! *glee*

  4. Ruth '13? says:

    @ Kelly (13?)
    I would say:

    Also, Settlers is awesome (also it’s cousin Carcassonne, do you play that at MIT too?).
    I am adding it to the pro side of my imaginary MIT pro-con list.

  5. '11 says:

    Lol, I made MIT graphics on my TI-84 during senior year. My friends thought it was weird. They didn’t know you could put pictures on a TI-84. Well, I was the MIT kid. :D

  6. Kasey says:

    This is such an intense post! I’m so pumped/nervous for senior year and the application procedure.

  7. Enas'12 says:

    Kasey: As much you will review your applications, you will find errors after you submit them lol. I actually submitted an essay with the wrong University name to one.

    Go about them focused and confidently, and just relax. Senior year will be awesome in many ways and hell in many others. Embrace it all, because you will miss every part of it when it’s over (yes, even the sleepless nights for finals, because you call your friends and laugh your *** off at 4 a.m.).

    Do your best, but don’t wear yourself out. And wherever life takes you, whether it is to us at MiT or not, make something great of yourself.

  8. Vicky ('15?) says:

    I mean, honestly I have no clue. But the way I think about it is that if I strive for MIT, work really hard, and don’t get into MIT, I’ll have plenty of other options. I already take all the ESP classes I can and wander the campus with love in my eyes, and I’d love love love to go there as a real student. Things don’t always work out and I understand that. Why not try?

    AND PLUS. I already figure that because I’m not a math wizz by any standards what so ever (I want to do ARCHITECTURE. MIT has a very good Architecture department.), it’s going to scrape away my chances. So hell, if I don’t end up going to MIT, I’ll probably go to RISD!

    What I’m trying to say is that no matter what happens, to me or to anyone, things will work out. Good luck everyone!

  9. Meghan '12 says:

    The morning that decisions were due to come out I went to the gym about at about 10 (decisions were released at 12) because I was so insanely jittery. Then at about 11:45 I drove over to the library to check the results because if it came back as bad news I didn’t want to associate it with my house, lol. When I read the first couple words I started shaking and crying and laughing and smiling all at the same time. One of the girls on my basketball team who probably thinks MIT is in Miami was there by chance and looking at me quite oddly by the time I had finished reading.

  10. Kelly ('13?) says:

    “I like Oregon, it’s clean, green, has mountains and an ocean, open spaces, and people who obey traffic laws. “

    Are you insinuating that people in MA don’t obey traffic laws?

    Other than that, great post.

  11. Ivan says:

    Great post Snively

    This really helped me get excited about the application process.
    Seems like no matter how frustrating and nerve racking it may be, the process of getting into a MIT really seems more than worth it.

    Obs: It would be great if other bloggers also post acceptance stories later this year, that way we will not get discouraged easily along the process.

  12. Good one!

    I can sort of relate. I just finished my freshmen year in high school and my schedule is already packed and planned out in order for me to fit in all the classes MIT suggests. I’m glad I’m not the only kid who is doing/did this. I already adore MIT, and hopefully over the next couple or years my study habits and determination will not ruin out.

  13. Kelly ('13?) says:

    Speaking of the application process, doesn’t the freshman application come out this week sometime?

  14. Tiffany '12 says:

    I also thought my acceptance was a mistake. The moment I saw “pleased to notify you” I thought… wait… what? I kept refreshing the page multiple times, and even then, I didn’t really believe I was accepted until I got the house call :]

  15. Nicole '10 says:

    @Vicky – nope, you’re definitely not the only one; I did that too… and then didn’t follow it at all. ^_^ I actually had my MIT education much better planned when I was in high school than I do now – I have no clue what I’m taking next semester, lol.

  16. Coda '11 says:

    Thanks, this was an inspiring post.

    I would describe my college acceptance(s) as being on the completely other end of the spectrum. It took me 3 days after applying to gain entry into the school I’m attending now — Georgia Southern University. But who knows? I may one day find myself at MIT or another top school earning a graduate degree. smile

  17. Shari '12 says:

    I remember I really wasn’t into MIT until maybe my junior year when I started to actually THINK about what college I wanted to go to. I took the AP classes just because the other ones weren’t challenging, but then reading some of the blogs and the website, I fell in love to I was like: “I HAVE to go there!!!”, I too also avoided the blogs until decisions, because if I didn’t get in it probably would have hurt more.

    @ cabbage

    I can tell you second hand what happens to those people, one of friends applied to MIT early action and was deferred and eventually got rejected. He really really wanted to go and he took it hard for the first two weeks until other college acceptance letters came out and he got into Berkeley. He was absolutely fine after that :]

  18. 2011 says:

    Very nice post.

  19. Anonymous says:

    amazing post…i got rejected this year, but will certainly try for grad skool…

  20. Connie '12 says:

    @ cabbage: I know someone who was absolutely obsessed with MIT too. Applied early, got deferred, sent a gazillion updates, and got rejected. He was pretty bummed, but then he got over it and is now going to Brown. Pretty good I would say….yeah, this stuff usually works out in the end.

  21. Anon says:

    On the morning of 12/15/07, our family was at an Orthodox Jewish Bar Mitzvah – no cell phones allowed. Our son, the applicant, was at work. Our agreement was that he’d check the website a little before noon and call my cell; when it buzzed (sound off), we went outside, behind a hedge, to receive the good news! As said earlier, a memorable moment for our son and for us.

  22. kayla '12 says:

    ya i was in an airport, had just gotten off of a four hour flight and the decisions had been out for three hours. i was freaking out the whole flight. twitching and my stomach was upset and i couldn’t calm down. i was gonna wait til i got home but my brother pulled out his laptop and i couldn’t resist. it really is the scariest thing, clicking on that button, and knowing your whole effing life is gonna be on that screen.. i don’t think anyone reads past the first line.. really. you just need to see “we are pleased to offer you…” then it’s just insanity and crying and screaming and jumping around. it’s fabulous. it feels like you can never be unhappy again, when you get something you wanted that badly.

  23. Jared ('13) says:

    Great post. Thanks for making a post out of this.

  24. '12 says:

    I won’t post my entire story, much as I like to, but suffice it to say it was exactly the opposite. Getting into the state school from my school is kind of a big deal – NO ONE (except my physics teacher and a random guy from the PE department) really knew what MIT was. I checked my desision while at work…I called my dad my first break after, and he came by for a smile and a high-five (and brought me a milkshake that I didn’t get to until it was more like flavored milk). But that was it. But, yeah, I did get introduced to the Wii at a friend’s house the night before. The distractive effect was, I concur, excellent.

  25. Becca '12 says:

    I was at my friend’s house studying for our calculus final when I found out I got deferred, and then I was on a ski slope using my dad’s blackberry when I got accepted. Memorable moments.

  26. Anonymous says:

    @ Cabbage: I had a friend who got rejected after so much preparation and wishing…but now Harvard’s got her…

  27. Ahana says:

    I read this entry on my cellphone first, and I can’t describe the feeling of warmth-cum-butterflies-cum-excitement in my stomach. This and your entry,Snively, are some of the most heartfelt ones on the site!

  28. “Dear Michael, It’s our pleasure to offer you acceptance blah blah blah blah mush” is what I read.

    no, u read
    “Dear Michael, On the behalf of the Admissions Committee, it is my pleasure to offer you admission to the class of MIT class of 2011.”

    great post, and btw, you do realize you’re pretty much an internet celebrity now

  29. Aditi says:

    I did pretty much the same thing. I think I started screaming and my mum came running in to see what had happened. The not so good part was that I was in the middle of my finals and couldn’t celebrate properly (unless staying up all night , yelling ‘I got into MIT!!!’ over and over and over again on the phone counts)

    The decisions came out the day after my chem final (for which we’d been given an entire week to study. It was torture but MIT saved me in the end I did pretty much the same thing. I think I started screaming and my mum came running in to see what had happened. The not so good part was that I was in the middle of my finals and couldn’t celebrate properly (unless staying up all night , yelling ‘I got into MIT!!!’ over and over and over again on the phone counts)

    The decisions came out the day after my chem final (for which we’d been given an entire week to study. It was torture but MIT saved me in the end <3 )

    And yes, I made sure the whole world found out too. raspberry

  30. Kelly ('13?) says:

    “@ Kelly (13?)
    I would say:

    @Ruth (’13?)
    I’m being patient. Sort of.

  31. Alex says:

    This is one magnificent post! Your graduation day and speech was incredible! Very inspirational.

  32. Aditi says:

    great speech

  33. yukiko says:

    aww.. I loved this entry.. :D Memories..

    AHH there was an earthquake just now…

  34. fred '11 says:

    i just woke up to that earthquake not so long ago… i love california.
    its funny that our stories are so different. i never knew about MIT ’til about a month before i applied. i applied early and got in. i never really told too many people ’cause no one else knew what it was. everyone thought it was an ITT tech kinda thing. the funny thing is I live in a major city. it shall remain unnamed here to spare it the embarrassment. i guess people around here like caltech more…

  35. Omar says:

    Haha nice entry man. I love your grad videos. I tried doing something like that on my grad day, but we were all too tired.

    I’ve been working in a reflection post as well grin I hope to have it up soon.

  36. Hey,
    i was wondering….what happens to those people who dream of mit, who do everything they can do get into their dream place. and then they get rejected, what happens to them?

    really, what happens to them? what would you do if you got rejected snively? that all those years of trying to hard didnt pay off.

    just curious…, im sure that people here would like to hear the other possible outcome as well.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Beyond awesome post. My fifth grader cousin said the exact same thing when asked about college! I think I’ll mention MIT to him and see what happens…

  38. Dot says:

    that is so awesome!! I actually did keep my MIT admission a secret, except for a few close friends of course, who were so supportive and extatic! But then somehow my Ochem teacher found out and told my whole class! Unfortunately, this caused a bunch of kids to start gossiping about me and how I shouldn’t have got in and one kid made fun of me in each class we shared (all 3). It sorta put a damper on the excitement but they eventually stopped so it’s all good! Plus, nothing can really stop you from being excited when you’ve gotten in to your dream school!

  39. Lainers says:

    @ fred ’11
    I can really relate to the Caltech comments. More than once, I found myself saying things like “yeah, it’s a school similar to Caltech, but bigger and with slightly different emphases, and in Boston, which is in Massachusetts”.

    Certain friends’ parents (who did not require the above explanation) took my ultimate college decision rather hard. =)

  40. yukiko says:

    @fred ’11
    The only thing people around me likes about Cal Tech is that it’s closer to home… most people in my area prefers MIT…haha

    the Earthquake is causing havoc all over now..

  41. Great piece of writing Snively! Thanks for sharing, and I’m glad I’ll someday be able to say “Yeah, I read Snively’s stuff before he was really famous.”

    ‘Course, it brought back memories of some 35 years ago, when I went through the same process. The snail-mail days had far less focused intensity, since the letter would arrive sometime in early April, more or less, and the envelope thickness was the immediate discriminator. My intensity was even less focused and more confused, since I got my financial aid offer a week before the admission letter arrived. I figured if they were offering me aid, then they’d probably offer acceptance, but you never knew…

  42. Edgar says:

    Wow, Snively, this one of your greatest entries so far. Loved the graduation speech!

  43. amazing story michael!!!when i was reading the passage, you were waiting for the decision i get nervous too. we have something in common. i have decided from 6 grade that i want to go to MIT!!!!!
    will i be accepted?? i don’t know!! but i HOPE!! and if you hope you can do everything!!! and michael if you want to answer me, you can send me an e-mail. you can see my e-mail, and you can find it in your mailbox. dimit19 .

  44. helpless says:

    hey guys i have a question:

    i am bilingual- i am completely fluent in two languages. In high school I took so far classes of spanish (so im blinigual and a half) but my mom who is a foreign language teacher for the language i already do know wants me to take her hardest class so i can complete supposedly 5 years of that language.
    I don’t want to leave spanish plus if i take the other foreign language class I’ll have to give up some other classes that I like.
    WHat should I do? does MIT accept college credits for completing a language? What’s more impressive on my applicatio- speaking two languages or completing a language i already know?
    thank you guys

  45. Matt says:

    This is a great entry. Thanks for showing this side of the application process.

  46. Tamara says:

    Yeah, great entry, brings back memories of when I got my decision; you were like the second person I told. When I first read “blah blah blah admitted blah blah blah” (yeah, that’s the ONLY word that registered that first time I read it) I freaked out, dropped my computer, and then screamed to my friend to check it for me. Then I was convinced it was all a mistake and didn’t want to tell anyone because that would mean having to tell them when the acceptance was rescinded… Even after Ben Jones emailed me my reply was something along the lines of “What??? Really??? Actually??? I LOVE YOU!”. Good times.

    Also, I really hope it wasn’t my blog-stalking skills that got me in…

  47. Enas'12 says:

    Thanks for the post Snively!!! =)

    I have to disagree on the you get into MiT and tell everyone about it part, though. When I got my decision, I only told very close people; my parents, my 6-7 closest friends, and the two people who got me to apply and made my college dreams happen (and oddly enough, neither of them is at MiT). Oh, and my closest teachers and the Vice Principal. I didn’t even put it up on my FaceBook… People here tend to get jealous and envious, and sometimes bad things happen because of it. Plus, I had no idea if I was going (at first I had no intention of going lol)… But then people started finding out eventually…

    @Tamara: I felt the same way about it being a mistake!!! I figured they couldn’t un-accept me though (well, I assumed)… Matt please don’t un-enroll me ;P

  48. Lauren '12 says:

    Lol, I didn’t make it past the first sentence either!! I read the first sentence, told just about everybody in my music school, then realized I should read the rest just to make sure I hadn’t messed up. Haha.

  49. Enas'12 says:

    Forgot to mention: I didn’t make it past the first sentence either!!! I read it over like 5 times… I was shivering so much my jaw was actually clicking (from when I found out the decision was available). Then I called mom and read the first line to her. Then dad’s colleague and I tried to act cool I was like the decision is out he’s like what does it say? So I read it to him lol… After a few Holy ****s, he walks into dad’s meeting, and goes like “Enas just got accepted to MiT!!” Dad gives the same reaction, takes the phone and congratulates me, then goes back to his meeting…. Lo0o0ol

  50. aah, thanks guys for the responses!
    now i know what to expect if it doesn’t pay off. all the movies and anime are like
    “you are the destined child.”
    “no im not, i cant even throw a ninja star”
    “no, you are the destined child.”
    “o ok, need to train for destined childness, brb”
    and he becomes really powerful

    sadly, real life isn’t as guaranteed

    oh and btw, snively, i tried soaking a gummy bear in water. i came back after a few hours, and it was gone. there were small strands of gummy bears in the water, i think it exploded….what went wrong?

  51. Aditya says:

    Well written. Extremely enjoyable. =)

  52. Vivi '12 says:

    Is there some uncanny mind-connection between MIT people? I was just creating a draft of my own MIT story when I read this entry, haha!

    … you know, I don’t think I ever finished reading the letter past the first sentence. I hope I didn’t miss anything extremely important! x_x

  53. Elaina '12 says:


    I don’t think I got past the first sentence either.

    Actually, I read the first line several times before it sunk because I think I had it in my mind that if it said I was accepted, I would see a ‘Congratulations’ or similar word…it might also have to do with the nightmare I had the night before in which I was rejected…

  54. Lainers '12 says:

    I’m MIT ’12, but I live in Pasadena.

    I know many children of Caltech/JPL employees. One of my high school classmate’s parents is a varsity athletic coach at Caltech and was actively recruiting me for the team…and then suddenly switched to recruiting me for his school, going to far as to have his daughter talk to me.

    I really like Caltech. But I’m coming to MIT, for many reasons. I mean, the Flemming cannon spent a year chained to a tree. Whose doing was that?

    I don’t generally post with my real name b/c there is another poster here with the same name.

  55. Ahana says:

    Snively, have you thought of taking up writing seriously? As in, bigger than a blog?

  56. Enas'12 says:

    Lol @ Vivian: Same here… I was writing my draft when I saw this up lol.

    And I read the rest eventually (all my friends were at school and I was home sick alone, cause my folks were both out. So I had nothing better to do or no one to tell. Lol) There’s nothing besides “Keep your grades up” and stuff about how difficult admission was, etc. (I think lol) But definitely nothing VERY IMPORTANT as in critical

  57. This just confirms exactly what I thought–getting into MIT is basically winning the lottery!

  58. one more '12 says:

    Thank you for a great post! Memories…

  59. no, you! says:

    @ Lainers:

    out of curiosity, what was your final decision?

  60. Becky '12 says:

    When I applied to MIT I was basically just doing it because it was a good school, I kinda liked science, and it had EA. Then, I started reading the blogs and fell in LOVE with it, but in December I was deferred, so I tried my best to get my heart un-set on it. So in March when I checked my decision, it was with full expectation and preparation to be rejected. I think I got to like the 3rd or 4th sentence before I realized that it wasn’t a rejection. =D

  61. Kyle says:

    Good story, I am a sophomore in high school and it has been my hopes to get into MIT too. This really inspired me. I have been looking at every thing i can find about it on the internet, and now all I have to do is work hard and wait for the time comes for early action.

  62. Katy says:

    Great post…this was really inspiring for me at a time when I really need the inspiration. I’m incredibly nervous/excited just waiting for the application to come out. I didn’t think I would like MIT until I visited winter of my junior year, and now I’m in love.

  63. EJ says:

    Excellent story.

    I am looking forward to applying this year and even more so after my visit this summer.

    I also have a similar story of my mother mentioning MIT sometime back in middle school and am hoping for similar results!

  64. wisdom says:

    Long post, but thanks for the insights into the admissions process.

  65. Brian says:

    Great post. My favorite scene is your friend standing there with the wii on pause. very funny.

  66. Ronny CHEN says:

    MIchael, were you very nervous on your graduation speech? You looked, … really, really nervous…

  67. Tristam says:

    Thanks for telling us your experience.

  68. April '12 says:

    Best part about this:

    I love settlers.

    Oh, and I got up at noon on graduation.

  69. Tamas says:

    Awesomeness. I’m just about to enter High School, I hope I make the right decisions.

  70. Jenny says:

    Thanks for the post! It’s nice to see the application process from this perspective.

  71. JH says:

    Thanks for this amazing post!
    For some reason, I couldn’t stop smiling, if not cracking up already, the whole time while reading the blog.
    The whole MIT admission community is incredible; it seems like everyone is truly in love with the school (in a good way) and very passionate about it.
    To be honest, I wasn’t even thinking about applying until I started reading stuff from the site (because even though I’ve always “admired” MIT and would die for an opportunity to enroll, I was almost certain that I wouldn’t get accepted anyway), but I believe that the apparent liveliness and energy that everyone shows had just made me decided to give it a shot.
    AHHH i don’t know why, but I think just surfing around this site had put me a weird and overly excited high very early at 6 in the morning.

  72. Mitangi says:

    Your story honestly gave me goosebumps :|
    I’m sending in my application this year. I’m hoping I get deffered first and then accepted because I messed up on my junior year so I plan on working my butt off to make sure I get pure 90s in this year. I also need to get my SATs marks up there (did I mention I’m from Canada?)

  73. OMG, this is fabulous! reading your discription of your freshman life and thoughts, i found hope and passions again…
    i admired your passion and enthusiasm…
    i’ve often heard about MIT’s “exclusive” entry standard…and i kind of give up when i heard people say that “if u could get in MIT, i will kneel down in front of you…” that disappoint me a bit and when poeple say “if you dont have several international competition awards in your hands, dont even think about MIT…” well, i dont have any…
    who are MIT looking for on earth? the rejection to one of my friend who get a gold medal in the prvious international olympics competition in chemistry really brings me question? even for him, rejection comes… maybe for person like me, without a competition award, applying is just waste of time…
    but the story of you do delight my passion again, recall my eager from the bottom…
    “We gain courage, strength and confidence from experience in which we really stop to look fear in our face, therefore, we must do the things that we think we cannot do… “(Eleanor Roosevelt)
    Thank you

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  76. Tracy '13? says:

    Thanks snively, for yet another humorous, intense post =) Loved your graduation speech about shoes and feet; very entertaining, yet meaningful.

    Same here, I didn’t really consider MIT until I got a letter in the mail suggesting that I go and check out the website. Reading these blogs definitely changed my mind. I love how passionate and quirky MIT people are and to join them would be amazing.
    I had always thought that it would be utterly impossible to get in…but who knows? Good luck to everyone applying this year! I know we’ll all try our best.