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MIT staff blogger Ben Jones

Only You Have The Power by Ben Jones

Only YOU have the power to decide your own worth. Don't ever, ever, ever give that power to someone else.

I’m still reeling a bit from the last thread, I must admit.

Let me say it simply guys… only YOU have the power to decide your own worth. Don’t ever, ever, ever give that power to someone else. Don’t give it to your parents, don’t give it to your siblings, don’t give it to your teachers, and don’t give it to MIT. Those people can all make decisions that affect your life, affect your options, affect your path. But only you have the power to decide your own worth.

Part of resiliency is playing the hand that is dealt to you, no matter what that hand is. Folding is NEVER a good option. Because in life, every hand can be a winner if you play it right. YOU just have to believe. It really doesn’t matter who else believes.

Keep moving forward no matter what happens. And (to intentionally sound like a broken record) NEVER GIVE AWAY YOUR POWER.

71 responses to “Only You Have The Power”

  1. uj says:

    thats so true. people dont necessarily have to go to awesome schools to be successful in life. there are soooo many successful people out there who never went to an ivy league school.
    personally, if i dont get into MIT, i will be happy going to the university of michigan.

    “Poor is the man who does not know his own intrinsic worth and tends to measure everything by relative value. A man of financial wealth who values himself by his financial net worth is poorer than a poor man who values himself by his intrinsic self worth.” – Sydney Madwed

    NEVER measure YOUR own personal worth by somebody else’s ideals. if you’re happy with who you are, why do others’ opinions matter so much?

    oh yeah, and FIRST POST!!!

  2. Ben says:

    Thanks uj, awesome post. grin

  3. hedwig says:

    I’d like to know what the reason is behind MIT’s policy of not sending admission decisions via email as well??

  4. hedwig says:

    sorry if i sounded rude up there (^), didn’t mean to. was just curious.

  5. Shahab Umer says:

    I have so many stories and articles on self-worth and self-discovery, but they are all in a hard copy – its going to take me forever to type them here! I wish I could have shared them right now – while we are waiting, but I might not be able to do that as my A Levels exams are coming up soon, and I don’t want to promise something I won’t be to do! smile

    I WILL try, though, to have something up by this weekend.

  6. Ben says:

    Hedwig – there were a lot of factors that went into that decision, which I’ll see if I can dig up and post.

    A huge one that I can tell you off the top of my head: when we polled a bunch of current MIT freshmen on the issue, they almost unanimously said that in retrospect, they’re happy that they found out “the old-fashioned way.” They said that finding out online (from other schools) wasn’t so cool – they wished they’d waited for the snail mail.

    There’s just something romantic about it, I suppose. grin

  7. Eujin says:

    Yay, Ben’s back! smile

    Ok. Ben, I need your opinion on these.
    I am currently interested in getting education in two areas: economics and programming. Would it be better to get education in these areas simultaneously or get edu in one area and then in the other one?


  8. hedwig says:

    Ben though romance is all very fine, the wait here is driving me nuts.

  9. hedwig says:

    and i believe i am correct in assuming that the poll you conducted was biased in the sense that you could, for understandable reasons, only get the opinions of the selected students and they for their part would mostly say that it was absolutely great finding about their admission the old fashioned way.

    but for those less fortunate souls who got rejected for some reason or the other, i believe they would have wanted to know about their decisions sooner rather than later.

  10. Prashant says:

    lol hedwig, so true. If I were to be rejected, the worst way to find out about it is 15 days later, after EVERYONE knows their decisions.

    I know, ED time, I received my defer decision via snailmail, a full 12 days after being sent. It feels “like an empty can of Pepsi”, as someone said.

  11. hedwig says:

    yep prashant, my feelings exactly.

  12. Ben says:

    Eujin – it really depends on what you’re hoping to do after college, etc. I think different paths are right for different people in that regard. The best thing to do would be to ask your academic advisor once you’ve picked your school – that person will know the school well and be best equipped to help you decide. Take MIT for example – even though I work here, I’m not familiar enough with the individual departments to really be able to advise. grin (Personally speaking, however, I would take some classes in both before deciding, if scheduling allowed…)

    Hedwig – I definitely understand that, and you make a good point. There are other reasons too, which I’ll try to compile.

  13. Ben says:

    Also remember that you can call after a week if you don’t have your letter…

  14. Eujin says:

    Thanx for quick response, Ben! smile

  15. hedwig says:

    yeah ben i know about the 7-day phone thingy. but was just wishing we didn’t have to wait those extra 7 days to get to know about our admission decisions. see, though i am usually quite pessimistic about my prospects(i truly don’t believe i will be admitted to MIT) the wait is still driving me crazy!!1

    I’d like to know another thing (since Matt seems to be busy these last few days) what all things are still required of the student after he gets admitted to MIT (like does he have to get his certificates by someone or show some other records or domething else). was just wondering

  16. Ben says:

    I think just a final transcript…

  17. hedwig says:

    by what date should the final transcript reach MIT?

  18. pamom says:

    Great post, uj. I’d like to comment on your observation that many successful people didn’t attend Ivy League schools (or their equivalent.) First, it’s important to note that everyone defines success in different ways. Some want to
    change the world for the better, some want prestige and power, others want to make a lot of money, while others desire nothing more than to do something they love.

    My husband works for a large multinational corporation that employs many engineers. Employment opportunities in this company meet all the criteria for success I’ve outlined above. The corporation spends huge sums in research and development, and it’s been responsible for many products and services that have made our lives immeasurably better. I know several employees in R&D who absolutely LOVE their jobs because they feel they’re making significant contributions to mankind. It’s not uncommon for company researchers to achieve international recognition for their research.

    So where did most of these engineers get their degrees? Well, my husband got his BS/MSChE from a small southern university that isn’t considered a top, or even middle-tier, engineering school. Today, he has MIT graduates working for him. Top executives in the company have degrees from U of Tennessee, Purdue, NC State, Iowa State, Howard, Tufts, U of Delaware, U of Minnesota, Penn State, Stevens Institute of Technology, and William and Mary, to name a few. Only one top executive graduated from an Ivy League school, and that’s Princeton.

    My daughter is an EA admit to MIT. She, too, would have been happy to attend another school had
    she not been admitted to MIT. She realizes that MIT is only one of many paths she could choose to ultimately achieve her goals. As a parent, I certainly wouldn’t want my daughter to attend MIT if admissions didn’t feel she was a ‘match’.

    Good luck to all you applicants, but remember that MIT is only one of many possible pathways to success!

  19. jpsi says:

    Ben, could you tell me your point of view for competition?

    “only YOU have the power to decide your own worth”

    There are many reasons why people competes [Brown official told me, by giving some examples, that students of MIT competes hardest smile.]. But the most common that I have noticed was the low feeling of self-worth.

    In general it is quite common stimulus to work on things that are difficult – like science. I could actually believe, that you select only people that competes and work because of their specific approach to life and simple biochemical joy of thinking [;)]. The rough observation: the best students in my school are people of three categories, two of them are:

    – materialists. These students cheats, learn minimum to reach the purpose, and have good PR.
    – People with low self-worth feeling. they are hard working, organised and sick[destroyable]-ambitious. They also competes more agressivelly.

    I was talking today with the girl from my class. Who is a representant of the latter group. I have quite good contacts with everyone, so we could discuss her approach to live frankly. The model above worked well…

    Maybe it is different in US, when people need to be the best to earn for bread.
    I think, that being the admission commissioner you have tried to decide whether this person was making all the activities to look nice on paper, or was it the need of the people.

    If you can/want to: What do you think can create such a need? What is the stimulus, and why it is so strong? [I am curious about the opinion of professionalist smile].

  20. jpsi says:

    Hehe. Funny thing, when I was deliberatin about freedom of decidin on your life, the postman brought me a message about conscription smile.

    And then emerged a question.
    If I got rejected, I would happily stay at home, work in lab and learn for one year.

    But in some countries there is still the conscription…
    One will have to go to army [or to jail, or serve in other way, which are meant to be worse], which might be a bit traumatic… or let’s say. It is reported to be very traumatic, especially for people who likes physics more than beer. It causes misunderstandings…

    Hence the young man cannot apply two times for freshman admission, but only for insanely hard international transfer admission [if it is possible] [He really cannot. He won’t be allowed to write my application, learn science, pass examinations etc. There will be no time for it, and no conditions.].

    Could the citizen of such a country apply for a freshmen admission after one year at local university? Maybe only in some countries, where the army is reaaaaly hard experience?

  21. jpsi says:

    “Ben, could you tell me your point of view for competition?” – I am asking about it, because you, as the admission commissioner seek for best people for MIT. But people who competes may have [in my environment – often do have] a completely different approach for life. They are the best students in school, have competitions etc.
    But it is very common that either their parents force them, or unbalanced feeling of self-worth etc.

    I just think that this question might sound a bit inquisitive, and hence I am providing an explanation. I hope that you will not find it rude. I am really curious because it will help me to understand how exactly do you build the class.
    HR managment is an interesting topic for me itself smile, not only in terms of admission.

  22. Ben says:

    Hedwig – not sure what the exact date is; admitted students will be contacted with that info later in the season.

    Pamom – great post – thank you. grin

    Jpsi – competition is a tricky thing, and people compete for a huge variety of reasons. MIT students tend to compete very little against each other and look at the situtation more as “us against the material.” MIT is set up to encourage collaboration (a good example being problem sets, which are often impossible to do alone).

    Remember that there doesn’t *have* to be a connection between being “the best,” and one’s sense of self-worth. I think that people often insist on connecting the two, and this is the problem (and what creates the “need” to which you refer). For me, giving one’s all to life & being passionate about it is what makes someone really worth something. This doesn’t always get one admitted to the best schools in the world (I for example never could have gotten into MIT) but it doesn’t make one’s accomplishments any less valuable to him/her or the world! Pamom’s post (above) elaborates on this thought wonderfully.

    RE your second post – that is a very tough situation you have described and I understand it is like being caught between a rock and a hard place. Unfortunately, the MIT rules state that if a student has enrolled at another university, he/she must apply as a transfer student. One may only reapply for freshman admission if one has not enrolled at another school. Unfortunately I don’t believe there are any exceptions to the rule.

  23. leah says:

    “For me, giving one’s all to life & being passionate about it is what makes someone really worth something. This doesn’t always get one admitted to the best schools in the world (I for example never could have gotten into MIT) but it doesn’t make one’s accomplishments any less valuable to him/her or the world!”

    ^Wow, you made my day!

  24. hedwig says:

    >>First off, i would really like to know why all posts put up by parents which are more than 5 lines long(atleast here) usually start off with “MIT isn’t the only road” and then go on to say “My son/daughter got into MIT EA”?

    Shashank life is like that. as feynman quoted gibbon in his famous lecture:
    “the power of instruction is seldom of much efficacy except in those happy dispositions where it is almost superfluous”
    similarly it is the luxury of those admitted into MIT to say that: you know, MIT isn’t the only road … (etcetera etcetera etcetera)

  25. hedwig1987 says:

    >as feynman quoted gibbon in his famous lecture:

    i meant :
    “as feynman quoted gibbon in his famous lectures:”

  26. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps I should expound a bit regarding my previous post. We

  27. pamom says:

    Sorry. I didn’t mean to sign the previous post “Anonymous.”

  28. a son says:

    “May all your dreams come true!”

    Thank you soooooo much pamom grin

  29. jpsi says:

    Katharine Chu.
    I am sorry if you understood my questions as deliberation on success and way of living.
    I was probably speaking in an inaccurate way.
    I made the categories to exemplify the situation.
    Yet categories are a way of describing. People are different, but there are also some patterns, which allow a psychonalist for consigning the treatment by extrapolation of his/her experience, empathy and imagination.
    I won’t try to argue with you about your feeling of success, but only because you are probably happy with this what you got. And I certainly fo not want to bring more unhappiness to the world smile.
    However in my opinion, the ‘journey’ is a very personal success. The lessons are very pleasent, because you are developing. Learning and development is extremely joyful, I would say – from definition.

    But the analogical situation could be sowing of wheat. If you sow everything, or too much, you will starve.
    To reach the maximum efficiency, there should be balance between the investment [development] and use of abilities [concentration on target, not lessons]. The scientist instead of sowing can either develop himself: read interesting books, make mental exercises and make interesting experiments that were made once. He/she can concentrate only on the journey, and by the way discover something.
    But he/she can also consciously develop, and work for some purpose to reach it. This purpose can be vaccine, way of energy production, new cheap tranposrt etc. Only the final target would bring anything for people. And the journey here would be the one of factors that motivated this person, of course. As well as many other factors…
    But the target, result is not unimportant [for me].

    His/her abilities that are not used for something useful have a very small impact on the world.
    And that’s wasting of the potential. Is not it?

    Ben, I will try to put it more clear. I was thinking about many things at the moment of writing the last comment, so now I will try to condense my question:

    When you see the applicant’s traits, passion, love of work and learning and other positive or negative [in terms of this year admission to MIT] features, do you try to invent what is the reason of development of these features?

  30. NoCreativity says:

    We’ve been on the run,
    driving in the sun,
    looking out for number one.

    california here we come,
    right back where we started from,

    hustlers grab ur gun,
    your shadow weighs a ton
    driving down the 101.

    We’ve been on the run,
    driving in the sun,
    looking out for number one.

    Maybe i should have stayed in California, because the OC is the funnest place ever?

    BTW:: TV makes you forget the time.. so time flies faster!! lightspeed!

  31. sreraman says:

    can u tell me,abt. transfer admissions…is it more competitive than this????U might know that mail takes ages to arrive my city(chennai),I recieved one from MIT 20 days after it was posted so i guess all indian applicants r goin to call MIt and ask their decisions….So,y don’y u just post it in the web..I think that the students r more pressurised …….
    plz think abt. this…..

  32. Shashank says:

    Ben, two things:

    First and foremost, congratulations on having the blog with the worlds largest average post length. The posters on this thread have outdone themselves.

    Secondly, would it be possible for you to post the number of Indians who have applied to MIT this year

  33. My dad is an interesting character. He used to run.

    He ran well. He ran well enough to get to the try outs for the U.S. Olympic track team. He ended up coming in one place behind whatever the cutoff point was for the team.

    My dad has never shown me any of his medals or told me this story. The only reason I know is because my mom told me. He doesn’t even talk about running track in high school.

    But when I started track in 8th grade, he started running with me. He runs five miles a day, now. He’s still never talked to me about it, but you should see his face when he runs. He is happy.

    Life fights dirty, sometimes. Don’t be afraid to be happy because of failure. Run/fly/explore/test/calculate anyway.

  34. Wonderfully well said, changelingpiper, thanks for sharing that. I’d offer a slightly different thought, from my perspective: “Don’t be afraid to be happy *in spite of* failure.” Dream on, all of you. The best is yet to come.

  35. uj says:

    oooooooooo this thread has become quite inspirational.
    thanks to EVERYONE who has shared their stories/thoughts/memories/etc.
    im sure im not alone when i say that im glad there are people out there who see things in the same light as i do
    looking for something to do in the last couple days?
    build a hovercraft
    just google it, and there are easy-to-follow instructions
    smile enjoy

  36. sreraman, in the past couple years, the number of admitted transfer applicants was fewer than 10 total, so yes, it would be more competitive.

  37. Prashant says:

    Shashank, “a few hundred” students is the official word about # of Indian students who applied to MIT this year.

  38. Katie says:

    Ben went to the awesome school 15 minutes south of meeee!

    I sincerely hope that everyone who seems to want to get accepted by MIT so badly gets in, but I also hope that everyone remembers why we’re going to college in the first place – we’re going to study our passions and step into our own adult, educated lives. Any college we go to, even MIT or an Ivy, is secondary to the work we’ll accomplish.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally pumped about Cambridge, the lifestyle, and the status of a good school, but the fact that the school is “MIT” means less to me than that it’ll be an opportunity to meet great people and follow my dreams in a supportive community, no matter how cheesy that sounds.

    As for success, that’s totally subjective and we all have our own thoughts about what will make each of us happy, and that’s totally cool with me smile

    Oh yeah, Ben – it would be sweet to see a list of stats about the admitted class at the end of the admissions process!

  39. Jpsi, I think placing people neatly in categories is a simple, clean way of looking at human nature; however, human nature is anything but nice, clean, or simple. Depending on how one defines success, one has to make certain sacrifices or learn certain techniques to achieve his goals. There is nothing wrong with learning the art of networking, PR, or even not working hardퟏ Working smarter is always better than working harder, and many, many times who you know is much more important than what you know. Whatever you feel success means will guide you throughout your life, so think carefully.


  40. Ben says:

    Wow, a posting frenzy! Awesome! grin

    Responses in order…

    Leah – grin I wish everyone had the same reaction to that sentence…

    Sreraman – yes, leftcoast mom is right – transfer is waaaaaay competitive. In the single digits the past few years I believe.

    Katharine – super post.

    Anonymous – yes, it would be good to inform us if the information is certain and can be validated. We take that stuff very seriously. If it’s not first-hand info, however, I’d be skeptical – false rumors have a way of growing exponentially as they travel through a grapevine.

    Shashank & Hedwig – I didn’t have a chance of getting into MIT, early or otherwise… and I still love my life. grin I can promise you guys (from the perspective of my ripe old age) that the same can be true for anyone.

    Impatient – yes, we’ll try to do that again this year. (Oh, and I went to Oberlin.)

    Jpsi – I think I understand your question a bit better now. I would say (in my experience) that an applicant’s true motivations & personality become very apparent through a combination of the essays, recommendations, and interview. In most cases, we can tell who is genuine and who is not.

    Shashank – I’m not sure – numbers haven’t been released to us yet, and to be honest, I don’t even have a guess because I didn’t read India this year.

    Changelingpiper – what can I say… you get it, you totally get it. Thank you for that amazing post.

    Uj – NICE, I am going to do that.

    Katie – thanks for your great post and we’ll definitely try to do the “fun” stats again this year. Say hi to Mrs. Gibson for me? grin

  41. jpsi says:

    But what’s genuine motivation? The one who works because its his only chance to hatch out from the poor country? The one who works because in his childhood his parents were very strict for him? The other one who has even more complicated network of dependancies. For example, he seeks specific relationships with people because of some developmental experiences, and learning/work is his way of it.

    It would look quite similar, and every motivation would be genuine. But for example, the person who tries to escape from poor country might stop “seek for food”, if I can say ethologically.
    Motivation must be a stimulus for the whole life, and there are as many different reasons why the motivation exists… I mean not every stimulus is positive, though it creates very positive outcome.
    I remember the big discussion on some psychological forum. There was a women who described her childhood. She had really tough parents, and many problems concerning most of the spheres of man’s psyche.
    She was top student and no one knew that she has problems in home. She said that learning was her escape – “survival” strategy. It was not completely aware process, as she said. She was working harder than everyone else. Harder than the average [normal…] man does.
    She thought that she worked because she wanted to have a good job, and escape from parents earlier.
    Another theories are for example that she wanted to be ‘above’ her parents, to feel a surrogate of control, to not let control them herself. there were several theories [it was a big psychological board wink].
    Sometimes people can find what’s the reason, and work consciously using this motive when it is needed. I personally find it very worthy, since it allows people to not to influence social contacts the ‘passion stimulus’. They can use different stimuluses, for different situation, and have passion for everything that they do. A kind of ‘magic switch’. If you heard this theory…

    What do you think about such reasons of motivation? I am not sure [actually I can never be untill I make research on the whole population smile ], but it seems quite logical, that a man who is a biological organism, can be ruled by natural laws. And the motivation, passion and other traits can be reduced to some elementar stimuluses, that are not as gaudy as those that seem to be this elementar stimuluses.
    It seems, that it works in such a way, at least in high percentage of cases.

    [I hope that I am not messing too much. It is the last post. It might be interesting for others since it concerns selection process. If not, do not hesitate to delete it after several days.]

  42. Ben- the real test will be how philisophical I am if I get a rejection letter from MIT wink

    leftcoast mom- yeah, in spite of was what I meant. I just picked a bad way to write it. Thanks.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Ben, what if one of finds out that one of the applicants is enrolled in a college/university already? Are we supposed to inform you? Would that be considered ethical?

  44. hedwig says:

    >>changelingpiper:the real test will be how philisophical I am if I get a rejection letter from MIT wink

    lol, so true.

  45. Shashank says:

    First off, i would really like to know why all posts put up by parents which are more than 5 lines long(atleast here) usually start off with “MIT isn’t the only road” and then go on to say “My son/daughter got into MIT EA”?

    And Sreraman, I live in Hyderabad, India. You know that letter MIT sent with the ID number by snail-mail? Well, i got it in 6 days.

  46. impatient says:

    Hey Ben,

    was wondering if you’re going to put up a fact file kind of page for the MIT Class of 2009, like how you did last year: with interesting facts like – most common name, % home schooled, most represented state, % intl students etc. ? :D

    Btw if you dont mind me asking, where did you go to college?

  47. Sean says:

    NoCreativity, I disagree. Yes, we need to be able to stress out, but we need to hear these things. Thats what gives us faith in this “valifation by society” that you describe. At least thats how I feel about it.

    And, I don’t really feel like we’re trying to give psychological counciling. If you want that, check out my blog, heh.

    If you’re looking for something along the lines of this discussion, my discussion of Buddhist philosphy on my blog could use some company. And if you’re Buddhist, corrections smile

  48. NoCreativity says:

    @sean: its validation.. not “valifation.” When u quote … at least do it correctly.


    on another point… It’s one day till decisions are mailed! Hey Ben, if i were desperate, could I hop on a plane and fly to 3-107 to get my decision by myself? I mean some people who live right by MIT will get theirs on saturday. but i live across the country…

    woah.. it would be wierd if u gave me a small envelope =P >_<

  49. sreraman says:

    I would like to remind u all of ramanujan and einstein for inspirations….

  50. Prashant says:

    “…but i live across the country…”

    LOL. I live across the world (India).

  51. Sean says:

    NC, easy there…geez

  52. Fabrice says:

    “woah.. it would be wierd if u gave me a small envelope =P >_<“

    Ben doesn’t give anyone envelopes. The entire committee decides your case. So if you unfortunately don’t get in, please don’t hold it against Ben — it’s not his fault smile

  53. jpsi says:

    Ben, could I have a question for you?
    It was torturing me the whole day…

    There is about 0,6 person each year that gets in from my country each year.
    Does it mean, that If I am admitted, I will have to leave my legs, and I will receive them after one year, with the hand of the next-year acceptee?



  54. Fabrice says:

    It’s no problem, jpsi. I’m sure we can find a volunteer to carry your torso around until your legs arrive. wink

  55. jpsi says:

    IF I get in.
    Wow. MIT is so helpful community smile.
    However, I do not feel good with the fact, that I will be dependant on someone…
    Moreover, I like my legs, I am [emotionally] bound to them… Look, I did not find them on the rubbish dump! :D

    [Ben, I have one really favourite answer for that question. I wonder, if you can guess which one it is smile. It is a quotation…]

  56. Prashant says:

    jpsi: lol what bitter sarcasm, dude :-p

  57. jpsi says:

    Most of it was not bitter sarcasm. [the only thing was the big IF]. I wanted it to sound very light and humoristic. Not sarcastic. There should be the countenance included smile. Small faces that would transpond nonverbal information wink.

  58. Anonymous says:

    i’m half a half way around the world.. but if mit was floating in the sky.. then woah.. we could orbit… and the could beam us up…

    wooooahh.. i definitely know now that i’m reverting back to chimp from all the stress.

  59. Eujin says:

    I completely agree with Sean on that^.

  60. NoCreativity says:

    this giddiness and inspiration and sappy happiness is weird people. Okay.. so we shouldn’t stress out too much if we don’t get into MIT, but we need to stop talking like someone needs psychological counseling here.. because if a blog/forum is not a place to talk about suicide, then I don’t think we should keep talking like everyone is contemplating it… so unrealistic…

    And btw.. is there anyone here who is annoying by the way the adults keep telling us its not the end of the world? easy for them to say.. they’ve been validated by society.. but it’s natural for us kids to stress. It helps us grow up to be good adults.. so i say let us stress all we wants!

  61. .... says:

    I know what your saying makes sense, but sometimes someone’s situation is different.

    Thinking of every rejection I’ve had in the past my counter has been “there’s always MIT, if I make it it’ll all be ok.”

    When I was deferred all I could think was “Just wait until RD, there’s still a chance.”

    Well, guess what. Tomorrow is judgement day. Tomorrow determines the rest of my life.

    Hopefully, MIT, you makde the right decision for only YOU have the power.

  62. NoCreativity says:

    yes they do have the power.. and MIT… u guys also determine if i eat or not.. because my mummy will lemme go pig out at hometown buffet (a cheesy but fun little place to eat) if i get in on 3/14 or 3/15.

    Btw fabrice:: selective reading.. i wasn’t holding anything against anyone. I was saying.. if i flew over there.. Ben could hand me the decision.. but it would be wierd if he GAVE (meaning HANDED) me a small envelope. Jeez bro/sis?, wat a way to destroy my humor.

  63. Fabrice says:

    NC, I was just joking. smile

  64. NoCreativity says:


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  65. NoCreativity says:


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  66. Ben says:

    Hi folks!

    Answers to questions (in order since my last comment here)…

    Jpsi – I really appreciate your insights and you’re definitely not messing too much. Your observations regarding “genuine motiviation” are right on – it does come in all shapes and sizes. It’s difficult for me to comment in a “sum it all up” sort of way, because we really do look at every case individually. We don’t tend to judge what motivates someone (unless it is overtly negative, like wanting to study nuclear engineering to blow up the planet). grin

    NoCreativity – you make a valid point, but I have to agree with Sean’s take on it. Also, while we “adults” are indeed saying it’s not the end of the world, I do agree with your comment about stress – it *is* okay to stress, as long as you don’t take it too far. I think it’s all about keeping things in perspective, which can be tough (I struggle with it sometimes too).

    Jpsi, I’m not sure what the “right answer” is, but I’d eat anything and everything for months, gain 120 pounds, get admitted, then lose 120 pounds which would leave me at .6 the person I was when I was admitted. (If you guys are really that good at math, you can figure out my weight now LOL)

    …., I hear you and I definitely respect that every situation is different. But I must disagree that MIT has the power here. We’re a good school, one of many good schools. But there is only one you. And who knows where life will take you if you give it the chance? As someone posted earlier somewhere in my blog, Einstein got rejected from college. What if he had given up? I would argue that your potential could be greater than MIT’s. Because one never knows, one simply never knows. Still hoping you will email me sometime… it’s an offer that doesn’t expire. Ever.

    NoCreativity – that sounds so damn GOOD. Buffet… mmmmm – and what is that thing in the next two posts? grin

  67. Ben says:

    Now *that* is a good answer. grin

  68. Prashant says:

    I can relate to “….”

    All through the application process and even after deferral at another school, I (and a friend of mine) always used to think – “oh we did this wrong, oh this could’ve been better…” And then we’d go into a frenzy worrying about our lack of formal school-type ECs or the low test scores etc.

    We’d think we’ll be rejected everywhere, but somewhere at the back of our minds was an assurance – “Hey, there’s always MIT! They are not score-crazy, they’ll look at our apps and know how passionate we are about learning…”

    4 more days, guys.. hang tight.

  69. Prashant says:

    Matter of fact, when we heard of someone getting a 1600, we’d tease em with “Surely, you must be an MIT reject…”


    Same with quirky essay… “Haha you’ll get yourself rejected everywhere, dude.. wait, maybe not MIT!”

  70. I definitely know what you mean when you say:
    “Thinking of every rejection I’ve had in the past my counter has been “there’s always MIT, if I make it it’ll all be ok.”
    I’ve faced failure many times while pursuing my passions/dreams, and an acceptance letter from MIT would totally make up for all the disappointment. When I got deferred, it was yet another thing to add to my list of disappointments.

    HOWEVER, I will not lose faith in myself/life if I don’t get good news on Pi day. Failure is hard, but definitely NOT a reason to give up. I believe that if you just keep pursuing my passions/dreams and don’t back down, something good WILL happen. Hopefully, that something good with happen on Pi day, but if not, I’ll just cry a few tears, scream, and then pick myself back up.

    Never lose hope, hold on to faith, and believe in miracles!

  71. jpsi says:

    “Jpsi, I’m not sure what the “right answer” is, but I’d eat anything and everything for months, gain 120 pounds, get admitted, then lose 120 pounds which would leave me at .6 the person I was when I was admitted. (If you guys are really that good at math, you can figure out my weight now LOL).”

    It is the smart answer also smile.
    My favourite was: “MIT accepts people not numbers.” :D