I’m officially on winter break. It’s hard to believe that the craziness of the semester is already over, that I have completed my finals and turned in all my papers. I wrote this entry from the airplane on the way home, heading away from the bubble of MIT towards the place I grew up.
I had a realization the other day that Cambridge is my home. I will always hold a place in my heart for Colorado, and I will be comfortable where ever my parents are, but my home right now is definitely MIT. I’m not sure it has been that way for the past two and a half years, but it is now. It is where I am the person I want to be.
Even though I have been at MIT for only two and a half years of my life, compared to the seventeen I spent in Colorado, the experiences I have had here and the people I have met have shaped who I am and where I want to go. I have heard many, many times that college is where you will find yourself, but I don’t know if I really believed it until recently, but it seems that every time I take the time to reflect back on who I am, what I have done and where I am going, the who I am bit seems to change, even if only slightly.
You just received your decisions from MIT, and you may feel like the decision you were granted will define the rest of your life. If you got in, I offer you my congratulations. Welcome to the most stressful four years of your life. It will be the most stressful but the most amazing if you take advantage of all the opportunities available to you.
If you were deferred, don’t fret yet. Make sure to finish your other applications, find where else you could succeed and be happy and the opportunity for MIT will come again in a couple of months. If you didn’t get the answer you are looking for, don’t think about the school defining who you will become. You don’t grow, change and find yourself based on the name on the sweatshirt you wear, or what will eventually be on your diploma. You grow based on the experiences you have and the challenges you overcome. While MIT is an experience in itself, I have learned the most about myself during the times I have been away from MIT, and from the people I have the opportunity to interact with.
No matter where you end up, be sure to take advantage of every opportunity given to you to travel and meet new people. Go outside of your comfort zone, whether it is trying a new activity, or travelling halfway around the world. You need to challenge yourself in order to grow. There will be ample opportunity for other people to pay for you to try the things you have always wanted to do, so take advantage of them. College is probably the only time you are unencumbered by significant responsibility and the only time you can really change your mind on a whim. Don’t feel tied into any decision, and don’t feel like you can’t change your mind.
On that note, enjoy your break, finish up your remaining applications, and don’t stress too much about decisions. No matter where you will end up, you will find the experience you are looking for if you seek it out.