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MIT student blogger Bryan O. '07

Remember to Breathe by Bryan

Chicken Soup for the Applicant's Soul

So many of you are starting off with college applications trying to summarize and capture the important things in your college application, and OMG there aren’t enough blanks on my application to talk about the 20 million extracurriculars I was involved in.

A word of advice: Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and count to ten.

Applying to college is really stressful, believe me, I’m applying to graduate school and every day I call my mom in a frenzy exclaiming that I’m not going to get into any of the schools I want to get into. I was in your spot once, and I’m there once again, so I’m not too far removed from the whole process.

One of the biggest things I think we want to get caught up in is the number game. Person A got XXX on my SATs, and Person B got YYY on their SATs. YYY > XXX but A got in and B didn’t. Does this make sense? Some people would like to believe that scores are the key to entry into university, but there is more to your application than that, and MIT is looking for more than that. I’ll put it this way. I had no perfect scores at all. I still got in and I’m going strong.

I’ll periodically add more entries about approaching your application, but the first thing I just wanted to remind you not to stress. If you do find yourself getting stressed, take a step away from the application (not past the deadline) but go for a walk, play a video game, repaint your room, skydive.

Keep your head up. College is supposed to be fun; don’t let the application get you even before you come to college.

9 responses to “Remember to Breathe”

  1. Vinita says:

    Hey Bryan, if you don’t mind, I’m taking the liberty to answer this question man. You seem too busy to reply here anyway. =P
    (er…the last remark isn’t meant to be taken seriously, I was just having my own futile attempts at humour here I guess)

    Hi Atul, you don’t need to fill in ‘that’ particular form. It’s clearly mentioned that it can only be filled in by students ‘who currently attend a U.S. high school or who currently attend a school located abroad that follows the U.S. high school curriculum.’

    So since your school follows the CBSE system, you can as well say adios to that part of the application. Hope I clarified your confusion. (Or did I intensify it?)


    If you still ain’t satisfied, well, let’s wait for the ‘official’ word then. Bryan, Where art thou? =P

  2. Atul says:

    hey.. had a small question. I live in India , and attend a school that follows India’s national school system (CBSE). It’s not similar to the US school system. So is it necessary for me to submit the Secondary School Report and the Mid Year School Report ? the MIT website says only students in the US school system need to do so.. but would be nice if I knew for sure.. grin

  3. manjima says:

    just wanted to know about the grade requirements in M.I.T….. would be great if you could enlighten me with this bit of information. By the way, is it too bad if I dont have Biology in my O Level papers?

  4. Rob says:

    Hey just a quick question about the SAT scores,
    the first time i took it i went down alot in math and critical reading (stress). But i did better than usual on writing, (good essay ^_^… before i was flipping out).
    Im taking them again, since im a math person and im pretty sure i can get an 800 easy… so the question is… Can i mix the best of my scores in order to get the highest SAT score i can get? (my first writing and my second reading and math?)

  5. kevin says:

    I just attended a meeting at my son’s high school tonight. The head guidance counselor gave your question a “yes” answer. She said your college’s admissions dept should take the best score in each test section (basically she said you CAN mix’n’match).

  6. Natasha says:

    So this is probably a really dumb question, but what is the interview like? Should I dress up? Should I just send my EC an e-mail saying what times I’m available when I set it up? How does this whole thing work?

  7. I just finished watching “Mammalian Cloning and Stem Cell Therapy: Problems and Promise” on the MIT World portal, and I think it really helped to cement my conviction for going to MIT.

    And, while the above comment may seem irrelevant, here is the logical link: You got into MIT. Four simple words, but it would mean more than I can begin to articulate to be able to repeat that phrase with ‘I’ as the subject.

    I don’t know if I will be able to, though. As a junior in high school, there are still some things I can do to increase my chances… but I need a little help when it comes to isolating those things. Is there any way I could setup correspondence with you via email? I’ve filled in the appropriate field, but I don’t know if you actually see that information.

    My email address is mattcorley(AT); obviously, replace (AT) with @, as I’m just trying to protect myself from web spiders.

  8. Hi,
    I would love to be admitted into MIT, but my SAT score is only a 1200 on a 1600 scale. That was the first time I took it. I am very worried that the score may not dramatically improve the second time around. Basically, is a 1200 really pitiful when it comes to applying to MIT? I am first in my class, though, and I am very active with involvement in extra-curricular activities. Also, I am musically talented but don’t plan to major in music though. I was wondering if 1200’s are really looked down upon at MIT. I honestly don’t think that the SAT reflects my academic potential, because I’ve taken 6 college classes so far during high school and have made very high grades on them.
    I guess I am stressing out a lot of such a trivial thing as the SAT, but hey, colleges look at that.
    Well, plz give me your feedback on this subject when u find the time.

  9. Bhushan says:

    bhushan here

    I am not at all good at paper work and I canot get good scores SAT(too hell with that collegeboard they should be bombed) I was not that good in my school till 9th my friends(or enemies) hated me they used to beat me and tease me all the time but in 10th I received quite good scores on top of them. I have an theory which can destroy ENERGY CONSERVATION law and I want base to prove that theory which I thought can be provided by MIT too I have an idea to invent time machine and overcome earthquake disaster but I am confused(more likely depressed) whether I will get on MIT