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MIT student blogger Chris S. '11

Story of Tim Tebow by Chris S. '11

My friend Steve '11 wrote a blog for the not admitted.

Hey all –

On the night admissions came out (two nights ago), my good friend Steve ’11 (freshman ex-roommate) was reminded of the story of Tim Tebow after the decisions were released. I knew about Tebow from talking with Steve many nights (or rather, him talking to me) about football, and I thought it was really a good story, and maybe some of you would enjoy it.

But yeah, that’s it. Think of this as some light diversionary reading if you will. Remember Tim’s promise.

Best of luck in the weeks ahead! :)


You’re probably feeling down right now. You know you’ll get over it but you feel like you never will.[1] So if I can offer any advice it’s just to emote. Let your psychological immune system kick in. Get off the blogs and let out a few tears. Then watch some awesome YouTube videos Or eat a Vermonster with your friends.

(“editor’s note:” so for the people that don’t know, a vermonster is essentially a gigantic tub of ice cream that you can get at Ben and Jerry’s, an ice cream chain that’s pretty prevalent in the US – fun fact: it contains 14,000 calories :D but makes for a good bonding ritual followed by heartburn :P)

I’ll give you two sentences to stop reading. The rest of this post will be here waiting for you tonight. Kthxbai.

There are two things I want to say. But first, listen to this important message from Dan Gilbert, a professor of Psychology at the other Cambridge school.

A lot of events in life-both good and bad-are the products of factors that you cannot control. As Dan’s story shows, some things that seem bad turn out to be a blessing in disguise. More importantly, you don’t have to go to MIT to be a success. You can go to a community college and still end up at the top of your field.

Now, I hope you don’t obsessively dwell on this blog in the future. It’s time to move on, so I will bid you adieu with an inspirational true story.

Tim Tebow was the best college football player to ever played the game. That is a fact, not an opinion. He was the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, a two-time national champion, and the most statistically dominant player in history.

Yet last December he was sitting on the sidelines watching Alabama crush his dream of winning a third national title in four years. He started sobbing because he just couldn’t choke back the tears (see video). He invested so much in his team, his last season, in the championship run the media said destiny, that he couldn’t hold it together.

They say you shouldn’t cry over spilt milk. I guess you shouldn’t cry over college admissions either, it’s not that important in the long run. But even Tebow admits that many things, including academics, are more important than football. That didn’t stop “Tebow crying” from becoming the number one Google trend of the day.

Of course, this wasn’t the first time Tebow let his team down. A little more than a year earlier he failed to gain crucial first down and it cost his team the game. But that’s not the important thing. What happened next is part of college football lore: the promise he made (see video) is etched in stone at the University of Florida.

Tim Tebow could easily be known as the wunderkind who choked when it was 4th and 1 or the baby who drowned the Georgia Dome in tears.

But he’s not. He’s remembered for picking himself up and making a promise to do better.

As you probably can guess, Florida won 22 consecutive games and the BCS title after Tebow made “The Promise.” A few weeks after losing to Alabama, Tebow played the best game of his life in the Sugar Bowl.

Today he is remembered as the greatest not just of our time, but of all time.

Don’t let setbacks set you back. Thanks for reading.

[1] – Most people say something stupid like “I’ll never eat again” after eating too much on Thanksgiving. They know they’ll be hungry the next day-they are every year-but to a remarkable extent people are simply stuck in the present.

29 responses to “Story of Tim Tebow”

  1. I liked this a lot, first time I have ever been rejected in my life :-(

  2. Jochi Pochi says:

    Same for me, first rejection ever, but I’m already feeling better, I still I have something missing an empty space in my heart for all those dreams I had that now will be delayed, I will probably try to apply to MIT as a transfer student in the following years and I know that MIT doesn’t like depressed people, so I’ll work to see the good sides of this rejection, prepare people here comes a new me :D

    PS. I’ll probably keep reading the blogs every once in a long while, they are just awesome. Expect future comments from me.

  3. navdeep says:

    great story chris ..
    i completely agree with u .. but i will here like to point something out .. im sorry if i’m bng rude .. but yesterday… i saw the way some international students were crying over not being able to make it ..its easy for u guys to say that they will be great wherever they go ..but the fact is that some of them were from countries where they don’t have a good edu system ..nd they might never get an opportunity …u guys may not understand dis coz u r not familiar with the conditions am talking about … but its true…
    so mit along wid a few others are like d only hope fr dem … and u know that mit is one of very feww top unis who will give fin aid to international students .. and not many international students can afford an edu in a us university widout fin aid .

  4. MIT '10 says:

    Nice story, but it’s inappropriate that you would use Tim Tebow as an example on the MIT admissions website, given his highly public anti-choice (anti-abortion) political views and ties to far religious right groups like Focus on the Family.

    If I were a newly admitted student to MIT, it would make me wonder what the atmosphere at MIT was like for women. I realize that Tim Tebow is a good football player and MIT students have a range of opinions on abortion, but please be more sensitive.

  5. Amethyst says:

    @Jodi Pochi: You seem very cool from what I have read of your comments and chatted with you on that MIT countdown room smile I agree with you 100% This is actually my second rejection of any kind before–earlier on this year I entered a major poetry scholarship from which I thought I’d get at least a few hundred/thousand dollars, but I didn’t even get an honorable mention…it was heartbreaking, but a week later I found out I was a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. It just goes to show–setbacks aren’t the end of the world!

    I will definitely continue to post on the blogs, if only because I have no Facebook account and this is way cooler raspberry Hey, this just means we won’t be FRESHMEN at MIT. Which is ok. Anybody else who’s still determined, like us, to MITriculate: let’s all post on here once in a while to keep in touch, at least. Who knows, we may end up being dormmates someday!

    Oh, and go take a look at the “Transfer Applicants” requirements page. There’s some good advice there on how many thousand math and science courses we ought to take…

    @navdeep: My mother came here from a poor socialist Asian country with 33 pounds of luggage on her back 30 years ago. She now makes $75000 a year and is finishing her Doctorate. Don’t give up hope! There are ways to succeed if you’re really determined to.

  6. Anonymous says:

    MIT ’10…Are you serious?!?! Are you sure you got to MIT, because you completely missed the point. This has nothing to do with his political or personal views, and who cares what they are, he is not posting it for those purposes, and nothing in those videos is about that either.

    I am as pro-choice as they come, and there is nothing insensitive about it. Gee, what about the other end of the spectrum, those who are far right, and the campus has the President come to speak. Are there more like you here?

  7. Muskan says:

    I don’t know why everyone at MIT thinks that the reason why the rejected applicants are so devastated is because they don’t think they have brilliant future sans MIT. Every post-decisions blog for the rejected (saying it ‘non-admitted’ doesn’t make a difference, ’cause either way we’re not going be a part of MIT) in the archive has things like how heart wrenching it was to reject numerous brilliant applicants, how each one of them will go on to be successful in their lives and “we think you’re simply fantastic – and we can’t wait to see how you change our world for the better.” (Decision login page)

    Believe it or not Adcom, WE KNOW ALL THIS.

    At least most of us do.

    We know that we won’t be utter failures just because we didn’t get accepted into the most highly selective school. We know that, since we had 2300s in our SATs and that we’re national scholars, we can’t be complete duds. We all thought we had a chance of getting in the number one engineering college in the world and that is why we applied. There are varsity legends, 2400 SAT-ers, valedictorians and in my case, NTSE scholar and part of top 0.1% students in the country merit holders who got rejected and we all know that we’ll end up in a pretty good place 20 years down the line.

    But here are some things you never consider.

    Ever wondered why so many applicants are hooked to your blogs and OCW?
    It is not because we think that you’ll be impressed.
    It is because we love your world. We love that you have so many different things to do and experience. We’re in awe of all the things that are there at your disposal and the people you have the chance to meet. A world where for getting in money, for once, is not a problem. A place where you all have the chance to have the most amazing people as your professors, the most brilliant infrastructure at your hands, a really ‘wow’ curriculum where you can decide your major after a whole year, where you can go to Charm school and mystery hunts, where you have spring concerts and iFares, where every thing around you is bursting with activity and where amazing things are happening 24X7. Your blogs are like windows to Hogwarts, where we were not magical enough to get into. We can endure days of Vogon poetry if it means that we’ll get to experience what you all do for just one day. We were dying to be a part of all the traditions and hacks, navigating through the tunnels, telling Harvard and Caltech people they suck, nicking free hot chocolates from Laboratory of chocolate science meetings and just being at the place where the Bose people once were.
    All this is so different and wonderful compared to the world where some of us come from.
    We wanted the experience and the not just a degree with MIT stamped on it.
    And that is why we’re devastated. Because there is so much we wish we could’ve had and experienced, which we now never will.

    But some others would will.
    To them,
    You lucky sons-of-guns, make the most of it. ÔÅä

    Yours truly,
    Muskan Arora.
    Intl Applicant, class of ’14.

    PS: Chris, can you do me a favour? Can you please ask all the other bloggers to read this post once?
    Just so that they don’t write another post telling us something we already know.

  8. Muskan says:

    I ,in no way, meant any disrespect. I love that you guys take out time to write blogs to cheer us up.

    But it’s something I felt I really had to say.
    And I’m pretty sure that most of you guys applied to MIT for the same reasons as I mentioned in my last comment.

    I ,in no way, meant any disrespect. I love that you guys take out time to write blogs to cheer us up.

    But it’s something I felt I really had to say.
    And I’m pretty sure that most of you guys applied to MIT for the same reasons as I mentioned in my last comment.


  9. L says:

    Chris, I remember reading your first blog about the FroYo. I got inspired so much that I was reading all of your blogs before writing each essay for the MIT application. You have an ability to give people hope, inspiration, and drive. Thank you, Chris, for everything. Seriously, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your blogs, although you don’t even know me.
    I got rejected. But MIT wasn’t just a dream, it was a goal of my life. And now, after reading this blog I am going to open my physics book of problems and start preparing for the international Physics Olympiad I hope I am going to this year. And I am going for it. I am going to try my best to win it, and to apply to MIT transfer with such a great hook.
    For other rejectee’s, I feel better already, and I want to tell you guys not to stop here. It should be a clue for you, a clue meaning that you have to get better! Now please get up and go for your dreams!

    @Jochi Pochi:
    I have to admit that I am from such a country, and if I don’t get accepted to any of the US universities I applied to, I am screwed. :S So help me God to get in!!!

  10. Hamsika '13 says:

    @ Muskan –

    What you wrote is beautiful; I’m sorry if I was one of those who wrote a post “telling (you) something (you) already know.” You certainly opened my eyes.

  11. navdeep says:

    @amethyst i think i should have put a ’15? there ..
    i dint applied this year .. but i just felt sad for some of the rejected applicants .. so that is why i wrote that comment …
    thanks for sharing your story … it gives me hope for d future smile

  12. Anonymous says:

    But those blogs are inspirational though.They tend to slowly mend a broken and “rejected” heart.

  13. Muskan says:


    All I wanted was to do was to ask you guys to look around. There it was, the reason we(I) wanted to come.
    I had fun reading everything you wrote. Hopefully, I’ll continue to visit this site. And maybe, we’ll meet someday. smile

    PS: It was me who wrote you the worried email the day before the decisions. The one about peer recommendations.

  14. Oasis '11 says:

    @ Muskan –

    Thanks for your comment.

    I don’t want to come across as being sympathetic in the wrong sense, and in ways I feel hypocritical saying that, “it’s ok, it’s not so bad” when I’m at MIT myself. So for any applicants who got this kind of vibe from us, I apologize for it.

    But in truly the least dogmatic way that you can imagine me saying this to you, I hope you all will keep going strong. Every year I had friends rejected from MIT, and although they are unable to participate in the “MIT experience,” I would say that some of them arguably had forged better paths elsewhere.

    Either way – I’m sure it was also not Steve’s intention to preach at you guys. He is a serious Tebow fan and I guess he really wants people to know about his story. I dunno, I’m inspired, at least.

  15. Muskan says:


    They’re beautiful blogs written by amazing people. But the ones about the ‘not-admitted’ decisions, they just kinda hovered around the bull’s eye. For me, at least.

    I’m not angry at not being accepted. The people who were, were probably better fitted or in some way better than me.

    I’m just sad. That’s all.

    And as for the mending, time should do that.
    I hope it would.

  16. Muskan says:


    Nope, I didn’t get those vibes from you or anybody else. All of you are genuinely nice people and so is Steve.

    And it is an inspiring story but just not right for the moment.

    Maybe its not a common sentiment among the rejected applicant. So for that, I take back the we’s and us’s from my post.

  17. Tree says:


    I’m Tree, from the hack from last year (for those who remember).

    So I haven’t commented on these blogs here in a year, although I occasionally come back to read random posts for the laughs. I’m at a college I’m happy at and a friend linked me to a comment here and I just have one thing to say:

    Muskan, that was EXACTLY what I would have written. Thank you for writing that.

    Congratulations to everyone who applied!

    I see .org got a captcha, finally smile

  18. Steve '11 says:


    You’re right about saying things people already know, but knowing something is different from feeling something.

    Time does heal most wounds. But good stories can help speed things up. Hearing Dan Gilbert say he went to community college and is now a Harvard prof. has a different effect on most people than saying to themselves “I know the data say where I go to college doesn’t matter.”

    Also, there is a difference between healing wounds and turning good into bad. Some cancer survivors say they wouldn’t have had life any other way. They say having cancer helped them refocus their priorities, e.g. spending more time with family. I think if Florida could take that loss to Mississippi away and replay history, they wouldn’t, because “a lot of good [came] from it.” My hope was at least one person would read this and feel like trying to find the silver lining instead of dwelling.

  19. Ammar says:

    Will anyone believe me if I said I didn’t feel anything akin to depression when I saw the rejection letter?
    Actually I felt that suddenly my mind is free of a lot of thoughts that were haunting it and now I can concentrate better on other projects.

    I’m not going to obsessively dwell on the blogs, but I won’t abandon them either. is definitely staying on my RSS list. You don’t have to care about MIT to love these blogs, they’re always fun you know.
    Take Yan’s recent gravity notes, I really loved that one (it didn’t even have the word “MIT” anywhere in it smile )

    Your second paragraph gave me a feeling of Déjà vu, I have no idea why (who does anyway?)

  20. @ Muskan

    I was about to write all this what you wrote. Its completely sensible and true.
    I know what it really means to be an NTSE and 0.1 % top scorer (having secured a 100 myself),

    All this what you wrote about OCW’s, blogs and all, I have experienced myself from the past four years.

    I also feel disappoited about this kind of MIT’s Decision.

    Other than all these feelings, I wanted to come to MIT to change the world. But those dreams will always remain, and surely the world needs people like us who can do so to make lives better for them.

    So, I am very thankful to MIT for all OCW’s I studied from,
    and a request,
    Do Make more OCW’s and upload them so we can continue the fascinating experience of being at MIT in the future and ofcourse staying connected with its people, teachers and students.

    Yours truly
    Sambheet Krishna

  21. Drew says:

    I have hence restrained myself from commenting on the blogs, despite reading every single one, but after seeing Muskan’s entry I couldn’t help myself:

    Muskan, the we’s and us’s were justified. Although in comparing myself to you, my number values sound like they are a little bit behind yours. X)

    MIT wasn’t my gateway into a six figure salary. It wasn’t my chance to become a Rhodes scholar. MIT wasn’t my ticket into the best engineering firm in the world.

    MIT was a chance at discovery. A chance at having six psets at four A.M. due in less than eight hours, but not regretting a moment of the time I just spent dragging an enormous blow up Godzilla to the top of the dome. MIT was, no is, a place where I could cry into my 18.014 exam and then still feel like I just summited Mount Everest when getting a 65%.

    Muskan and I (excuse me as I speak for the both of us ;]) will probably end up at a decent, turtle, make that a great college. And even if we don’t, the time we spend at whatever college we attend will probably be something we make remarkable.

    I do not type these words with malice, nor distaste, I type them excited. Excited for whatever this green earth may hold in its bosom, waiting for me to discover. My excitement is however disheartened, albeit momentarily, in realizing that this discovery will not be made in the catacombs of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    For the thousand or so that have received the great honor that is an acceptance letter, we urge you to, as Muskan so expertly put it, “make the most of it.” If you don’t, I can offer you a mob fifteen thousand strong that will weep when you do not take advantage of such an amazing opportunity.

    Success is not final, nor failure fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Come what may, and love it. – Winston Churchill

    Regardless of what you may have achieved: acceptees, waitlisters, and rejects. Have fun and please, love it.

  22. ~A says:

    Matt am waiting for you! to tell us all how it feels,the accomplishment and agony of the admission process this year,to not have everyone experience the MIT life, except for selected few.

    I am truly convinced that even you including several other admins must have come across situations that none of us can define.
    (Matt one of your thougths may/must be, “Atleast they(rejected) can complain, feel sad and tell the whole world what they are feeling, to an extent to come back to their ownselves, but who/m do I do to?”)

    ~Cheers to all those who realise themselves and faithfully believe that life in anyway would be a better story to enjoy & cherish and resolve ourselves regardless of what, to make this ‘LIFE A GLORIOUS EXPERIENCE’….!!

  23. Jochi Pochi says:

    @ Amethyst, Thank you yes it is a good idea to keep in touch I’ll look forward to it
    I’ll begin to get ready for next year, today I got 100 in a Linear Algebra test, now I’m feeling much much better :D

  24. Muskan says:


    I know about Rather, I talked to Colton just two days before the decisions, on chat.

    Pretty neat site, I must say. :]

    And I’m glad that it’s a common sentiment.
    Happy to be the one to write it. smile


    Exactly my point about feeling and knowing. When you tell someone something, you let them know.

    And about good stories, Gilbert’s rise to the post of Harvard Prof. is just the thing akin to what my post was.

    We know that we have the chance to be something brilliant, without MIT too, but it was the experience we were longing for.

    The comment was just to clarify the cause of all the disappointment.

    And whatever is in store for us will be a part of our lives and we better start loving it rather than long for something that won’t be.

    And just maybe, I’ll say the same thing a few years down the line,

    “I wouldn’t have had it any other way”

    Till then , I can’t help feeling otherwise.


    Best of luck in all you do.


    Loved your post.
    And Hi5 for similar thoughts. *hi5*
    I hope the best for you.

  25. Aditi '12 says:

    You stole the Vermonster picture from facebook? raspberry

    Anyway, good job Steve smile

  26. Dear Chris S’11/Oasis’11

    (Apologies for my bad English Skills)

    I have been reading the blogs for the past two years. I truly did form a weird bond with this website. And after the decisions came out, I felt bad like never before. It seemed as if a really really really close friend died. Something felt really empty inside and I didnt know what to fill it up with, I tried eating at good restaurants with good service but that only gave temporary pleasure.

    What hurts the most is that going through the whole process I had a feeling that I might get in because I truly felt satisfied and happy and enriched after I pressed the submit button and after giving my interview.( I meet my EC quite often now and we are actually cool friends !)

    Anyways long story short ::: Out of all the bloggers Chris, I felt that I truly connected with you. Unconsciously I guess it was your blogs all along that inspired me this much. ( Scary as it may sound , I actually had the text of “the value of creativity” in my cell phone and read it on my way home in the bus, repeatedly! ) and today after reading this blog I am actually feeling OK. You are a good guy with a good heart and not just a “MIT STUDENT”.(No offense to anyone )

    I was hoping that maybe I would meet you this fall, but I guess if god wills, I will meet you some other time in some other place.

    Till then, take good care bro and I would like to stay in touch with you and talk about life at times (If its OK with you).



    Rasin MD. Zakaria
    Intl. Applicant for the Class of 2014
    Dhaka, Bangladesh.

  27. Amethyst says:

    @Jodi Pochi: Awesomeness on your Linear Algebra test! :D I have to go study parametrics and polars for Calc, hope I do as good a job on my test!

    I think I can say that Muskan is right, and speaks for almost everyone here…I know that’s how I felt a lot. MIT has been something truly unique and spunky and amazing to look at, like looking up at the grandeur and beauty of the Great Dome only to realize that there’s a giant monkey hanging off the side…it’s been so energizing. I worked at SeaWorld this past summer, and I actually had a customer applaud me right in front of my boss because I was so cheerful on the day after I submitted my application smile

    I think it hurts even for kids who plan to try and transfer in, etc., every time we see the activities for admitted students and say, “wow, that won’t be me, now!” It makes me feel a bit of the isolation that the blogs used to help stave off. But we all have to remember, I suppose, that it still *might* be us, sometime soon…we just have to work hard and be patient.

    Someone mentioned that rejection helped them refocus their priorities; I agree–in the last week or so, and in fact all through the application process, I’ve realized how many interests I wasn’t pursuiting and how many opportunities I was letting pass me by…that’s almost gone now! I used to feel a sense of overwhelming despair about things that I thought I could never accomplish, but now I recognize that the only thing holding me back is the *thought* of being held back in the first place!

    Thanks, rejection! :D

  28. Meh! says:

    @ Amethyst ::: Rejected Meh likes this.