Even though it’s been exactly a year since I found out I had been accepted to MIT, I still clearly remember the day I received my decision. The morning of Sunday, March 18th, I was sitting at the computer in our living room with my parents standing on either side of me, ready to either congratulate or console. As I prepared to click the button, I was neither confident nor despondent, only desperately curious to know. “Are you ready?” my mom asked me. “Yes,” I said.
I clicked the button.
Have you ever been outside on a cold, cloudy, rainy day when suddenly, almost without warning, the sun suddenly just breaks through out of nowhere and illuminates everything, if only for a moment? That’s how clicking that button felt for me. I remember smiling, I remember laughing, I remember hugging my parents and running to tell the rest of my siblings. I may have cried a little too but I don’t like to remember that part. That day, nothing could have worsened my mood. I had gotten in to MIT.
Now, I can’t help but feel that they cycle is coming full circle. I hope reading your decision was as enjoyable and rewarding for you and your families as it was for me. The celebratory dinner with my family, the pride on my teachers’ faces when I showed them my letter, the rush of adrenaline I got when I finally opened my Big Envelope – those are memories that last, and I hope each of you had the opportunity to make similar memories for yourselves.
The first word of the MIT acceptance letter is, incidentally, not congratulations. It’s actually something like, “On behalf of the Admissions Committee, it is my pleasure to offer you admission to the MIT Class of 2012.” Which, don’t get me wrong, is a beautiful, beautiful phrase (and as I said earlier, I really wish all of you could have read that on your online letters this past weekend). But I can’t help but feel that, if you’re as anxious as most prospective students are when checking their decisions (i.e., me), it’d be much more effective to start the letter with one big, straightforward, unambiguous “Congratulations!”
Maybe that could changed for next year’s letter – how about it, Stu?
Anyway, as the huge thrill of being accepted to MIT starts to wear off (slightly) and you start preparing for the even bigger thrill of visiting MIT for Campus Preview Weekend (you are coming, right?), there were just a few things I wanted to share with all of you.
0. CONGRATULATIONS! I don’t use caps lock that often, so you know I have to be serious. Really, you guys are amazing, and I can’t wait to meet you all in person!
1. Read even more about how amazing (possibly even perfect) you all are in the “snapshot statshot” Matt just made.
2. Add your name to the admitted student guestbook on MyMIT!
3. Join the official MIT Class of 2012 Facebook group and get to know your fellow pre-frosh!
5. If you can, try to be near a phone Wednesday evening, especially around 6-7 pm (your local time). I won’t say anything more than that. ;)
8. For hilarity’s sake, start counting how many times someone tells you “congratulations” for getting into MIT (this entry counts as one). I’ll be interested to see how the totals turn out.
13. Get ready for your freaking sweet Big MIT Envelope, arriving in a mailbox near you soon! (Corollary: if you think that envelope is awesome, just wait until you see the Gigantic Envelope to Eat All Other Envelopes – also known, somewhat more officially, as the Next Big Mailing – you get early May, once you formally accept MIT’s offer of admission, which is full of goodies about everything from housing to setting up your shiny new MIT email account.)
21: Speaking of mailings, I actually talked to Ben about the “Tubes for RA” idea a while back. Unfortunately, it’s simply just not cost effective to send over a thousand tubes all at once. And, as #13 says, you still get the Big MIT Envelope (which really is awesome). Sorry guys, but I tried. I never got a Tube and I’m perfectly happy with my MIT experience, so I’m sure you will survive too. ;-)
34. Continuing the mailing trend, why not start thinking of creative things to do with your MIT acceptance letter? I just framed mine, but I’m sure some of you can come up with a more interesting use for it.
55. Got questions? We have answers, so ask away! Whether it’s by email, Facebook, the Class of 2012 group, the blog comments, or by courier pigeon, I know all the bloggers will be happy to answer anything you want to know about MIT, as will just about any MIT student you happen to run across. (Your parents are also more than welcome to ask questions.)
89. Finally (I saved the best for last), I cannot encourage you enough to come to MIT’s admitted student weekend – also known as Campus Preview Weekend or CPW – from Thursday, April 10 to Sunday, April 13. Trust me, you will have an amazing time. Even if you already know you want to come to MIT (like I did), it’s definitely worth the trip. There’s no better time to visit classes; tour campus; explore the dorms, fraternities, sororities, and other living groups; hang out with the other pre-frosh; and, perhaps most importantly of all, simply meet all the students who make MIT such an amazing place to learn and live.
Welcome to MIT, Class of 2012. And welcome home.