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MIT student blogger Paul B. '11

Welcome to MIT, Class of 2012 by Paul B. '11

Welcome home.

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.

1. Get a slightly different take on this year’s admissions cycle by reading this article in today’s edition of MIT’s student newspaper, The Tech.

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.

57 responses to “Welcome to MIT, Class of 2012”

  1. ka '12 says:

    Thank you, Paul.

    I’ve got the same problem as yiwen, it is difficult to be home tomorrow :S and cell phone would be cool.

    I want to visit CPW, but… but it’s impossible because of i’m too far from US :((

  2. Aditi says:

    Do the international students get called too?

    *say yes!*

    And oh , I really dont care what time you guys call (if you do) because the time difference is rather crazy!

    Cell phone would be good =)

    I’m such a brat =P

  3. Anonymous says:

    sorry for stupid question, but why would they call?

  4. Sarah '12 says:

    haha…nice numbering.

  5. Chris M '12 says:

    Darn, 6-7 PM? I’m working ’till around 7 tomorrow D:

    Maybe I can tell my parents to tell whoever to call my cell?

  6. excited says:

    I also found it funny that the first word wasn’t “Congratulations” so at first I thought I was rejected until I skimmed the part about ‘Class 2012’. :D When you’re in a hurry, you usually only read the first line!

  7. Anonymous says:

    @ excited

    yeah, you are right smile! May be for five minutes I was confused and in extasy :S. Only after half an hour I could read the whole letter smile

  8. Snively says:

    @Chris M ’12

    Don’t worry about it, you’ll be fine. It’s going to be a long night and we call back.

  9. Stop making me so excited for CPW >_Stop making me so excited for CPW >_< I have an amazing spring break trip next week and if I spend the whole time thinking two weeks ahead to CPW, I won’t enjoy it properly.

    But in all seriousness, I am getting SO excited about CPW already!


  10. Isshak says:

    Yep, welcome class of 2012 ! You are going on one great ride ! And seriously, just go to CPW just to taste liquid nitrogen ice cream.

    Er, do you call international waitlisted students too ? ^^’

  11. ka '12 says:

    @ Snively

    Sorry Snively, what about me :((? The day after tomorrow we have got a program so I won’t be home tomorrow because I must do all the stuff in school dormitory :((

  12. jasminef says:

    You know, because it didn’t say “congratulations” in giant letters, I kept being convinced I’d misread it, and I sat there reading it about five times, went downstairs (I was in a hotel), ran through the lobby shouting, and then went back upstairs to n-tuple check that I hadn’t misread it…

    Also, yes, prefrosh, come to CPW for LN2 icecream! (I finally got trained in the ways of cryo, I’m really excited about making icecream).

  13. Rachel says:

    Question about CPW. Is everyone’s parents coming? Mine aren’t sure if they want to and I just wanted to check around.

    Oh and I am also still waiting for the “I got into MIT” buzz to fade. This is amazing.

  14. Rachel says:

    Apologies for the grammar errors in that sentence. Meh, my SAT was below the median anyways. =)

  15. Paul says:

    Regarding the telethon in general – We really want to get a hold of as many students as possible, so as Snively said, we will call back several times over the course of the evening. Usually the number we have is your home phone number; but if your parents give us your cell phone number, we’ll call that too.

    If you’re not around tonight at all, I think there may be another mini-telethon later; I got my MIT phone call several weeks after being admitted.

    The rationale behind the telethon, in my observation, is because one of the best ways to get a sense for a university is to talk to the students who actually go there. When I visited MIT, meeting with students – hearing what they had to say about the Institute, learning about their passions, getting to know them – was one of the major reasons I started falling in love with MIT.

    Regarding international students – I asked the admissions counselors, and unfortunately, this particular telethon is only for domestic, accepted students. Sorry Isshak. :( International students may be called later down the line though, don’t give up hope yet!

    Aditi – Yes, there will be a lot of blogs about CPW. If there’s enough interest, I’m planning on continuing the tradition Bryan started last year and hosting some student guest blogs about CPW as well. smile

    Regarding The Tech – as with all student groups on campus, basically any student who wants to can join The Tech. A few good friends of mine write for the newspaper, and Laura used to be a writer as well. Maybe I’ll highlight The Tech in an entry about student groups later on?

    Daniel – Done. (Stefan, for those following along at home, is one of my fraternity brothers.)

    Rachel – Good question. Personally, my dad came. We met up a few times for lunch, but mostly he did his thing (there are many events for parents) and I did mine. I think it was a good opportunity for him to see MIT though.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The “I got into MIT” buzz is great until the “Oh crap where am I going to find $200,000” feeling hits you. Unfortunately I’m not that great at blackjack.

  17. kavya says:

    Oh darn- international students don’t get called! I kinda figured it out but I was still hoping- never mind we still get our Big Envelopes tho :D!

  18. ka '12 says:

    ohh… one more international :((

    yeah, kavya, you’re right smile

  19. Diana says:

    Random things people told me when they heard I got into MIT:
    4. “Wow. The Mississippi Institute of Trucking. Nice job!” – from my smart-alecky bio teacher
    3. “MIT has a really pretty campus!” – Yes, it is pretty, if you are attracted to giant sponges and heaps of metal. I will admit, I didn’t apply to MIT for it’s beauty. raspberry
    2. “WOW! I can’t believe it! I’m going to the wine cabinet right now to toast you! Good-bye!” – this was from my guidance counselor . . . at one o’clock on a Sunday afternoon
    And the number 1 most common reaction was:
    1. “MIT . . . What’s that?” – Yeah, I know! It’s nuts that they don’t know what MIT is, but I do come from a small town. I really should have counted how many times people asked that, but I know it was at least 20 times.

    Ok, I’m done, I just thought people would get some laughs from these. See you all at CPW!

  20. Lainers says:

    It’s Fibbonacci (Bonacci as I first learned it in The Number Devil way back when). I’m sure this was immidiately obvious to everyone else, but it’s nearly 1 AM here, and that’s late for me, and I spent a while on number 21 trying to figure out why I kept scrolling up looking for the 13 reference when it was directly above it.

    Thank you for the entry.

  21. Aditi says:

    Thank you so much.

    I cant wait to meet the bloggers ( I think this is officially the hundredth time I’m saying this)

    The ‘YAy I got into MIT’ feeling still hasn’t worn off and I’m hoping it’ll last for the next four years!

    I’m afraid I wont make it to CPW (I’m halfway across the world) :(

    You guys will blog about it right?
    *fingers crossed*

    yay I get my own mit email id!

    Shruthi you have a talent! seriously!
    I’m never going to get a first ! ever !

  22. Aditi says:

    Paul I have a question !
    Who gets to write for The Tech?

    I really want to!

  23. Yuzhi'12 says:

    argh… Caltech called today.. while I was at Math class (6-8pm)

    I’ll have robotics meeting tomorrow 7-9PM
    and more math class on Wed. 6-8PM (hint* I leave at 5:10 PST to give my friend a ride to class too, so I’ll wait near my phone till 8:10 EST *hint* )

  24. Natasha says:

    omg…Paul, that is exactly what it felt like for me too…my parents were on both sides urging me to sign in and my hands were shaking so badly that the first time around, I typed in the password incorrectly and was like “omg! that is a SURE sign that am not IN” and ran bawling from the room (I can’t believe what a BABY I was). My dad had to drag me back in and make me sit in front of the comp and sign in. After doing so, the first word that I looked for was “On behalf… REGRET..”, but in it’s place was PLEASURE!!
    That split second where I realised the consequence of that word being there, is absolutely priceless….it’s exactly like what you described it to be Paul…I wish I could relive it over and over and over again.
    And of course, then followed the usual screaming my head off, hugging my parents, and calling every single relative alive on the face of this planet!
    I can’t WAIT for my envelope, but taken that the mailing system in Libya is like unbelievably slow, it’ll probably take FOREVER to arrive. But heck! what am I complaining about? I got in!!

    I won’t be attending CPW but hope you guys have lotza fun at it!!

    OH! btw,Paul, my kudos wishes run 437 high! (yeh yeh I was being a pompous brat by telling everyone I met about it).

    Ok, I’ll shut up now.

  25. daniel says:

    tell stefan i said hi, mmmk?

  26. Aditi says:

    @ Natasha : I told EVERYONE too I just barely manage to stop myself from telling random people on the roads and whatnot!

    and my sympathies , the mailing system is really slow here too. I always get mail a MONTH after its sent :(

  27. Spike says:

    I planned to make a wallet out of a copy of my acceptance letter. In case I mess up :D

  28. Celena '12 says:

    After getting deferred EA, I didn’t really have much hope for RD. I remember the morning of EA, I was at crew practice, and everyone on my crew team awaited the text message my friend was to send to me. When I didn’t get in, I pretended it didn’t bother me much, but inside I was pretty torn up.

    I got over it, and months passed till RD was only a week away. This time, I kept it to myself.

    I wasn’t able to sleep well throughout the night, and woke up at 5 AM, playing solitare on my ipod (which I kept on losing). Before my last came, I prayed for some sort of sign…and I won. However, I didn’t take it to mean anything. I also had a regatta the day of RD, and at 9:10 PST, I was already on the water, racing. After my race, I asked my friend for her i-phone. It kept freezing at the login screen, and once I did login, I put my hand over the screen, revealing each line, one by one.

    “Dear Celena,”
    *deep breath* *moves hand*
    “On behalf of the Admissions Committee…”
    (oh no…not again…)
    “…class of 2012.”

    Needless to say, I jumped up and started screaming. The race attendees looked at me as if I was a crazy person– especially when I started sobbing into my friends’ arms.

    “She got into MIT!!!”

  29. yiwen says:

    Darn, CPW is the weekend before finals (block scheduling = AP finals at the end of 3rd quarter)…but I’m pretty sure I’m still coming smile.

    Do you guys call our home phone? Or cell? ‘Cause I’m not sure if I’ll be home :x

  30. Shruthi says:

    @Aditi: Thanks, I know I am special :D

  31. Fibbonaci. Let’s see, were you the one I noticed used only prime numbers in an eariler blog? Or is it all MIT students who avoid normal counting? Next time may I suggest 3, 1, 4, 1, 5, 9, 2, 6, 5, 3, 5, etc.

  32. Paul says:

    I’ve been known to use odd number systems in places besides the blogs, but the entry you reference was Chris’s, actually. (He used primes here and perfect numbers here.)

    Most MIT students have a peculiar sense of humor, yes. Combine that with too much knowledge about math, technology, science fiction, and stuff in general – and you end up with some interesting (but awesome) jokes.

  33. Anonymous says:

    is there a MIT rejection page?

  34. Un étranger says:

    Dear Class of 2012,

    Congratulations on your acceptance into MIT!
    You are a very lucky bunch of individuals. I, myself, did not get an acceptance letter, but a letter that has put me in deep thought for the last 50 hours. What revealed to me is the same mistakes that not only MIT, but the United States in general as a nation has been making for the last decade or so.

    I am an international, un étranger.

    It is a pity that international students are admitted at a tremendously smaller rate. For me, my chance of coming to MIT was one in twenty-five.

    It is perhaps in every applicant’s mind that applying to MIT even for an American citizen requires courage and confidence in one’s intellect. For les étrangers, it is even more so. No int’l applicant applied without a fairly confident notion that they would be a great asset to MIT. Why would they invest a fortune on tests and application fees? And therefore, it is perhaps unfortunate and maybe aweful to realize that the average int’l applicant is more capable in academia as well as in society than the average American applicant.

    However, by the last decade, the US curbed its immigration and the renowned MIT also has kept a strict quota on international students. Thus the import of great minds has declined.

    Let’s not forget America’s immense progress in Science and Technology after WWII that was partly resulted from the country’s import of great scientists and students who fled Europe. These people contributed a great deal to the country’s wealth and status in the world.

    We are living in a world where our country, the US, is losing grip over our superpower throne. Although the causes vary, but it is clear that an answer to that problem is right in front of us.

    If America is truly a nation where “the best man gets the job,” then there has never been a more crucial time that we implement this ideology for time is running out.

    What has truly come to me is that my frustration in being slapped in the face by the notification of 3.15 has given way to a sadness to see this great nation, once the “greatest country in the world,” fade away.

    And to all those int’ls, the few 100 or so of you, who were accepted, congratulations, you are the best in the world.


    if you like to speak, be my guest:

  35. Shamarah says:

    Will you be calling EA admits too, or just the RD folks? I actually missed my call back then :(

  36. senna '12 says:

    Aww…I can’t believe that Paul’s blog is really applicable for me!! *cries because of happiness*

    Thank you, Paul…Thank you!!! ^^

    “Home”…T.T T.T T.T I’m so happy…

  37. Omar '12 says:

    Yea after hearing the explanation of why we don’t get tubes im perfectly happy getting a fat envelope grin. (how about we throw in the poster too and call it even wink pretty please?). This week is going to rox. Phone call…acceptance letter… the arrival of the MIT shirt that I ordered online that says “Harvard, cause everybody can’t get into MIT.” Ahh…good times.

  38. Ziwei says:

    Paul, thank you so much!!!
    I felt exactly the same as you when I found out I was admitted to MIT’s class of 2012!!
    Also say hi to every one here! I’m so eager to join the big family-MIT’s class of 2012!!

  39. kavya says:

    “home” – I could hug you for saying that!
    I’m beyond excited that I’m actually going to come study in MIT (I know its a whole 5 months away but it IS MIT!!)and I can’t wait to move in alreadY!
    YippEE! I get to call MIT homE!!

  40. Natasha says:

    I can’t wait to go HOME!!
    am sooooo homesick already!! smile)

  41. Aditi says:

    Natasha I couldnt agree more =)

    These four months will be LOOoooooOOOOooOOOOng!

  42. Tanmay says:

    Wow! I’d love to have a talk with you guys! That’s so good.

  43. carmen says:

    do EAs receive a call on Wednesday or are we out of the loop for this time?

    I have actually started a count-down to cpw! =)

  44. Ginger says:

    Thanks so much! :] I can’t wait for CPW!

    And I love how you used the Fibonacci sequence.

  45. Miranda says:

    Wow. Reading this is really cool. I’m a newbie. It’s so odd to read about all of you reaching the end of the road when I’m just beginning mine. I’m considering applying for class ’13, and all of this is making me really excited. Congrads to all who got in.

  46. Anonymous says:

    I am just a bit curious do these blogs reflect the true life at mit? or are they just exaggerating the whole process and giving us just a flowery picture.. I happened to read THETech published on March 18th and was disappointed to knw the state of the chems labs and even worse the hostile behaviour of MITCO.. I am quoting Sarah levin “Every day that we go to this school, we are told that we are not good enough, that we must work harder, that we must be better. We hear it from our professors, from our PIs, from our fellow students. We do not need to hear it from MITCO. We do not need to fit into their cookie cutter. We need to show the best of who we are, not who they think we need to be. If there is one thing I learned from high school, it is that there is no perfect applicant. There’s just you.

    I have never seen a more disheartening or upsetting mentality than I did at MITCO, and I am shocked that I found it at such a well-respected institution. We pay $42,000 a year to live and work in one of the most intense and challenging environments out there, and we deserve to get the world-class help we were promised on the first day of orientation.

    Where is that help now?”


    so do you fail to deliver the promises you make in the start?

    If this is the true state of MIT i am glad i was rejected.

    Rejected but not dejected.

  47. Anonymous says:

    @ Anonymous above: I guess someone had a field day exercising freedom of speech but if this consoles you , well and good…

    I don’t care what anyone says. I’m going to MIT. Its home. period.

  48. Teresa '11 says:

    Hah, the Tech tells you nothing about life at MIT. Nothing. The best use I have found for the Tech so far is cutting out the crosswords to make checkered origami butterflies. The blogs, on the other hand, I can personally assure you show what life is really like here. These bloggers are the real deal. Paul was in my FPOP and I have most of my classes with Snively. They mean every word they post. Every letter. If you read these blogs, you will read the stories, thoughts, and feelings of all of us and get an amazingly complete picture of student life, not just the happy parts.

    @ the first Anonymous
    I’m glad you’re keeping a positive outlook on things! As for delivering promises, though, MIT promises you a drink and brings out the firehose. Wham. Promise fulfilled every time, and then some.

    @ the second Anonymous
    “I don’t care what anyone says. I’m going to MIT. Its home. period.”
    Amen, second Anonymous.

  49. Rachel'12 says:

    Haha, I skimmed your list first and was all like, “that’s the weirdest base 9 list I’ve ever seen” until I noticed the massive gap between 5 and 8.

    Yeah, the mental lag imposed between opening the decision letter and actually finding the decision is really cruel :Haha, I skimmed your list first and was all like, “that’s the weirdest base 9 list I’ve ever seen” until I noticed the massive gap between 5 and 8.

    Yeah, the mental lag imposed between opening the decision letter and actually finding the decision is really cruel :<

  50. Davorama says:

    I felt cool for recognizing fibbonacci (just don’t ask me 2 spell it). But i didn’t notice at first. oops. We’re doing Sequences and Series in calc.

    Are the callings just going to be for RA? I felt bad when I got calls and didn’t have any good questions or know what to say. I still wouldn’t know what to talk about :X so maybe it’s good if it’s just for RA.

    I’m extremely excited for CPW!

  51. Aditi says:

    amen to me then!
    I guess posting anonymously is not for me =P

    and thanks Paul I’d still like to hear about the Tech

  52. Vivi '12 says:

    Home. MIT is and will be my home for the next four years, the best four years of my life.

    I love the way that sounds.

  53. Harish says:

    I’m digging the fibonacci.

  54. Bassil says:

    Paul, you would not believe what my school did.
    They took my letter, and a picture they took by surprise, laminated them, and hung them in the front of the school

    The embarrassment…

  55. Almani says:

    Anybody from Pakistan???