When I first got to MIT in August and checked in for Orientation, I received an interesting little poster entitled, “101 Things to Do Before You Graduate.” It’s full of cool ideas about things to do at MIT and the Boston/Cambridge area, but I usually forget the poster exists until I’ve done something off of it and realize that there’s more stuff that I can check off. (For those of you interested in keeping a running tally, we’re up to 15.)
Saturday night, it was #88: Try a Bartley’s One-of-a-Kind Burger.
That morning, I and half of MIT (I kid, I kid) awoke to find an email from Jess in my inbox:
friends, romans, countrymen, significant others, others,
can we have dinner tomorrow night? i feel like i haven’t seen you all in ages. even though i saw half of you today. wait, what? who said that?
no really, not all of you know each other and you’re all cool, and people who are cool should know other people who are cool. so, dinner? tomorrow? sunday? cuddling afterwards? why do i talk?
Well, if you want us all that much, then how can we say no? So seven of us met at the T stop in Kendall Square on Saturday night and promptly argued over where we were having dinner. After some debate, we decided to find somewhere in Harvard Square to eat. We ended up deciding on Bartley’s as we walked past it – hey, if MIT says we should do it, then why not?
We ordered burgers and sandwiches with out-of-this-world names after political figures (“The Dick Cheney,” “The Al Franken”) and Boston area colleges (“The Crimson,” “The MIT”) alike. I set my sights on the ultimate heart attack: The Viagra. (The menu said, “Get a rise out of this!” Who could resist that?!) Bleu cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and the best medium-rare burger I’d had in a long time + great friends = pretty much the best night ever. Pictures may show up if Jeff ’10 is nice enough to let me use them. (Please, Jeff? I’ll give you candy…)
Incidentally, I also did #96 from the list – Play DDR in the game room – with Nicole ’10 and Yoni ’10 last night after Children of Eden rehearsal, which is a miracle because I am notoriously bad at DDR. (Nicole was wearing an awesome shirt that said, “I can’t dance without arrows.” Arrows scare me. Dancing should not involve arrows! It just shouldn’t!)
Now that I’ve had too much fun for the weekend (wait, that’s possible?!), it’s about time I get some work done. But first…
Some of you have asked questions in the comments from the last couple of posts, and it’s high time I answer them! (Blame 18.02 for the delay. Sorry!) I don’t have quite as many synonyms for “asks” as JKim does, but that’s because Jess is special and I am, well, not.
Blizz queries: How’d you pick your dorm?
I was temped in New House during Orientation, but found myself spending more and more time at Senior Haus over those two weeks. Luckily, MIT’s Housing Adjustment Lottery gave me the chance to move in there.
There’s nothing wrong with New House – plenty of great people live there. It just wasn’t for me, though. This is the point of the Housing Lottery in the first place – by giving people more freedom to decide where they’ll live while at MIT, the school offers us the opportunity to be as happy as possible during our time here. Jessie has talked about this at length in her blog – there’s a great post about it here.
Jojo inquires: Did you apply early? How many girls applied early and got admitted early last year?
I applied and was accepted EA last year (my application was sent in a little late, due to Hurricane Wilma wreaking havoc on South Florida and the power being out for two weeks), along with 176 other girls. (I’ve no idea how many girls applied early, though.) But it doesn’t matter that you’re a girl! Really, it doesn’t! MIT does have a near-even gender ratio – this year’s freshman class is 55% male, 45% female – but you won’t get an automatic advantage in admissions by being female. I’m not kidding you. It’s true.
Kunda Kapaipi asks: Hey. I’m a Zambian(southern Africa) and in the process of applying to your institution. I just you to tell me about your personal experience on the application process and some titbits on how I can make a good application. Awaiting your response the soonest!
You’re from Zambia? That’s cool – one of the guys living a floor above me is from South Africa, actually.
As for the application? At first, I stressed about it to no end. I had the beginnings of an essay written, but it didn’t seem like the traditional standard college essay I’d always heard about. Everything I was writing down seemed wrong – what if this wasn’t what I was supposed to do? What were the right answers to throw into the innumerable blank spaces on this thing? And why wasn’t there some magical College Application Fairy helping me out here? (I have no more use for the Tooth Fairy – it seems possible for her to double up on jobs and tell me which APs to take, or something like that.)
$50 says many of you are wondering the same things. Even if you’ve already sent in your applications Early Action and you know that it’s in MIT’s hands now, you’re still thinking about whether or not that part about what you do in your free time was a trick question, aren’t you?
It isn’t. And the right thing here is to be yourself. (I said I downloaded music illegally. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. ^_^) Let your transcripts and test scores speak for themselves – letters and numbers are just that, and they can only do so much. What really matters here are the short answers and the essay – MIT admits people (and awesome ones at that), not grades and SAT scores.
I know, I know, this has been repeated ad nauseam here on the blogs. Here’s why: it’s true. We can’t repeat it enough. Make sure the application shows as much of who you are as you can, because that’s what’s important.
MB writes: Dear person with a cool blog,
how do you get your own radio show? do you have your own totally awesome one? what is the significance of peter ustinov to you?
-mary beth, a totally random person who you definitely don’t know.
Hmmm, this is a tough one.
1) Be pretty much the coolest person ever. If that’s not the case, then you can be me.
2) Why, yes! You can even stream it on the Internet, even though last night was kind of a disaster.
3) Well, he did have that one miniseries about Russia that was incomparable in splendor…
Mary Beth and I were roommates when we took AP European History one summer through a program at Northwestern University. For the high school freshmen/sophomores/juniors reading this, I’ll give you all more details about that and some other summer classes/programs in the next post, since this one is getting entirely too long. Admit it. It is. I’d say you deserve a prize for making it all the way through.