027. Applications

tldr: well you can’t live without them

The new, improved, and cool looking [awesome art!!] MIT application is out, and a lot of the juniors I knew in high school are hitting me up asking about the best ways to get in. The harsh fact of the matter is that most students will never know why. Why them? Why me? And if you’re applying right now, Why you?

This is not to say that you won’t be a good applicant– not at all. Well, here’s an example of what I mean: some people may swear that ________ is the reason they got accepted, when the reality could actually be that they got accepted despite ________. The reasons you may think you are a good applicant may not actually be all that great, and (on a more optimistic note) vice versa.

Which, I think leads to an interesting question: If you could, would you like to know what was going on in the person’s mind as they read your application? I would. If I could, I would go grab coffee with an admissions officer and ask them why I of all people got in. Was it my passion for math? My love of, and addiction to, coffee? My diverse background?

Whenever I get to that last one, I always feel conflicted. On the one hand, schools should strive to have a unique and diverse community, and on the other, I don’t want to have been accepted as a statistic. I am sure that there is a healthy middle, both for me, and for the admission officers. But there is still that slight aftertaste of imposter syndrome whenever I begin to think about it.

“I am a proud lesbian, trans, disabled, low income, first generation student, who wants none of those aspects of my identity to be the reason I was accepted”.

I know that this statement is unrealistic. That my identity is intersectional, and that there is no way to know who I am as a person or applicant without this information. But the idea of getting in partially for one of those reasons somehow makes my acceptance feel somewhat ‘less than’ someone else’s(?). It’s dumb and something I need to get over, but that’s just where I am right now.

To be frank, I don’t know if there is a particular reason why I was accepted that wouldn’t make me feel somewhat like that. Perhaps my voice? If someone told me that I had gotten accepted because they could hear me through the application, I would feel ecstatic. [Which, as a continuation of the previous paragraph, is so Dumb because my voice is shaped by my identity. aaaaA– anyways]

At the moment, that is my only suggestion for applicants; you should be able to (in my opinion) read your essays out loud and sound like you’re just having an everyday conversation. If you read it aloud and sound like an 18th century woman pining for her husband to come back from the war, and you are not either 1) being sarcastic or 2) an 18th century woman pining for her husband, you should consider rewriting it. There are only so many essays and ways to convey who you are to your audience. Why sound like someone you’re not?

This is the mindset I have when I am writing these blogs. But, take this with a grain of salt. This is also the mindset I have when writing essays and here I am with a CI-HW requirement. Not that I’m complaining. I want my writing to get better and am excited to learn how. This is moreso me saying: I am Not an Expert, or an admissions officer, so,

Applications are a necessary and integral part of everyday life, whether it be formal or informal. Applying to university is one of the Major applications someone may ever do. The process is daunting, self-reflective, and nerve wracking, and if you want to go to grad school you get to do it all again in four years [cant wait .__.]. In any case, my suggestion, and life motto in general, is to be yourself. It is a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason. No one can be better at being you than yourself.


Life Update: I didn’t get accepted to be an MIT blogger. But, I liked my application, and I can’t wait to reapply. Oh! Also future Paige (and to whomever else may be interested), in case you forget, your application was Blogs 24-26.

Published by Paige Bright

Hi- my name is Paige Alexandria Bright. I am a rising junior at MIT interested in mathematics and philosophy. I have been writing this blog since the beginning of COVID. Lets see where this goes.

2 thoughts on “027. Applications

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: