Today is that day. It is currently 6:42 a.m.; I have sat impatiently through the night, writing down information about the United States application and admissions process, updating my own applications to the Ivy League schools, and organizing my desktop. Structuring everything just so that, later today, nothing needs doing.
For the first time in over a year, I’ve sat through the night free of caffeine. Brian and a blackhole thermodynamics problem set have been present for the entirety of these last twelve or so hours. I have been in good company.
For the remainder of the day, however, I will be alone in the wait for my M.I.T. rejection. And for that reason, I think it is essential that I reflect.
I cannot know that the answer is “No”, you say. And yet I feel, overwhelmingly, that it must be. I know my own weaknesses far more intimately than anyone else does, as is customary with one’s personal problems. I understand, furthermore, what I did incorrectly on the application. And I feel that given my flaws and my errors, my chances are nearly nonexistent. It is too late, however, to modify either myself or my documentation.
Despite my being convinced, I am perfectly aware that over two hundred people who know me think that today will be my day. They think I am looking at an acceptance; they legitimately believe in me. And for that, I love and thank them. I thank all of you! In the last four years, I’ve had the immense pleasure of meeting some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever stumbled upon. People of nearly all backgrounds, of a multitude of languages, of diverse ages. Some of the most motivated, dedicated, creative, inspirational people that exist, I may quite readily state. I am indescribably grateful for the chance to call so many of them “friend”, and though their support does not concretely modify the decision awaiting me, it modifies the far more integral component of the whole ordeal – my mindset.
M.I.T. means an abundance of different things to an unbelievable number of completely unique individuals. To me, it is, essentially, peace with my existence. Since the earliest days that remain in my memory, I’ve sought to understand the system of systems that is our universe through the sciences and the humanities. To me, walking into a molecular genetics lab is analogous to experiencing almost everything that humanity has to offer. Studying theoretical particle physics is a leap into the past and the future. Computational linguistics is an intriguing conversation with every human being of every era. Knowledge of myself, my world, and my role in the universe – knowledge of both theoretical and practical dimensions – is attainable through academia, and academia is attainable through M.I.T.
From the moment that I set foot in Lobby Ten, I felt it. M.I.T. in Cambridge in Massachusetts is, to quote Steinbeck, a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. In the student interactions, in the hacks, in the quality of material available on M.I.T. O.C.W., in the professors and the alumni. That love, shared sense of humour, joined search, unified struggle. I feel this whatever-it-is within myself, and I want to be there, amidst it all.
Today, however, I will be told that this may not be possible. And for that reason, I think it is essential that I reflect. I often find there is no better way to do this than with a walk, so I took one yesterday.
With that said, I wait. Give me some time, please. I will be back.