Today, at 12 noon EST, I was sitting at my computer staring at http://decisions.mit.edu/, adrenaline rushing, pondering whether to click the magic button. At 12:01, I closed my eyes and gave in.
On behalf of the Admissions Committee, it is my pleasure to offer you admission to the MIT Class of 2010. You were identified as one of the most talented and promising students in one of MIT's most competitive applicant pools ever. Your commitment to personal excellence makes you stand out as someone who will thrive within our academic environment as well as contribute to our diverse community. At MIT, you join kindred spirits: scholars, builders, entrepreneurs, and humanitarians. We believe that you and MIT are very well matched for each other.
Tell me if that's not the biggest adrenaline rush you can get from clicking a button. MIT, you will never be forgiven for that experience. Never.
I spent the next half hour running around trying to find people to talk to. I could not type. I could not talk properly. I called people on the phone, I IM'd people, I tracked my Dad down and handed him a printout of the letter. I hugged him. He tracked my mother down at the door when she got home an hour later.
Now that I've gotten over the initial rush, I'm actually sitting here laughing. Why? Because I was completely myself in my application. I think that's all you can really do for these things. I talked about Shadows of Isildur in part of my admissions essay. I put Debian GNU/Linux work, roleplaying, and all my music stuff under my activities. I talked about my amazing real life friends when they asked what you do to unwind. I talked about the family building a giant kite from house wrap at my grandparents farm in the optional "tell us about something you have created" section. I can recall having a lot of fun writing up my responses. As for the rest, I have excellent grades, though only decent, far from perfect SATs (no 800s for me). My SAT IIs were better than my SAT I.
My day has been made a thousand times over. There are so many people I need to track down and talk to, to say "thank you!" to. My alumnus interviewer. The two teachers who wrote my recommendations, and my guidance counselor. Various other people, some of whom I've already spoken to. I say again: thank you.
Ironically, I was supposed to be in New York City this weekend, but the friend I was going with is very sick and the trip had to be cancelled. The very friend who has always told me "of course you'll get in!" I love my friends.
From all that I've seen so far, including posts like this and this which have some nice thoughts on the admissions process, I'm fairly sure that MIT is my #1 school choice. Apparently this year only 13% of all applicants were accepted, wow. I'm excited about hopefully attending their Campus Preview Weekend from April 6-9th to see what things are really like.