When I was in high school, I thought college admissions made or break my entire life. Whenever I would read posts on MITAdmissions about my life was not over and how I would still be okay, I would cynically think, “How would you know? You go to MIT. Would you still be saying the same thing if you didn’t?” I know my personal words may ring hollow, so here’s some profiles of people I know who were rejected from HYPSM, and they’re happy with their lives now.
Back in the day, the stress of waiting for EA results caused me to psychologically regress to being five years old.
When I went to my alumni interview, I had no idea what to expect. As a current interviewer who also knows many other interviewers, here’s a sampling of questions that you might get asked.
Deferrals cause a lot of angst, mostly because of the uncertainty of what it means. Was your application not good enough? Well, that can’t be 100% the case, because you weren’t rejected. If they liked me, then why didn’t they just accept me?
Obviously, deferred -> accepted and deferred -> rejected are both possible outcomes, not to mention deferred -> waitlisted. But which of these outcomes is more likely?
One of the most brilliant people I met at HYPSM was deferred Early. He was taking the hardest courses in all subjects, and rocking out in a band on the side. I was shocked, because it seemed like he was excelling freshman year whereas I was struggling to stay afloat, but I was admitted EA. He seemed to take his rejection in stride – “I’m here anyway, so whatever, it’s in the past.” Hopefully, that’ll be you in a few months. Like everything else in college admissions, it’s ultimately a toss-up, and not being admitted could just be a function of where you’re from.
So breathe. It’s going to be okay no matter what and there’s still Regular Action. Here’s what you should do in the meantime:
I’m doing alumni interviews this year and I’ve spoken to other alumni about their interview process. These are some red flags that I’ve seen or heard about. You can bet that the alum wrote about this in their feedback, which the admission committee definitely looks at.
College Board says that the SAT tests raw intelligence, but that’s a lie. The SAT is a game, and if you learn how to play it, you can get a perfect score with minimal stress.