MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Caroline M. '18

Jul 22 2018

In Japan, the Elevators Don’t Care

Posted in: Miscellaneous, International Applicants

Stepping between closing elevator doors, it doesn't even occur to you that the doors might not stop. Suddenly a very heavy, unpleasant pressure jolts you from both sides and you realize again, that this is not a place you understand.  

Every day there are reminders that you are not from here. 

Stovetops don't have knobs to control the gas, instead they're sliders and levers.

Room doors don't have hinges to open into or out of rooms, instead slide side to side.

Toilet paper isn't perforated, instead the top presses down like seram wrap blades for a clean rip at whatever length you need. Most of the time, these are cute. 

They fall into the category of cultural differences like "toilets are heated and have a fake flushing noise" or "there are vending machines on quite literally every corner". 

But sometimes there are reminders that hurt. 

It feels like the shame you thought you would only feel as a child while learning what is right or wrong. 

It's that oppressive,... read the post »


Jun 18 2018

Learning to Spend Better

Posted in: Prepare for MIT, Life & Culture, Afford

This is not a post about budgeting, because no one likes to hear how to not spend their money.

I definitely didn't, even when I really, really, needed to. 

But I did learn to be spending better.

Being aware of what I spend on has helped me get more value from the things I have. Knowing makes me unafraid of "not having enough", which then allows me to be more generous. And knowing gives me a lifestyle to work towards, one full of things that make me happy. 

Because knowing how much I spend, lets me spend on the things that are actually important to me. 


Knowing How Much You Spend

Keep track of what you spend, because chances are your guesstimate is wrong.

Every month up until my last semester, I was given a monthly allowance from my parents that was plenty for groceries, eating out, concerts, clothes, Ubers, and really anything else. 

And I would tell myself, "I don't spend that much"

As the month started to end, the account would decrease more rapidly too.... read the post »


Jun 6 2018

My Mountain Climbing Team

Posted in: Best of the Blogs, Miscellaneous, Freshman Applicants, Life & Culture


In two days, I will be officially graduating this place. I will be part of the first graduating class of 6–14's. (Computer Science, Economics, and Data Science) But the most important thing that I take with me isn't the piece of paper, but the lifelong ties to the people who I grew with together (bet you guessed that).

One of the primary reasons I chose MIT was to find Good People(TM). I didn't really know what that meant at the time, but I knew that I wanted to find down-to-earth, genuine people that wanted to do good in the world. The past few years, I've been learning what that means to me, but I never forgot this passage that on Admissions that started it all: 

"When we admit a class of students to MIT, it's as if we're choosing a 1,100-person team to climb a very interesting, fairly rugged mountain - together. …We are emphatically not looking for a batch of identical perfect climbers; we are looking for a richly varied team of capable people who will support,... read the post »


May 2 2018

1 Week of Meals for $8: How-To’s and Tricks

Posted in: Best of the Blogs, Miscellaneous, Prepare for MIT, Life & Culture

--- Collaborative Post by: Gloria Chyr '20, Bettina Ankhurst '18, Emanuel Perez '19, Caroline Mak '18 ---


MIT has a food access problem. Mealplans are expensive, coming out to be $12-15 per meal. And in between classes and everything else, it is a challenging skill to go buy groceries, mealplan, and cook. Sometimes one just gets $8 Chipotle or Anna's, but all too often it can also mean being stuck in lab, not eating.  And on top of all of that, financial challenges can make this exponentially harder. 

This semester the four of us were on CASE’s (Class Awareness Support and Equality) Food Insecurity Group creating ways to tackle it.  CASE's overall mission is to improve MIT's community awareness of class disparities and knowledge of the social class system.

Some of their programs have


Apr 28 2018

The Mathematics of People

Posted in: Academics & Research, Majors & Minors

== Guest Post by Spencer Pantoja '20 ==

   When I was 14, I “knew” I wanted to be an interior designer. When I was 15, I decided I actually wanted to become an economist. That one actually stuck.

   My parents come from two very different ways-of-thinking. My dad is a nerdy engineer with a masters degree, who loves psychology, studies/practices Buddhist spirtuality, and lives in his head. My mom is a former bartender and studied at “the Holiday Inn University”. She also has 25 fiction books checked out from the library and is probably trying to make a shelter for the local squirrels right now.

    Over the years, I realized that my brain very much functions like my dad, but often is more drawn to things like my mom. I now love talking to people, understanding their emotions, thoughts, and desires. In middle school, I was quiet, and I would just observe how people were interacting with each other from afar, and I started to learn very purposefully how to on my own. I was always... read the post »