1、Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations? (200-250 words)
2、Pick what field of study at MIT appeals to you the most right now, and tell us more about why this field of study appeals to you. (100 words or fewer)
3、We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do simply for the pleasure of it. (100 words or fewer)
4、At MIT, we bring people together to better the lives of others. MIT students work to improve their communities in different ways, from tackling the world’s biggest challenges to being a good friend. Describe one way in which you have contributed to your community, whether in your family, the classroom, your neighborhood, etc. (200-250 words)
5、Tell us about the most significant challenge you’ve faced or something important that didn’t go according to plan. How did you manage the situation? (200-250 words)
6、There is also one final, open-ended additional information text box, where you can tell us anything else you think we really ought to know.
Every summer I receive a visit from a person I’ve never met, a person who technically doesn’t exist. Let me explain. When I took AP Literature (many moons ago) I encountered Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for the first time. I fell in love with Adichie’s detailed, perceptive prose, her humor, and most of all, Ifemelu—the confident, witty, blog-writing main character. The story follows Ifemelu as she grows up in Lagos, Nigeria and immigrates to the United States for university, eventually becoming a successful writer and moving back to Nigeria to rediscover home. It’s a coming-of-age tale, a love story, and a record of how we all evolve based on social context and age. I reread this book every June, and each time, something new resonates with me—the nerve-wracking freedom of moving to a new city, the overwhelming rush of first love, the difficulty of reconciling one’s childhood self with an emerging adult self. Rereading the book has become a means to measure how I’ve grown as a person—similar to how I marked my height in pencil on my doorframe each year as a kid. By now Ifemelu feels like a friend, and the week I spend with her each summer feels like a highly-anticipated visit during which I remember all the reasons I connected to her in the first place and discover new axes of connection (and new parts of myself). Back to reading now—Ifemelu’s only here for a few more days (246 more pages).
One word. Dance. I will dance anywhere at any time. Whether it’s at a party, a supermarket in line, my room at 3am, or even at work during selection committee (ask Kellen, he’ll vouch this), I absolutely love dancing. It’s one of the purest, most authentic ways for me to express my emotions. There’s just something about finding the rhythm in a song, and absolutely crushing the beat with movement that’s insatiable. Hip hop, afro beats, soca, bachata, dembow, kizomba, swing, I love so many different styles of dance. I come from a family of dancers, so I suppose it’s a bit of a hereditary trait. Regardless, I can guarantee you that if you see me on campus, at some point you will catch me subtly hitting a woah, woo walking across the street, or dougie-ing in line at Dunkin Donuts. Dance and pleasure go hand in hand for me, and it’s what I go to most often for fun.
I glide out on the ice in the 10-degree Vermont winter morning. I can see my breath and my fingers are already starting to go numb, but I have the biggest smile on my face. It’s the best weekend of the year—the Vermont Pond Hockey Championship. I’ve been playing hockey since I was about 4 years old; one of the very few skaters with a pony-tail sticking out of their helmet. Since then, I’ve developed friendships that have lasted well into my adult life, created memories I’ll never forget, and learned a lot about what it means to be a part of a team. This annual weekend in Vermont is the culmination of that—a chance to hang out with my best friends playing a sport that has given me so much. The joy isn’t always calculated by our win/loss record (like the year we went 0-4…ouch) but by the laughs we have and the minutes spent together. Being on the ice is an escape for me: there’s no school work, work, or personal commitments on my mind. It’s just me and the game, and the only thing on my mind is what the optimal position is to defend the net. Every time I’m on the ice I try to skate to my best ability, knowing that my hard work benefits everyone on the team and even if we lose, we’ve done our best. But I’ll be honest…it definitely feels better to win!
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