Caution: This story might sound corny to some viewers. Read at your own risk.
Hello everybody! My name is Santiago and I am a 14 year old kid like any other and a soon-to-be 3rd generation MIT student living in Texas ready to attend a local high school MADE for students like myself.
Here's the catch. I am a mexican citizen. My mother overstayed. She is now without a Visa, trying to get it back. My family is moving to Mexico by the end of the school year, and although I would stay and gladly take care of myself... I can't. I am COMMITTED to getting into MIT and study engineering and physics, and knowing that people like me can think critically and see the world through calculations without being ridiculed and instead be called normal is just amazing.
Although I might seem like a boring nerd, I do have my own little... unique characteristics. As Albert Einstein once said,
"Thus I came...to a deep religiosity, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of 12. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached a conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true....Suspicion against every kind of authority grew out of this experience...an attitude which has never left me."
The realization of no god and no heaven struck me hard, but is now the fire that feeds the passion burning inside me. Thinking that once I die, it's over, makes me think that the only way I could, metaphorically speaking, live on, is through the memories of others. I want to be remembered and do something big... bigger... no, bigger than that. Think of it this way, If i asked you who Santiago Segura Saad was, what would you say? If I asked you who Albert Einstein was, what would you say? Knowing that I need to do something, or at least make something out of myself, sets much higher standards in my book. The only way I can achieve this though, is by, not only getting the education and motivation that MIT gives every student there, but by meeting other fascinating minds and helping me embark on my journey to the holy grail. So... now that you know why I am here, I need a little help. Although I might have four years left to worry about death and college, I want to get started right away. How will I ever get into MIT while being in a school in Mexico that doesn't have the same resources as an american school? Is there anything else I need to do to stand out? What does MIT look for in a student. Will I survive Mexico City for the next 4 years? does being an international student really drastically change the chances of getting into MIT? If anyone, and I mean ANYONE, can give a share a little bit of their knowledge with me, I would appreciate it. Knowing my perfect plan to get into MIT and live my dream life took a wrong turn really worries me, and a little chunk at the back of my brain tells me "This isn't good enough!!!!"...ever
Getting in as an international student is more difficult because MIT can take less of them. (That said, are you a US citizen or permanent resident? I believe it might be possible to still apply as a US person while living in Mexico - but you'd have to check that yourself.) I will say that MIT considers context greatly in the Admissions process - they want to see that you're the type of person who takes advantage of what opportunities are around you. They don't demand that you have certain opportunities.
I will say that fixating on MIT as the only path to success is faulty. Don't depend on getting into MIT - there are far more applicants Admissions wants than they can accept. Instead, focus on developing yourself and your skills, and hope for the best.
I really appreciate it. I will try to open myself up to other options, although i would have to disagree that internationals have a more difficult time. Although less get excepted, less apply. I do have the grades for MIT, considering I'm in the top 5% percentile for my age, but what I want to know is, is there more than academics that I need to excel in? I am going to summer camps for the next 4 years of my life, 2 in Stanford and 2 in MIT, and I am also going to study in France and Switzerland for my Junior and Senior year, but I still feel I'm missing more than school.
I agree with Piper. It is EXTREMELY difficult for international applicants to be accepted to MIT, fewer than 3% are. I'm not quite sure how you already know what you will be doing the next 4 summers, but best of luck to you with that. Keep up the good grades, participate in extracurricular activities that show your passion for physics and engineering. And hopefully in a few years, you'll be back in the U.S. at MIT.
I know I am missing the big picture, but now what do? Although the odds are against me, as the MIT page says, "if you stay focused and don't give up, goals are ultimately realized." Knowing everything I...know has been proved wrong here, I THINK MIT wants not smart, but unique people, and I have TRIED to stand out as much as I can and show I am fit to be in MIT. But now I am as lost as a blind man. Help?
Do what you are passionate about. Conduct original scientific research, participate in and win science competitions. Play a unique instrument, a varsity sport, do something that will make them want you.
Play a unique instrument, a varsity sport, do something that will make them want you.
Stu Schmill, Dean of Admissions, wrote a blog post on how you shouldn't do this, as in learn to play a weird instrument.
To the OP: if finances aren't an issue and your concerned about the quality of Mexican public schools, you might consider a private school that you know is good. The first two years of high school, just try to rock your classes and take advantage of other learning opportunities. Do other things to, but only if you want to. Junior year you need to rock your standardized test scores, and this will be easier if you really aced your classes and went out of your way to supplement them. Also, at about junior year you want to be thinking about doing something that will look impressive. Maybe that would be like the national math team, maybe (and somewhat easier) conduct scientific research. Don't just put in hours. Try for real growth.
I wouldn't do anything for the sake of getting into a school unless it is for a short period of time to tweak your application. If you are going to push yourself to do something, only do it if (A) its part of a class or (B) you think it contributes to your educational development.
Thank you very much eak325. I will get started on learning the cello, create a video-game, and become a pro Starcraft II player. But seriously, I thank you for everything, and thank you PiperXP for the site.
Collegealum314 Thank you too sooo much. Seems like a great "plan." Although it seems a bit... weird I am so committed to one school, but considering it's the PERFECT school for me, I will stop at nothing to one day be in MIT, creating some sort of virtual reality or something.. I actually have plans for that... very very farfetched plans. Well, thank you everyone for the help, good night guys.
Collegealum. Play a unique instrument if you are interested in playing music. I am not advocating that Fanatical do something he is not passionate about. I was merely giving suggestions based on his interests.
I was accepted early to MIT and the one thing I learned through the process is that there really is no typical MIT student. Yes, there are often kids who have done significant research or won major awards, but for every one of those students there is often someone who has a passion for music or acting. I am probably not what you would consider the "typical" MIT applicant, but I spent my high school years doing things I was passionate about, not things I thought would get me into MIT. MIT is my dream school and I'm really grateful to have been accepted. I think it's important to realize that there are no guarantees in this. My friend who is the typical computer programmer applicant was deferred. So I say spend the next four years doing things you want to do, and maybe in four years you'll still be madly in love with MIT or maybe a new passion will lead you to a different school. You still have a lot of time to grow, so focus on the present to some extent instead of spending your entire time in high school focused on MIT.