A few app questions

<p>On the Summer Activities section: what do they actually expect you to put there? They list things like relaxing and reading, but that doesn't seem too realistic to me that they actually want a list of dates on which you relaxed over the summer. I have summer programs that I'm listing, but are there other categories that I'm not thinking of?</p>

<p>Also, I was a TA at the Festival for Creative Youth, a gifted and talented summer day camp/school in my area, for a few years in high school. I was also a student there myself in middle school; should i list the middle school dates too, even though the admissions people usually only care about high school dates?</p>

<p>Another question I have is about the essay. How blatantly should I connect it to MIT? I'm talking about my karate school that I have been a part of for over 10 years, and how it provides a cooperative learning environment where everyone wants everyone else to succeed. Should I leave it at that, or add in an extra line to say "That's why I want to attend MIT, because it has that same environment"?</p>

<p>My off-the-top-of-my-head-but-cushioned-with-experience responses:</p>

<p>-- If you spent 2 hours a day reading, dreaming, and relaxing, and feel as if you want to include that in your summer activities, go ahead!
-- Don't bother noting middle school activities. Many applicants did cool academic things in middle school, it won't give you any special aura. Do mention the TA duties, though.
-- Don't add a one-sentence postscript saying, "And that's why I want to attend MIT." As I mentioned in another thread just this week, I know that several of the essays I read by students who were accepted at MIT didn't even mention those three letters at all. If it makes sense as part of the essay, go ahead, but don't force it: they want to get a better sense of <em>you</em> from your essays, so they can see how you might benefit from and participate in the class they are trying to shape. They don't need you to explicitly tell them your essay topic is related to why you want to go to MIT, unless it's important to the rest of the essay to say that. They already know you want to attend. :)</p>

<p>Thanks for the info. :)</p>

<p>I still feel like it will be kind of fake if I mark off "Reading - X hours/week", because X is going to be completely arbitrary - I know which books I read over the summer, but I have no idea approximately how much time I spent reading them, and it certainly varied week to week. Should I guess and assume that the existence of the activity matters more than having an exact day-to-day log of it?</p>

<p>you dont have to fill every space on your application. think of those __hr/week spaces as there for people who want to show the time commitment of certain activities. it's entirely up to you if you want to use them.</p>

<p>Master0fBalances: the MIT admissions people know what the environment of MIT is like, and the reason they're reading your essays is to try to see if you make a good fit with that environment. So your essay topic is great because it shows that match, and you don't need to SAY so. The person reading your essay will think, "great, just like MIT!" Problem solved. =P</p>

<p>Both good points. Thanks.</p>

<p>Another question:</p>

<p>On the online section 2 part of the app, it says that activity descriptions should be 40 words or less. It doesn't say this on the .pdf form of the app.</p>

<p>Can I go over that limit on the online app or will it truncate what I've written once I submit it?</p>

<p>Last year I believe people were able to submit essays over the word limit, but they came out in a smaller font. I'm not sure if that also applies to activity descriptions.</p>