Massachusetts Institute of Technology
5 Short Prompts (100-250 words each)
Prompt #1: “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.”
I sit in front of my computer, typing and typing away, working on programming one of
my current projects. Sometimes this project may be for a friend or peer, sometimes for a grade.
Usually, it’s just for the fun of it. The clock continues ticking onward: one hour passes, now two,
now five. Before I know it, I’ve spent over five hours staring at my computer screen, writing
code. Most of the time I take a break every so often, other times I just get so “in the zone” that I
simply forget to eat or use the bathroom. More often than not, I have no specific goal to achieve,
no point in my work to stop at. I’ll just work and work and work until I run out of time. These
programming sessions are usually a great way for me to practice consistent code habits and to
learn how to accomplish new things in my code.
Prompt #2: “Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or
program at MIT appeals to you and why?”
When I got my first laptop as a kid, I was hooked: I immediately knew that Computer
Science (CS) was my “thing.” I never had trouble learning something new on a computer and
ended up being the “go-to guy” in my family for computer assistance. To this day, I am still
unable to explain why CS appeals to me as much as it does. It probably has something to do with
how well I understand it and how I am able to help people through it. Or maybe it’s because of
how new of a field it is when compared to something like vehicle mechanics. Whatever the
reason is, I love to learn, study, and practice Computer Science.
Prompt #3: What attribute of your personality are you most proud of, and how has it impacted
your life so far? This could be your creativity, effective leadership, sense of humor, integrity, or
anything else you’d like to tell us about.
I take pride in being an individual dedicated to accomplishing what is required as well as
an extremely dependable friend and group member. Throughout high school, this dependability
has both improved how I work with a group as well as how I relate with my friends, leading to a
drastic improvement in my social skills, and has given me more opportunities to take a position
of leadership when needed, resulting in a noticeable improvement in my leadership skills.
This improvement in both social skills and leadership skills, which took place throughout
my high school career, has legitimately changed my life for good. As an extremely shy and
reserved individual, I have always struggled with socializing with friends or communicating my
ideas with group members. Faced with the new challenges of high school and the increasingly-
important schoolwork, I began to improve. And as someone who normally prefers to avoid being
the center of attention, taking a leadership position was also difficult. But with improvement in
social skills came improvement in leadership skills, so that improved too. By now, my senior
year in high school, I have overcome a crippling shyness and greatly improved both my ability to
work in a group and my socialization skills.
ID# 333460
4B 10/1/15
Prompt #4: 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?
My school environment has played a huge part in making me who I am today and in
shaping my dreams. Because of the kind of people I spend most of my time around during the
school day extremely intelligent and constantly busy Math and Science Academy students I
never have a shortage of willpower to achieve my dreams. The Math and Science Academy, as a
community, really strives to encourage students to do the best they can. Most Academy students
are more than willing to help out each other with whatever may be needed. On top of that, the
teachers put much more trust and expect much more responsibility out of Academy students,
resulting in an increased leniency around less-important due dates and homework. Instead,
teachers focus on ensuring that the students are able to do their best at the subject instead of
make a perfect grade. The amazing community that is made up of Math and Science Academy
students has shaped me into a much more work-oriented student and has enabled me to achieve
whatever I can think of.
Prompt #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?
The principle of Ocean Lakes requested that on the last day of the 2014-2015 school year,
there be a live news broadcast. She appointed Mr. Axley, the school’s photography teacher, and
he in turn recruited a group of students. Neither Mr. Axley nor the group of students were given
any other instructions.
I was a key part of that group of lost students who had less than two weeks to organize,
prepare, and broadcast the school’s first news show without a clue about what specifically needs
to be done or how it can be accomplished. The first thing we discover is that the school spent
thousands of dollars on recording equipment for us to use. So began the tedious process of
working with the cameras, microphones, and other broadcast gear to figure them all out. With the
equipment analyzed and sorted, work began on writing a script for the anchors and deciding how
to use the tools supplied to us, despite still being left in the dark about where things on the
technological side were headed.
The last week of school comes around, and Mr. Axley announces that the school has
acquired a broadcasting machine for us to use. Being short on time, myself and a few others
agree to stay after school with Mr. Axley and the school’s main technician to work out the nitty
gritty of sending a broadcast. After spending an hour or so checking wires in the ceiling and
continuously testing the broadcast, we figured out that none of the nearby connections to the
school-wide audio/video system were functioning. In a last-ditch effort, a humongous wire was
led across a few classrooms to a functional connection to the system on the other side of the
technology department. With the relieving feeling of finally seeing an image appear on screen,
we all left for the day to prepare for the upcoming live announcements at the end of the week.