We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do for the pleasure of it. (*)(100 words or fewer)
Every weekend, I call my little brother into my room, and with excitement, we would turn on the laptop and begin to watch "One Piece". As I join Luffy and his nakama (friends) on their voyage, any stress or tiredness I might have felt at school disappears immediately. The bond between me and my brother also grows stronger as we laugh, shout, and cry watching the Straw Hat Pirates in their adventures and struggles. They say One Piece, with over 650 episodes, is only 60% complete, which means we can enjoy it for 10 more years. I couldn't be happier.
Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program at MIT appeals to you and why? (*) (100 words or fewer)
During my high school years, I was stuck with my dad's old laptop which couldn't run most programs and games, and I was always afraid to look at their system requirements. I had this one dream to create affordable high performance computers for every student in developing countries. Upon my visit to the EECS department, I was instantly attracted to course 6-3 because it can make my dream a reality. I can't wait to use MIT's facilities and opportunities such as UROPs and ICP, to enrich myself and to share the benefits of my MIT education with the world. (99 words)
Are you still attending school? (*)
If no, what have you been doing since you left school? (please limit your answer to 400 words or fewer):
When I graduated from high school at the age of sixteen, I decided to study abroad as I found rote learning, which is commonly practiced in my country, to be inefficient. It took about two years between graduation and moving to US. Those years helped me mature, discover my goals and pursue my passion.
During the first few months after high school, I couldn't balance between work and play. After stressful matriculation exam, I just wanted to have fun with friends. I also became addicted to online gaming on which I spent hundreds of hours. As I watched my friends go to local colleges, I realized that I had wasted the last few months.
With this realization combined with guidance from my mom and self-discipline, I learned to prioritize important things in life. I started taking SAT classes. I spent more time with family, and helped my brother and cousin with their math problems. From this, I moved on to tutoring a high school senior on Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, and found out the thrill and joy of helping someone understand an obscure math concept. Since I won Yangon Mathematical Olympiad in high school, I was invited to take part in National Mathematical Olympiad and I ranked 8th in the top ten finalists.
Besides, I volunteered to teach blind students at the Kyi Myin Daing School for the Blind, and got a lot of energy and motivation from them in return. Besides, I was inspired by Japanese animations to learn Japanese and, from doing so, I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the youth representatives from Myanmar to participate in Kizuna Project from Japan. In Kizuna Project, I learned a lot about the value of friendship and helping others. Upon return from Japan, I enlisted to volunteer at Shweparmai Healthcare Foundation, which provides free medical care to poor people in Myanmar.
Meanwhile, I tried my best to get my hands on Shakespearean literature and other English classics that I couldn't read during busy high school days. Fascinated by the existence of online education, I also prepared for college with lessons from Khan Acadmey and MIT OpenCourseWare. In addition, I also participated in several MOOCs at edX and Coursera. On my free time, I learn digital illustration online at Lynda and Digital Tutors. Occasionally, I also write Tumblr blogs about my life and on topics of my interest. (400 words)
Thanks for taking your time to read, and if possible, please give me your honest feedback and suggestions.
Thawsitt, from what I can tell, the answers you have given answers the prompt very well. However, I would like you to avoid any negative references in your answer about the gap year in school. We want the admissions officer to believe that you took the gap year because you wanted to experience a natural learning process rather than having him picture you sitting in front of the computer playing online games for days on end. That is not a good image to share with the most important person representing the university in your life. Instead, portray yourself as constantly learning and striving academically. The story about preparing for the SAT's is a good one that you should further develop. Expand upon your volunteer activities and your learning to do animation. Those are all aspects of a gap year that will help to show that you spend the time away from school quite productively and that you are more than ready to return to the rigors of the academic halls of higher learning :-)