My lofty dreams of studying at MIT came to a thundering crash as I went through the sample essay questionnaires. Although I had won numerous essay writing competitions, the fact that years of experience and education needed to be shrunk into a few hundred words, seemed near impossible. How could one do that possibly? Yet, others before me must have accomplished them... this was the belief that egged me on, in my journey.
Next to this arduous task stood the mountainous task of appearing for the ACT and SAT exams. Having once again taken many unconventional courses in school, I was strong in my resolve to succeed here too. The biggest problem here was my lack of knowledge due to its unavailability. As I was the first student from my district to apply to a college in the United States, I could not find any matter or person who could help me.
Unable to find a solution, even after many weeks of trying, I decided to man up and help myself. I started by chalking out a plan for all the things I needed to do.
The first step found me looking for prep books like Princeton review, Barons... etc., but thanks to my geographic location, none of them could be delivered to me. Then miraculously I came upon the Khan Academy, an online educational website. It was absolutely perfect and I did a lot of my prep work for the standardized tests.
I had fortified myself against most odds saving one- my travel of 1600 Km for the ACT exam and 500 Km for the SAT subject tests. I did my level best but fatigue from the tedious journey was impossible to overcome.
As for my essays, I assimilated my thoughts and then zeroing down into the most relevant and important ones, I started building my essays. I became a member of the United Stated India education foundation and it gave me a better insight into the application process.
Thus determination and perseverance have been my tools in fighting my biggest challenge- applying to MIT.